La Cañada Elementary School kindergarten teacher Mandy Redfern received a nod from county school officials in a ceremony last Friday as one of 16 educators recognized as Los Angeles County's Teachers of the Year for 2017-18.
The event was organized by the Los Angeles County Office of Education to honor classroom excellence and recognize educators from among the county's 72,000 teachers. The competition's panel of judges reviewed essays, lesson plans, resumes, reference letters for each candidate and conducted interviews.
The 16 teachers honored Sept. 29 will advance, along with winners from other counties statewide, to the California Teachers of the Year competition later this month. That contest will pick five educators, one of whom will represent the state in a National Teacher of the Year event next spring.
Redfern has been teaching for 17 years. She previously served as president of the La Cañada Teachers Assn., the union for certificated employees of LCUSD, and helped negotiate for salary increases and a revision of the district's pay schedule.
In a candidate's statement released by LACOE after the event, Redfern explained a typical day:
"Every morning, Mandy starts with butterflies in her stomach," it begins. "Will her kindergartners be happy? Will they embrace challenging lessons? Have they had breakfast? Are they ready to learn? But when she sees their 5-year-old smiles, the butterflies vanish!"