Educators Recognized for Instructional Excellence
A kindergarten teacher who trains African educators, a special education resource specialist who teaches college students how to work with mildly or moderately disabled children, and a marine ecology and biology instructor who helps students restore abalone and coaches award-winning science teams have been named the 2013 Teachers of the Year in the Capistrano Unified School District.
Stephany Rose, the kindergarten teacher from Kinoshita Elementary School; Paul Coppes, the special education resource specialist from Don Juan Avila Middle School; and Randy Hudson, the marine ecology and biology instructor from Dana Hills High School received notification of the honor during surprise announcements in front of their students, colleagues, and family members.
“The teachers we honor today typify the diverse and varied expertise readily found in those we entrust to prepare our students for academic success,” Board President John M. Alpay said. “Their selection exemplifies the high caliber of educators employed by this District.”
Rose, Coppes, and Hudson were selected from winners at 56 school sites and programs. The District winners will be recognized at the annual Teacher of the Year Celebration at Ocean Hills Community Church in San Juan Capistrano on Thursday, May 2. The trio will represent CUSD in the 2013 Orange County Department of Education Teachers of the Year program.
“Stephany, Paul, and Randy prove that this District has some of the best educators in the state and in the nation,” Superintendent Joe Farley said. “They not only provide excellent classroom instruction on a daily basis, but share their expertise with other professionals, leading to even more knowledgeable educators locally and globally. I am proud that these three professionals will represent their peers and this District in this important recognition.”
CUSD employs about 2,150 teachers at 56 school sites. They average more than 15 years of experience in education and more than 60 percent have earned graduate degrees. A little more than 40 percent of teachers statewide have a graduate degree.
“I am proud that these three excellent teachers will represent me and the other 2,150 educators in this District,” Capistrano Unified Education Association President Vicki Soderberg said. “Their dedication, creativity, and professionalism inspire us all to continue refining our craft to better prepare our students for success in college and in life.”
Last year’s Teachers of the Year were 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.
Rose, the elementary representative, began her tenure in CUSD in 1997 as a preschool assistant. In 1999, she became a first grade teacher at San Juan Elementary School. Rose has taught kindergarten, first, second, and third grades. In addition, she founded the Malawi Teacher Institute, served as Kinoshita’s College Bound consultant, and was a neighborhood tutor.
“The environment of the classroom creates the warmth needed to help students feel safe to explore new concepts, loved by the adults working with them, and ready to learn,” Rose wrote in her application. “It is my hope that every day a student leaves my classroom with more academic skills, eager to learn and ready to take on the world.”
Middle school winner Coppes began his career as a resource specialist in the Covina Valley Unified School District. In 2001, he became a resource specialist in the Capistrano Unified School District. Coppes is also an adjunct professor in the School of Education at Azusa Pacific University, helping prepare students to become teachers of children with mild and moderate disabilities.
“Social skills, appropriate behaviors, resisting impulsivity, respecting others’ opinions and needs are a few of the lessons that are introduced, taught, and reviewed in my classroom,” Coppes wrote in his application. “These lessons are not part of the state standards, but they are a part of my classroom on a daily basis. These lessons are the ones they will take beyond the walls of my classroom so they may contribute to our world in a positive way.”
Hudson is the high school selection. He began his career in 1999 as a science teacher at Dana Hills High School, where he has taught marine ecology, biology, environmental science, and oceanography. He has coached several nationally ranked science teams, including the 2013 National Ocean Science Bowl team that will represent the area at the national competition in April. Before education, Hudson worked as a lab technician, research diver, and environmental consultant.
“Teaching is like woodworking,” Hudson wrote in his application. “We provide our students with the necessary tools to solve problems but we must also teach them how and when to use these tools effectively to complete their own “projects.”