Three Los Angeles County teachers were among the five educators honored as 2024 California Teachers of the Year.
Casey Cuny, Andrew Lewis and Hannah Rodriguez were named California Teachers of the Year by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond on Oct. 16.
Cuny teaches honors English and senior myth and folklore at William S. Hart High School and Valencia High School in the William S. Hart Unified School District. Cuny was also nominated by Thurmond as the California representative for the 2024 National Teacher of the Year competition.
The winner will be announced in the spring.
Andrew Lewis is a vocal music teacher at Ramon C. Cortines School of Visual and Performing Arts in the Los Angeles Unified School District. He has been teaching for 17 and a half years.
Lewis said the award “means a lot to him” for the sake of the students studying the arts, which is the most rewarding aspect of his job.
“I think it’s important to recognize that a holistic education includes the arts — it’s not STEM, but it’s STEAM, which includes the arts as a part of an education for students,” Lewis said. “To me that’s meaningful.”
Rodriguez is a Beardslee Dual Language Immersion Academy pre-kindergarten special education teacher in the LAUSD.
The finalists of the 2024 California Teachers of the Year competition include three other LA County educators: Luther Burbank Middle School sixth grade science teacher Alanna Grimaldi from the Burbank Unified School District; Wild Rose School of the Creative Arts interventionist Allison Meloserdoff from the Monrovia Unified School District and fifth grade teacher Kirsten Neill from the Downey Unified School District.
To select its honorees, the California Teachers of the Year program reviews applications submitted by county offices of education and partakes in on-site classroom visits to observe teachers. Should they move on, the final round is for teachers to be interviewed by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction or their designee, according to the California Department of Education.
Source: NBC Los Angeles