State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson has named five exemplary educators as the 2013 California Teachers of the Year. Profiles and contact information for each teacher are attached.
“These five wonderful teachers have shown the kind of skill, passion, and dedication that exemplify the very best of the most important, most demanding, and most rewarding profession there is: teaching,” Torlakson said. “I congratulate and thank them all for the work they are doing to brighten the future of their students and our state.”
The five California Teachers of the Year are:
I’Asha Warfield is a grade seven English teacher at Oakland’s Frick Middle School in the Oakland Unified School District, Alameda County. Torlakson also nominated Warfield as California’s representative for the National Teacher of the Year competition.
Sebastien Paul De Clerck is a grade nine through twelve French and Italian language teacher at Ventura High School in the Ventura Unified School District, Ventura County.
David Goldenberg is a grade ten and eleven history teacher at Irvine’s Arnold O. Beckman High School in Tustin Unified School District, Orange County.
Veronica Marquez is a grade five multi-subject teacher in Los Angeles’ Harmony Elementary School in the Los Angeles Unified School District, Los Angeles County.
Martin Reisert is a grade six multiple-subject teacher in San Diego’s Oak Valley Middle School in the Poway Unified School District, San Diego County.
Veronica Marquez, from LAUSD:
Marquez has taught multiple subjects, Gifted and Talented Education, Sheltered English Immersion, and bilingual education at Harmony Elementary School since 2004. Prior to this, she taught at Trinity Elementary School. She also has extensive experience providing staff development, mentorships, and training for other teachers.
“Ms. Marquez has made a remarkable journey as a child from the inner city and then decided to stay in her community to help lift other children out of lives of poverty and despair,” said Torlakson. “She sees herself as a gardener who watches her students bloom under her leadership, and sees her students as scholars worthy of better lives.”
Marquez earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology at UC Los Angeles. She also received her National Board Certification in English as a New Language. She received her Crosscultural, Language, and Academic Development Certificate from UCLA Extension, and her Clear Multiple Subject Teaching Credential at Los Angeles Unified School District, District Intern Program. She is also a member of several professional organizations including the National Teachers Association, California Teachers Association, and United Teachers Los Angeles. Marquez received the Los Angeles Unified School District Teacher of the Year award.
“I make home visits to better understand the students I serve…. I establish a positive relationship with parents and students that transfer into the classroom. I believe it is my duty to empower my students to be agents of change.”
—Veronica Marquez, from her 2013 California Teacher of the Year Application