SANTEE (CNS) - A San Diego English and film instructor was named one of five California Teachers of the Year today.
Jaime Brown teaches 12th graders in the international baccalaureate program at San Diego High's School of International Studies.
The California Department of Education said her courses are rigorous and demanding, but are filled with group discussions to allow students to share their own feelings and concerns because she believes that will help make them feel more comfortable.
"Jaime embodies a `you can do it and I'm here to support you' attitude by ensuring students have a voice in their education," said her principal, Carmen Garcia. "As a former international baccalaureate student herself, she clearly understands the immense pressure her students are going through and reminds them that their success, through perseverance and diligent practice, is around the corner."
In her film studies classes, she encourages students to volunteer at local film festivals and also developed a partnership with the San Diego Film Critics Society that brought film critics to her classroom, according to the CDE.
Others who were honored were from Desert Hot Springs, the Venice section of Los Angeles, Huntington Beach and Castaic, which is just north of Magic Mountain.
"These teachers are deeply committed, hard working, and creative," said Tom Torlakson, state superintendent of public instruction.
"They help students find their inner strengths and achieve their dreams, while inspiring, challenging, and supporting them every day," Torlakson said. "They represent the best of their profession."
A state selection committee reviews candidates' applications and conducts site visits to evaluate the teachers' rapport with students, classroom environment, presentation skills, and teaching techniques. They're also interviewed by California Department of Education officials.
Torlakson makes the final selections.
The Teachers of the Year, finalists, and semi-finalists will be honored at a gala to be held in Sacramento on Feb. 12 of next year.