On Monday, February 25, a caravan of District staff and IUSD Board Members traveled to seven schools to announce the three Teachers of the Year and the four Teachers of Promise for the 2018-19 school year.
Now in its 33rd year, IUSD’s Teacher of the Year program recognizes exceptional instructors at the elementary, middle and high school levels. Below are this year’s Teacher of the Year honorees.
Jo-Ann Welche teaches kindergarten at Eastwood Elementary School. She began working for IUSD in 2000 and served for many years in the English Language program at University Park, Plaza Vista and Culverdale. She is a founding member of the Eastwood staff and has worked there since it opened in 2017.
“Jo-Ann Welche is an exceptional educator,” said Eastwood Principal Aaron Jetzer. “Her classroom is alive and full of energy. She is always exploring new and innovative ways of learning with her students, proving that exceptional learning is possible at any age.”
Christina Masciel began her IUSD teaching career in 2012 at Rancho Middle School in Humanities. She was part of the first staff to open Jeffery Trail Middle School in 2013, where she now teaches social science.
“Christina’s most compelling trait is her ability to connect with students,” said Jeffrey Trail Principal Michael Georgino. “Her strength is helping students engage with the material, while challenging them to meet their fullest potential. She truly exemplifies the values of an excellent teacher, who does what is best for kids.”
Linzi Gorzycki is a math teacher at Woodbridge High School. She joined IUSD in 2012 and plays a number of leadership roles at Woodbridge and has served at various times as math lead, tech mentor, and Professional Learning Communities facilitator. She is widely regarded as an outstanding math teacher and is the cheer coach on campus.
“Linzi is one of the most well-liked and respected teachers,” said Woodbridge Principal Chris Krebs. “She has a unique combination of expertise, innovation and positivity that make her a supremely talented educator. It is obvious to all who work with Linzi and to her students that she is truly passionate about being a teacher and that she puts students first.”
About the Teacher of the Year program
Nominations are submitted by District employees and candidates are later interviewed by a committee that includes teachers, principals and administrators. That panel ultimately narrows the field to three, using the following criteria: Evidence of a wide range of instructional strategies used effectively; commitment to the teaching profession; and demonstration of Irvine teachers’ values of integrity, empowerment, learning, collaboration and trust.
Teachers of Promise
IUSD also recognizes a handful of standout first- and second-year teachers, who are announced as “Teachers of Promise. Click here for the 2018-19 Teachers of Promise.
Excellence in Teaching Awards Banquet
All of this year’s honorees will be formally recognized in April at the Excellence in Teaching Awards program, organized each year by the Exchange Club of Irvine and the Irvine Teachers Association.