The William S. Hart Union High School District honored a total of 17 teachers as Teacher of the Year for their respective school sites, as well as the districtwide choice, during Wednesday night’s governing board meeting.
For the 2019-20 school, the district also named Laurel Priesz, an English teacher at Canyon High School, as the Hart District Teacher of the year.
“It’s very exciting,” Priesz said Wednesday night. “I think it’s an awesome recognition but it’s humbling because there are so many great teachers in our district.”
Priesz, who has been a teacher in the district for 13 years, said that she teaches three classes of English a day, and also serves as Canyon’s instructional coach providing professional development and encouragement to her peers on campus.
A part of my job as the instructional coach is to I think recognize the good teachers are doing in their classroom because as you’re doing so you’re uplifting the morale of the school,” said Priesz. “I think oftentimes teachers don’t get recognition, we sit in our classrooms and not a lot of people see what you do.”
“(The Teacher of the Year recognition makes) you feel recognized and able to go forward and try new things you weren’t able to do before,” she added.
During the event, teachers heard their names called out and were asked to come to the front of the room and shake the hands of board members and receive a certificate acknowledging their recognition. Friends and family were invited to take pictures of them during and afterwards.
The other teachers honored last night included: Mike Koegle, Academy of the Canyons; Kelvin Flores, Arroyo Seco Junior High School; Christine Desuse, Bowman High School; Laurel Priesz, Canyon High School; Yara Wright, Golden Oak Adult School; Shanna Mann, Golden Valley High School; Kathryn Smith, Hart High School; Kamalinphol Punpanichgul, La Mesa Junior High School; Bree Hammer, Placerita Junior High School; Aubrie Fairbanks, Rancho Pico Junior High School; Stephanie Sosa, Rio Norte Junior High School; Wendy Noonan, Saugus High School; Brandy Abernethy, Sequoia School; David Drabinski, Sierra Vista Junior High School; Tamara Desso, Valencia High School; and Terri Sage, West Ranch High School.