CSUN Alumni Honored as Teachers of the Year

  • Entry way and pillars on the Education building

    The Education building at CSUN. Photo by Lee Choo

The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) and Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE) have recognized five CSUN alumni with 2020-21 Teacher of the Year awards.

Five alumni were selected to receive LAUSD Teacher of the Year, and one was also honored by the county. The awards recognize educators for their expertise, success, creativity and devotion to their students and the teaching profession.

“We are proud and honored to have so many Michael D. Eisner College of Education alumni receive Teacher of the Year,” said Eisner College Dean Shari Tarver Behring. “Year after year, our alumni are recognized as being in the top of their field. We are delighted to have helped them get to where they are today, and to have prepared them well to be able to change the world of education for the better.”

In addition to being named an LAUSD Teacher of the Year, Rhiannon Chavez ’03 (Humanities), who teaches fourth grade at 186th Street Elementary School, was also selected as one of 16 educators named an LACOE Teacher of the Year.

Every year, CSUN is well represented in the LAUSD awards, generally making up between a quarter to a third of the teachers on the list. CSUN alumni also have been honored with the National Teacher of the Year award; the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring; and the California Teacher of the Year award.

This year’s LAUSD awardees include:

Kristen Baldridge ’97 (Teaching Credential), ’98 (Education), a special education resource specialist at Clover Avenue Elementary School.

Lauree Johnson-Pittman ’95 (Political Science), a special education teacher at Canoga Park High School.

Sauwalee Maliwan ’04 (Teaching Credential), ’17 (Education), who teaches 10th-grade Advanced Placement biology, and 12th-grade anatomy and physiology at John H. Francis Polytechnic High School.

Diane Simons ’02 (Teaching Credential), ’07 (Education), who teaches second grade at the Academy for Enriched Sciences and Global Awareness Elementary Magnet.

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