Tiffany Bernier, AP Psychology teacher at Valencia High School, was awarded the Claes Nobel Educator of the Year by the National Society of High School Scholars at the beginning of the 2019-20 school year.
Bernier was nominated by a student who had graduated from Valencia High.
“I was mostly excited the nomination came from a student,” Bernier said. “She was in my very first AP psychology class, and now she told me she wants to major in psychology. Knowing I’ve impacted a student in that way makes being a teacher worth while.”
Bernier was among 10 educators across the nation that received this award, meant to highlight a teacher’s accomplishments and the impact educators have on student’s lives.
After the nomination, the teacher is invited to participate and multiple letters of recommendation are sent in to the society by staff and administrators who have worked closely with the nominating teacher.
Although she was unable to attend the NSHSS Scholars Day event in Washington D.C., where the nominated teachers were awarded, Bernier said she was excited to find out she was among one of the ten while having breakfast with an administrator who had written a letter of recommendation.
“I felt incredibly honored and humbled,” Bernier said. “All the teachers across the country are doing great things for education and it was surreal to be included in the same group as them.”
Bernier said she also got to read the nominating letter from her former student.
“I couldn’t believe she felt that way,” she said. “It was everything I’d hope to be for a student as a teacher.”