2019-20 Teachers of the Year Announced

2019-2020 Teachers of the Year

On Monday, February 24, 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 2019-20 school year.

Now in its 34th 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.


Elementary School
Kelly MontplaisirKelly Montplaisir is a Sixth-Grade Teacher at University Park Elementary School, who is committed to developing a life-long love of learning for her students.  Kelly's students love to read and she continually provides innovative ways to expose them to a wide range of literature.  As one of her colleagues says, “Kelly works tirelessly to develop the best research-based instructional practices that she shares with her colleagues.” She has taught for seven years in IUSD and has thirteen years of experience in education.


Middle School
Courtney BelzanoCourtney Belzano is a Special Education Teacher at South Lake Middle School, who has served students with special needs in IUSD for the past nine years.  Courtney is an Autism Specific teacher who, colleagues say "champions students with disabilities and advocates for inclusive practices that build empathy and awareness in our schools."



High School
Mickey DicksonMickey Dickson is an outstanding Science Teacher and Coach at Northwood High School, who is committed to supporting students and preparing them for their post-secondary goals.  Long before Next Generation Science Standards were adopted nationwide, Mickey was a leader in the development of the Integrated Science core that provides all students a rigorous yet supportive science experience. In recent years, Mickey has taken the lead on a new honors level Forensics Science class. He has taught for 18 years in IUSD and has 29 years of experience in education.  As one administrator stated, "IUSD is so lucky to have an educator like Mickey working in our District.  He cares about students and gives so much back to the community."


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 2019-20 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.