December 1, 2022 #1 Local News, Forum, Information and Event Source for Venice Beach, California.

Venice High Teacher Named One of Top Educators in County

Venice High School’s Hazel Kight Witham recognized by LA County Office of Education

By Chad Winthrop

A Venice High School Teacher has been named by LA County as one of the top teachers of the year.

Ten educators were announced Oct. 1 as the 2020-21 Los Angeles County Teachers of the Year, representing the best of the profession in the state’s largest honors competition for K-12 educators.​

LACOE Superintendent Debra Duardo presented the outstanding educators in a virtual ceremony broadcast on social media.

“During this time of extraordinary challenges to our school communities, it is especially important that we pay tribute to our outstanding teachers who, in the face of a pandemic, are bringing care, compassion and ingenuity to their virtual classrooms,” Duardo said. “I am truly impressed by their innovative practices and the partnerships they are building to keep students learning and thriving.”

The winning educators, comprised of seven women and three men, teach a range of grades and subjects at a diversity of school locales, including: Azusa, Baldwin Park, Burbank, Gardena, Los Angeles, Norwalk, Palmdale, Pearblossom, Redondo Beach and Santa Clarita.

Hazel Kight Witham of Venice High School, who has been teaching for 19 years, was among these teachers.

In addition to teaching English Language Arts to 10th and 12th graders, Witham coaches spoken word poetry at Venice High School and has had her work published in a variety of literary journals. One of her greatest joys is listening to her students’ stories and nurturing community in a classroom of readers and writers.

“The thing that has kept me going every day of these last 19 years…is the community and the family that a school becomes. I could not do this work without the incredible network of fellow teachers and support staff, administrators and the students themselves. This is the most community-minded work. You know we really create a family on the school campus,” Witham said before going on to reminisce on her early days of teaching. “My colleagues that were first-year teachers with me in those early years, we would have lunch every day and we would share just the horrors of the school day. Of how we didn’t understand how to reach a kid, or we made just a mistake, and we would just process the work together. So the thing that has kept me going and motivated me is just the family of fellow colleagues and the overall school community. It’s really just a magical place to be.

Judged as the county’s top public-school teachers for this academic year, the 10 educators serve as standard-bearers for the teaching profession and their 72,000 classroom colleagues countywide. Each will receive a cash gift of $1,000 from the California Credit Union, the program’s main sponsor. Additional sponsors include Presenting Partner Arizona State University and Lakeshore Learning.

The 10 were selected from a field of 48 teachers representing 44 districts who participated in the 39th annual Los Angeles County Teachers of the Year competition, organized by the Los Angeles County Office of Education. All participants were recently selected as teacher(s) of the year by their respective school districts.

In addition to being interviewed, contestants submitted essays, lesson plans and other materials to judging panels comprised of peers. At all levels, “TOY” contests are designed to focus public attention on teaching excellence and to honor exemplary dedication, compelling classroom practices, positive accomplishments and professional commitment.

The 10 Los Angeles County winners automatically advance with other county titlists from around the state to the California Teachers of the Year competition this fall. The state is scheduled to announce its five co-winners in October. But only one of those state co-winners will be chosen to represent California in the National Teacher of the Year contest next spring.

The Los Angeles County Teachers of the Year Program is the largest local competition in the state and nation, and is part of the oldest and most prestigious honors contest in the U.S. for public-school teachers.

in News
Related Posts

Venice Sign Lighting Returns This Weekend

November 30, 2022

November 30, 2022

Annual event returns December 3 The annual Venice Holiday Sign Lighting returns this weekend! The event, now in its 11th...

Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel Celebrates the Holidays

November 29, 2022

November 29, 2022

Head to the beach this December to experience the hotel’s seasonal family-friendly activities This year, Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel...

Free Holiday Events In Downtown Santa Monica This December

November 29, 2022

November 29, 2022

The Santa Monica Place hosts weekly events throughout the month of December, learn what is happening in this video sponsored...

Police Identify Suspect Wanted for Attempted Murder of Two Tourists in Venice Beach

November 28, 2022

November 28, 2022

Brandon Manyo Dixon sought in connection to July 30 shooting The Los Angeles Police Department’s (LAPD) Pacific Division detectives are...

Venice-13 Gang Member Arrested Following Traffic Collision

November 28, 2022

November 28, 2022

Unnamed suspect arrested following November 22 collision  A Venice-13 gang member was arrested recently after being involved in a Culver...

Brewery Set to Open on Abbot Kinney

November 23, 2022

November 23, 2022

SoCal Vibes Co. opening Venice taproom By Dolores Quintana The Gardena-based brewery and restaurant SoCal Vibes Co. is to open...

Excess Food Turned Into Groceries at Local Food Drive

November 23, 2022

November 23, 2022

Local organization Nourish L.A turns excess food into groceries for those who are food insecure in our neighborhoods and the...

California Locos Celebrate Legendary Surf/Rock Artist Rick Griffin with Venice Beach Event

November 23, 2022

November 23, 2022

Event will take place November 30 at The Waterfront Local art collective California Locos is hosting a tribute to legendary...

Culver City’s Annual Holiday Tree Lighting Sled-tacular With 25 Tons of Fresh Snow

November 23, 2022

November 23, 2022

Event set for December 1 with Sled-tacular beginning at  5 p.m., Tree Lighting Ceremony at 6 p.m. The holiday season...

Column: What We Learned From Campaign 2022

November 23, 2022

November 23, 2022

By Nick Antonicello The road to democracy was long and winding in 2022, with much shock and surprise as LA...

ICE Returns to Santa Monica After Two Year Hiatus

November 22, 2022

November 22, 2022

ICE Santa Monica has returned for all day skating and fun for the whole family learn about what’s changed after...

Two Hospitalized Following Ocean Front Walk Stabbing in Santa Monica

November 21, 2022

November 21, 2022

Jamal K. Lampitt arrested in connection to November 17 stabbings Two people were hospitalized following stabbings on Ocean Front Walk...

Gavin Newsom to Release $1 Billion in Homelessness Funds

November 21, 2022

November 21, 2022

Move comes weeks after Governor holds funds citing lackluster plans to tackle homelessness  California Governor Gavin Newsom Friday convened local...

Thatcher Yard Affordable Housing Project Breaks Ground

November 21, 2022

November 21, 2022

Thatcher Yard Affordable Housing Project Breaks Ground on 2 acre 98 unit affordable housing community..Video sponsored by Bella Petite.