Agoura Hills : Yerba Buena Teacher Receives State Honor

Sandra Fleishman, a teacher at Yerba Buena Elementary School in Agoura Hills, has been named a Teacher of the Year by the state Board of Education. She was one of five teachers statewide to be so honored.

“Sandy epitomizes what is best in our profession,” said Las Virgenes Unified Supt. John F. Fitzpatrick.

Another of the five, math teacher Javier Gonzalez from Pioneer High School in Whittier, has been chosen to represent California in the National Teacher of the Year contest, district officials said.

Fleishman, who began at Yerba Buena in 1986, has been the school’s teacher-in-charge since 1988. She has served on various committees designed to enhance educational programs and has also been a mentor teacher. She began her teaching career in 1974 as a special day teacher for the Los Angeles County Office of Education.


Fleishman, who teaches fourth and fifth grade, has downplayed the award and even appeared embarrassed by the publicity, district officials said. In her professional biography, Fleishman said that she became a teacher because she loves children and derives satisfaction from educating others. She said she never gives up on children who are having difficulty in school.

“I have students who begin the school year saying, ‘I cannot write a story or get up on a stage before an audience.’ Those same students at the end of the year exclaim: ‘I can write, I can perform and I can do it well!’ ”

She has received other honors in the past, officials said, including the Las Virgenes school district’s Teacher of the Year for 1995, the district’s Employee of the Month and the Conejo Valley’s Best award.