Burbank Unified teacher Rebecca Mieliwocki was named today as the 2012 National Teacher of the Year. She was picked from among more than 3 million educators.
Raised in Napa by two educators, Mieliwocki has spent nine years of her 13-year career with Burbank Unified, where she is currently teaching English at Luther Middle School.
Reached by phone while at Los Angeles International Airport, Burbank Unified Supt. Stan Carrizosa today said Mieliwocki exemplified everything that is right about public education in California.
"We are ecstatic. We are so excited and we are so proud," he said. "It is a great opportunity for someone from Burbank to represent not only Burbank Unified but also all of California."
Mieliwocki -- a long time Glendale resident -- was not immediately available for comment Monday morning, but in January, she credited the school district and her colleagues for putting a premium on teacher development.
"I have been pushed to be the best teacher I can be, and given opportunities to push kids in creative, exciting ways," she said. "When a school district does that for its teachers, it’s no wonder something like this can happen.”
In October, she was recognized as a Los Angeles County Teacher of the Year. One month later, she took the state-wide honor, and was selected by California Supt. of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson as one of five California teachers to advance to the national competition.
"We are so excited that she is going to be a national spokesperson becaue she will carry with her the core value of our school district," Carrizosa said. "We believe in our school district and our system and we are happy she is going to be the ambassador for that."
Mieliwocki is slated to be recognized by President Obama during a ceremony at the White House on Tuesday.
-- Jason Wells and Megan O'Neil, Times Community News