LOS ANGELES >> Educators from Los Angeles and Orange counties were named by the state Department of Education Wednesday among five California Teachers of the Year.
“These teachers are deeply committed, hard-working, and creative,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson. “They help students find their inner strengths and achieve their dreams, while inspiring, challenging, and supporting them every day. They represent the best of their profession.”
Presented by California Casualty and the California Teachers of the Year Foundation, the state Teachers of the Year Program began in 1972 to honor outstanding teachers and encourage new teachers to enter the profession.
The 2018 winners from Los Angeles and Orange counties are:
— Kirsten Farrell, who has been teaching for 21 years, the last 15 at Venice High School, which is part of the Los Angeles Unified School District. She is the lead teacher for the Sports Medicine Academy and serves as Sports Medicine Team facilitator. She said growing up in a military family and constantly moving from place to place has given her special understanding about the importance and stability that a teacher can provide to students. She credits her outstanding fifth-grade teacher for serving as a role model who inspired her to become a teacher;
— Erin Oxhorn-Gilpin, a first- and second-grade multi-subject teacher at Northlake Hills Elementary School, which is part of the Castaic Union School District. She has been teaching for 11 years in the same district, using creativity and hands-on lessons to teach students the basics of reading and writing; and
— Gregory Gardiner, who teaches Advanced Placement and Special Abilities Cluster environmental science, and biology to ninth through 12th grade students at Edison High School in the Huntington Beach Union School District in Orange County. A science teacher for 18 years, Gardiner teaches AP classes and started an environmental science program at Edison for…