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District's Top Teachers Surprised By Honor

Sherri George 2012 District TOYChristine Taglieri 2012 District TOYJennifer Woodward 2012 District TOY


Trustees on Hand as Educators Recognized for Instructional Excellence


            Three veteran educators have been selected as the best of their profession in being named as the 2012 Capistrano Unified School District Teachers of the Year, receiving notification of the award during surprise announcements in front of their students, colleagues, and family members.

              In addition, members of the Board of Trustees, including Anna Bryson, Jack Brick, and Sue Palazzo were on hand to participate in the surprise announcements.

            Christine Taglieri, a kindergarten-first grade teacher at Castille Elementary School, Sherri George, an English and technology teacher at Carl Hankey K-8 School, and Jennifer Woodward, an Advanced Placement Psychology teacher at Tesoro High School, will represent CUSD in the 2013 Orange County Department of Education Teachers of the Year program.

            “The educators we honored today are examples of the dedicated and talented people we entrust to ensure that all students are prepared for college or career when they leave our schools,” Board President Dr. Gary Pritchard said. “While these three have been selected as the best this District has to offer, I know that they are not the exception, but rather the rule when it comes to their abilities as educators.”

            Taglieri, George, and Woodward were selected from winners at 57 school sites and programs. The District winners will be recognized at the annual Teacher of the Year Celebration at Ocean Hills Church in San Juan Capistrano on Thursday, May 3.

            “This District has some of the best educators in the state and in this nation,” Superintendent Joe Farley said. “Christine, Sheri, and Jennifer prove that to be true by providing excellent classroom instruction on a daily basis. I am proud that these three professionals will represent their peers and this District in this important recognition.” 

            CUSD employs about 2,100 teachers at 57 school sites. They average more than 15 years of experience in education and more than half have earned graduate degrees. A little more than 20 percent of teachers statewide have a graduate degree.

            “These three teachers will do an excellent job representing us on the county, and hopefully, state level,” Capistrano Unified Education Association President Vicki Soderberg said. “They are shining examples of the high standards to which all teachers aspire and work towards each day.”

            Taglieri, the elementary representative, began her tenure in CUSD in 1994, and has been a teacher since 1987 when she was a substitute teacher in San Diego County. She became a substitute in CUSD in 1992 before earning a permanent position with the District in 1994.

            Middle school winner George began her career as a fifth grade teacher in 2006 at Chapparal Elementary School. She taught fifth grade at Ladera Ranch Elementary School in 2008-2009 before moving to Carl Hankey K-8 School in 2009.

            Woodward is the high school representative. She began her career in 1993 as a substitute teacher in Juvenile Hall before moving to become a social science teacher at Los Alamitos High School. She joined the District in 1998 as a social science teacher at Capistrano Valley High School.

            Last year’s District Teachers of the Year are Laurie Lowy, a fifth grade teacher at Las Flores Elementary School; Bonnie Liedlich, a sixth grade math and science teacher at Ladera Ranch Middle School; and Betsy Schmitz, a French teacher at San Juan Hills High School.

Posted by: Marcus Walton, District Admin, Capistrano Unified School District Published:3/9/12
Audience: Homepage and Homepage

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The Capistrano Unified School District prohibits discrimination, harassment, intimidation, and bullying in all district activities, programs, and employment based upon actual or perceived gender, gender identity, gender expression, race, ethnicity, color, religion, ancestry, nationality, national origin, ethnic group identification, sex, sexual orientation, marital or parental status, pregnancy, age, physical or mental disability or on the basis of a person’s association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics. Reference: AR 1312.3, BP 1312.3 and BP 5183.

Rich Montgomery, Executive Director, Human Resource Services/Compliance
33122 Valle Road, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
(949) 234-9200

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