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Pasadena Unified Teachers To Be Honored By Pasadena Rotary As Part Of 2013 Teachers of Excellence Program

Pasadena Rotary Club
2013 Teachers of Excellence Program

The Pasadena Rotary Club's annual Teachers of Excellence Program (TOE) honored PUSD teacher honorees May 15, 2013 at the University Club on N. Oakland Avenue in Pasadena.

The PUSD teacher honorees were: Regina Major, Altadena Elementary School; Christine A. McLaughlin, Blair High School; Ella Farinas, Cleveland Elementary School; Richard Eric Mulfinger, Marshall Fundamental Secondary School; and Dany Richey, Sierra Madre Elementary School.

The Rotary embarked on their 23rd annual Teachers of Excellence Award Program with the Pasadena Unified School District. The program's genesis was the product of hard work and dedication on the part of two of Pasadena Rotary's honored members, Joe Lonergan, celebrating his 50th year with our club, and Al Lowe. Both men were inspired by the story of Jaime Escalante, the charismatic former East Los Angeles high school teacher who taught the nation that inner-city students could master subjects as demanding as calculus.

Program Goals and Objectives: The goal of the program is to foster and encourage excellence in teaching and dedication to education in the Pasadena Unified School District. In addition, Rotary wishes to demonstrate in a concrete way that the community cares about the quality of public schools by conducting a competition to select those exceptional teachers that deserve special recognition.

With funding, primarily from the Pasadena Rotary Foundation, as well as the club's budget, and contributions from individual members, awards of $1,500.00 are given each year to five teachers from the Pasadena Unified School District. The sum of $500.00 is presented to each recipient's school. Finally, we ensure that both Middle School and High School Teachers are among the five recipients.

This year's ceremony took place during the weekly Rotary Meeting on Wednesday – May 15, 2013 at 12:30 p.m.

Selection Process: A selection committee is formed from volunteers including recipients of the award for the prior year, their principals, a representative from the UTP, a representative from the Pasadena Unified School District and members of the Pasadena Rotary Club. This committee reviews each essay application and scores them according to established evaluation criteria.

Ten candidates with the highest scores are then notified in writing and given instructions on the second part of the selection process which include the creation of a video to be produced in class that will allow the selection committee to both observe classroom activity and provide each finalist with an opportunity to present his/her personal experiences, thoughts about the profession and goals for the future. The videos are then reviewed and scored by the selection committee according to established evaluation criteria.

The essay and video scores are combined and the candidates with the top five scores are chosen as the recipients for the award.



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