Erica Boomer Named California Teacher of the Year

October 09, 2018

SACRAMENTO (October 9, 2018) —State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today named five extraordinary educators as the 2019 California Teachers of the Year.

Torlakson, who began his career as a science teacher and coach, said he is pleased to honor five outstanding and talented teachers who have made a great impact in their schools and communities.

“These five remarkable teachers deserve thanks and admiration for their deep commitment, hard work, and creativity,” he said. “They make profound differences in their students’ lives and provide students the tools they need to succeed. They’re an inspiration and an example of the exceptional work going on in California schools.”

Presented by California Casualty and the California Teachers of the Year Foundation, the California Teachers of the Year Program began in 1972 to honor outstanding teachers and encourage new teachers to enter the profession.

The 2019 winners are:

Rosie Reid who teaches English to ninth through twelfth grade students at Northgate High School, Mount Diablo Unified School District in Walnut Creek, Contra Costa County. Torlakson also nominated Reid as California’s representative for the National Teacher of the Year competition. Reid will compete against other state nominees, and a 2019 National Teacher of the Year will be named in the spring.

Erica Boomer who is a ninth through twelfth grade agriculture teacher at Upper Lake High School, Upper Lake Unified School District in Upper Lake, Lake County.

Kim Holz who is a fourth grade multi-subject teacher at Opal Robinson Elementary, Manhattan Beach Unified School District in Manhattan Beach, Los Angeles County.

Michael Henges who is a twelfth grade government and economics teacher at Redondo Union High School, Redondo Beach Unified in Redondo Beach, Los Angeles County.

Angel Mejico who is a seventh and eighth grade art teacher at El Cerrito Middle School, Corona-Norco Unified School District in Corona, Riverside County.

Torlakson, who launched a “Make the Switch: Become a Teacher” campaign this year, said these teachers will be great ambassadors for the profession. Due to California’s teacher shortage, he said, it is important to get the word out about the rewards of being a teacher.

"Great teachers are the backbone of our education system. Teaching is a commitment to your community, your students, and most of all, a commitment to the future,” he said.

Visit the Teach California for more information.

County offices of education nominate California Teachers of the Year winners through their county-level competitions. A state selection committee reviews candidates' applications and conducts site visits to evaluate the teachers' rapport with students, classroom environment, presentation skills, and teaching techniques.

The teachers are interviewed by the California Department of Education (CDE). The State Superintendent then selects the five awardees.

The 2019 California Teachers of the Year, finalists, and semifinalists will be honored by Torlakson at a gala to be held in Sacramento on December 10, 2018.

For more information on the award program, please visit the CDE's California Teachers of the Year web page.

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