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California Department of Education News Release
Release: #12-8
January 19, 2012
Contact: Pam Slater
E-mail: communications@cde.ca.gov
Phone: 916-319-0818

California Teacher of the Year Chosen as Finalist
for National Teacher of the Year Title

SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today said he is extremely pleased that Rebecca Mieliwocki, a 2012 California Teacher of the Year from Los Angeles County, has been selected as one of four finalists nationwide for the 2012 National Teacher of the Year award.

"I am elated that Rebecca, who is remarkably gifted and innovative, is being considered as the nation's next top teacher," Torlakson said. "I nominated her for this prestigious title because she is an inspiration to other teachers as well as her students, who are learning and succeeding due to her tremendous classroom skill."

Mieliwocki (pronounced like Milwaukee) was named in November as one of five California Teachers of the Year. Her selection as a national finalist was announced today by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), a nonpartisan, nationwide, nonprofit organization of public officials who head departments of elementary and secondary education.

She and three other state Teachers of the Year from Florida, Alabama, and the Department of Defense Education Activity in Italy were chosen by a National Selection Committee representing the major national education organizations. The winner will be announced in April.

Mieliwocki has been teaching for more than 13 years, including nine years at Burbank Middle School, where she teaches general education and Gifted and Talented Education classes. She is faculty chair and serves on the school leadership team. Her lessons are infused with a wide array of technical tools that, as her principal says, "brings lessons to life."

She earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Speech Communication at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo; and a Single Subject Professional Clear Credential in English at California State University, Northridge.

For more information on the four 2012 National Teacher of the Year finalists, please visit the CCSSO Web site at: The Council of Chief State School Officers [http://www.ccsso.org/] External link opens in new window or tab..

Related Content
  • California Teachers of the Year - Recognizes exemplary teachers who best represent all of California's teachers and symbolize the profession's contributions to quality education.

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Tom Torlakson — State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5206, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100

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