Burbank Unified School District teacher Darla Gerharter joined more than 70 teachers from Los Angeles County as they were honored by the L.A. County Office of Education as district Teachers of the Year at a luncheon held Friday, September 19, at the Universal Hilton in Universal City.
“I am very proud to represent Burbank Unified,” commented Gerharter, who currently teaches at Walt Disney Elementary. “I am especially proud to represent our district as a special education teacher.”
“Our teachers are very dedicated and work really hard to meet the needs of our students,” she added. “I’m proud to be part of a great team.”
Gerharter was a special education teacher at Joaquin Miller and Ralph Emerson Elementary schools before joining Disney. She started out as a substitute teacher for BUSD in 1999 and was a special education aide until she earned her credential to become a full-fledged special education teacher.
A native of Honolulu, Hawaii, Gerharter received a B.A. in fine arts from UCLA. She worked for a time in the garment industry in Los Angeles, before going into education.
“Darla was chosen as our Teacher of the Year for her willingness to do what ever is necessary to make all of our students successful,” said Disney Principal Melissa Kistler. “She provides focused support to special needs children and works tirelessly to provide the staff with intervention strategies to support students who have struggled in general education.”
“Darla is also active in our PTA and Boosters,” continued Kistler. “She heads our Multicultural Night and the Read Across America campaign at our school. Her ‘can do’ attitude inspires us all!”
“For the past 15 years, Darla Gerharter’s teaching has been a model of educational excellence,” commented BUSD Superintendent Dr. Jan Britz. “Her instructional skills and tireless dedication to students and their families have had a positive impact on countless children and families.”
The Los Angeles County Office of Education sponsors the Los Angeles County Teachers of the Year Program, an honors competition and awards luncheon that spotlights excellence in public education. The county program, the largest in the state, is part of the California and National Teacher of the Year programs.