Erin Oxhorn-Gilpin, a first and second grade multi-subject teacher at Northlake Hills Elementary School, has been selected as a 2018 California State Teacher of the Year.
“Erin is a true champion for every child and makes the most of every moment with her kids. She brings a passion for teaching and the teaching profession to Northlake Hills,” Principal Erin Augusta said in a statement. “We are beyond proud of Erin and her well-deserved honor.”
Oxhorn-Gilpin was one of five teachers selected by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson as 2018 California Teachers of the Year.
As an elementary school educator, Oxhorn-Gilpin has taught at Northlake Hills Elementary in the Castaic Union School District for 11 years.
“Teaching is an ever-evolving profession, requiring teachers to embrace change and a growth mindset,” Oxhorn-Gilpin said in a statement. “I strengthen and improve the teaching profession because I never lose sight of what is best for my students. I always put kids first!”
In her classroom, she uses creativity and hands-on lessons to teach her students the basics of reading and writing. One example of this is her unit on snails where students learned about them through a picture book, snail races and snail mail.
“Erin recognizes needs and moves forward. It is that ‘moving forward’ attitude that makes her one of the best teachers ever,” CUSD Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services Janene Maxon said. “Erin is always reflective, always thinking of ways in which to improve planning next steps for our students’ continued progress.”
Augusta said Oxhorn-Gilpin also infuses problem solving, critical thinking and technology into all of her lessons to make each activity “a joyful one and full of learning.”
“Students and parents are thrilled to be a part of the Room 8 ‘family,'” Augusta said.
Oxhorn-Gilpin also inspired her students to give back to the community after they received Chromebooks through a local grant.
Together, the students organized a fundraiser for the Castaic Animal Shelter where they donated money and learned how they could continue their partnership with the organization.
Since 1972, the Teacher of the Year Program has honored outstanding teachers for their work. Nominees are selected through county-level competitions before a state selection committee reviews candidates’ applications and conducts site visits.
During these visits, the selection committee evaluates teachers’ rapport with students, the classroom environment, their presentation skills and their teaching techniques.
These teachers are then interviewed by the California Department of Education and selected by Torlakson.
Additional Teachers of the Year include:
- Brian McDaniel, a middle school music teacher at Painted Hills Middle School in the Palm Springs Unified School District
- Jamie Brown, an International Baccalaureate English and Film Studies teacher at San Diego High School of International Studies in the San Diego Unified School District
- Kristen Farrell, a sports medicine teacher at Venice High School in the Los Angeles Unified School District
- Gregory Gardiner, an Advanced Placement and Special Abilities Cluster environmental science and biology teacher at Edison High School in the Huntington Beach Union School District
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