A Poway Unified School District teacher has been named a San Diego County Teacher of the Year.
Katie Wu, an English, English Prep and Academic Success teacher from Westview High School, was one of five teachers named at the 28th annual “Cox Presents: A Salute to Teachers.”
The other San Diego County Teachers of the Year are Stephanie Glanz, from Escondido Union School District; Sesha Haynes, from Sweetwater Union High School District; Melissa Moreno, from Chula Vista Elementary School District; and Jose Villegas, from South Bay Union School District.
"This is an exceptionally dedicated and talented group of educators," said Paul Gothold, county superintendent of schools, in a press release. "While each has unique qualities that helped bring this recognition, they all believe in the power of connecting with students and community."
The five honored teachers represent San Diego County in the California Teacher of the Year program, with winners at the state level being announced later this fall.
Wu was named as one of three PUSD Teachers of the Year in March, along with Ana Collins of Valley Elementary School and Shantel Raquel of Del Sur Elementary School. She has been teaching for over 10 years in the PUSD.
Growing up in family of low-income, first-generation immigrants and not a native English speaker, Wu said in a press release she lacked parental support for education and her past struggles helped her to connect with her students while teaching.
“Many of my students are used to being passed over, labeled as unable to learn. I shifted my teaching to be centered around social and emotional support," Wu said.
Wu holds small group check-in sessions with her Academic Success class, established an after-school writing center to help students struggling with writing and made her classroom a “home away from home” for students learning English. She also builds rapport with students through letter writing.
"It's not only the high-quality teaching she brings each day to her classroom that sets her apart; it is the emphasis she puts on getting to know each of her students," Principal Tina Ziegler said in the press release.