A 40-year-old bilingual teacher and a 46-year-old science instructor were honored Thursday evening as the Ventura Unified School District's Teachers of the Year.
Aline Grossman, who has taught at Will Rogers School for three years, and Jim Hughes, a 24-year teaching veteran now at DeAnza Middle School, were picked from among seven finalists at the second Golden Wings awards dinner at Ventura's Doubletree Hotel.
All of the finalists were presented with Golden Wings awards for teaching excellence.
"What they have in common is enthusiasm, a positive approach and a commitment to students and to learning," said Beth Fruchey, district coordinator of instructional services and staff development.
Grossman, who is fluent in five languages, including Cantonese, French and Italian, teaches a bilingual English-Spanish fifth-grade class. Hughes has restructured DeAnza's vocational education program to include robotics, computer-aided drafting and rocketry.
The other finalists were Cathy Adoradio, a special education teacher students at Juanamaria School; Frank Allison, a history teacher at Buena High School; Jim Sargent, a history teacher at Ventura High School; Richard Smith, a science teacher at Cabrillo Middle School, and Betty Whitney, a fifth-grade teacher at Elmhurst School.