LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Five educators, including three from Southern California, have been named the 2014 teachers of the year by the state’s Department of Education.

“These outstanding teachers have my thanks and admiration for the work they do every day to provide our students with the knowledge, skills, and opportunities they need to succeed,” state Superintendent
of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson said. “They bring talent, dedication, and more to a job that is as critical as it is challenging — and even more rewarding.”

The five teachers are:

–Angelo “Ang” Bracco, a 6th- to 8th-grade special education teacher at Solano Middle School in the Vallejo City Unified School District;

–Michael Hayden, a 9th- to 12th-grade choral music and music appreciation teacher at Mira Costa High School
in the Manhattan Beach Unified School District;

–Linda Horist, a 2nd-grade teacher at Nohl Canyon Elementary School in the Orange Unified School District;

–Jessica Pack, a 6th-grade language arts, social studies, and technology teacher at James Workman Middle School in the Palm Springs Unified School District; and

–Timothy Smith, a 9th- to 12th-grade algebra I and AP statistics teacher at Florin High School
in the Elk Grove Unified School District near Sacramento.  Smith will be California’s representative  in the National Teacher of the Year competition.

Candidates for the award are nominated by county offices of education around the state. A committee reviews applications and visits the the candidates’ classrooms to evaluate them on matters such as their rapport with students, classroom environment, presentation skills and teaching methods. Teachers are also interviewed at Education Department in Sacramento, and the superintendent picks the five winners.

The teachers will be honored at a gala on Feb. 3.

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)


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