Beverly Hills : Teacher of Year Named

The Beverly Hills Teacher of the Year is a music teacher who is nicknamed Julie Andrews by her colleagues.

Toni Staser, who teaches music at El Rodeo School, was given the honor at a district orientation Wednesday. A 12-year veteran of the Beverly Hills Unified School District and a mentor teacher, she helps put on student programs in the spring and winter. Music, she says, is "one subject that every child has a natural love for."

The 36-year-old teacher attended USC on an organ scholarship and does bear some resemblance to the "Sound of Music" star. Selected by a committee of teachers, administrators and employees, Staser was modest in accepting her plaque. "You can't single out anyone. . . . This was my lucky year."

Judy Nawa, secretary to head counselor Patsy Carter at Beverly Hills High School, was named classified employee of the year. Carter cited Nawa for her dedication and hard work, which includes processing the "1,000 grade changes a year" and proofreading names on diplomas.

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