The William S. Hart Union High School District recognized Paula Bae as teacher of the year — and so has Los Angeles County.
Bae was one of the 66 teachers honored at the 41st annual L.A. County teachers of the year luncheon at University City on Friday. The L.A. County Office of Education recognized the top 16 teachers in the county, and Bae was among them.
“It is an honor to be selected as the Hart district’s teacher of the year, especially knowing the caliber of teacher I work with,” Bae said in a prepared statement. “I am so thankful for the kind, hardworking and creative students that I get to work with each day.”
According to Bae, her students inspire her each and every day to do great and continue to improve as a teacher.
“I hope my award can, in turn, help to inspire them to reach their potential,” Bae said in the statement. “I also hope my recognition as the district’s teacher of the year will help to put a spotlight on all the great teaching that happens throughout the district.”
Bae’s county recognition marks the district’s fourth year in a row, and fifth in the past seven years, that the district has had a county teacher of the year.
Bae has a strong track record in curriculum as she formed the human anatomy curriculum for Hart High School and the district, according to the statement released by the district. She also helped create the college prep and honors-level classes for students who are interested in the field of medical science.
“The teaching profession is integral to the fabric of our society. That has been more evident than ever in recent years when more than 140,000 U.S. children have lost a primary or secondary caregiver due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Debra Duardo, superintendent of Los Angeles County, said in the statement.
Along with this recognition, Bae is now officially nominated for the California Teacher of the Year for dedication to her students in science and college prep. Five co-winners will be chosen as state teachers of the year, with one of those going on to represent California in the national teacher of the year competition.
“Teachers have sustained students and families with their incredible capacity to nurture and empathize with the tragedies our students often confront,” Duardo said in the statement. “It is one of the greatest honors our office has to recognize some of the most exceptional educators in our county.”