The Burbank Unified School District announced Monday that middle school teacher Rebecca Mieliwocki has been named the 2012 National Teacher of the Year. The Council of Chief State School Officers announced today that Mieliwocki, who teaches 7th grade English at Luther Burbank Middle School, has been named the 62nd National Teacher of the Year.
Mieliwocki, along with all 2012 State Teachers of the Year, will be recognized by President Barack Obama in a ceremony at the White House, on Tuesday, April 24, at 10am EDT.
“We are thrilled to learn that Rebecca has been chosen as the best of the best,” said Superintendent Stan Carrizosa. “Her achievement is testimony to the skill and talent possessed by so many incredible teachers working in Burbank Unified and throughout the State of California. She exemplifies dedication and passion to the craft of teaching, a tireless work ethic, and an obsession to improve kids’ lives.”
California Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tom Torlakson, also offered praise for Mieliwocki’s accomplishment. “Rebecca Mieliwocki is an inspiration to her students, to me, and to every California teacher,” Torlakson said. “She brings enormous energy, enthusiasm, and optimism to teaching — a career that has never been more challenging, or more vital to our future. She’s the perfect choice for this tremendous honor, and I know she’ll do an outstanding job of teaching the nation about the great things happening every day in California’s public schools.”
Mieliwocki has been teaching for Burbank Unified for 16 years and has spent 10 years in her current position. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communication from California Polytechnic State University and her professional clear credential in Secondary English Education from California State University Northridge. In November she was named one of five California Teachers of the Year; in January she advanced to become a finalist for the national title.
Rebecca Mieliwocki is shown with Burbank Superintendent Stan Carrizosa at a recent awards ceremony at the Burbank Elk's Lodge (Photo By Ross A. Benson)
A panel of educators, representing 15 national education organizations, chose the finalists from the 2012 state teachers of the year in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the Department of Defense Education Activity, and four U.S. extra-state jurisdictions. State teachers of the year are selected on the basis of nominations by students, teachers, principals, and school district administrators throughout the states. Applications are then submitted to CCSSO, where the national selection committee reviews the data on each state candidate and selects the four finalists. The selection committee then personally interviews each finalist before naming the National Teacher of the Year.
“Students learn best when they have the most enthusiastic, engaged teachers possible,” said Mieliwocki. “Our students are our future, so we, their teachers, must do our best to inspire them and guide them to greatness.”
On Monday, April 30, at 3:30 p.m., the Burbank Unified School District will hold a “Welcome Home” event at Luther Burbank Middle School. Local media and the public are encouraged to attend to help welcome home our local hero and acknowledge her incredible achievement.