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Manhattan Beach Educator Named California Teacher of the Year

Oct 22, 2014 08:33PM ● Published by DigMB Staff

From left, John Jackson, principal of Manhattan Beach Middle School, Maggie Mabery, California Teacher of the Year and MBMS Science Teacher, and Dr. Michael Matthews, MBUSD Superintendent.

For the second year in a row, an educator from the Manhattan Beach Unified School District has been named a 2015 California Teacher of the Year and nominated to represent California as its National teacher of the Year.

The honors earned by Maggie Mabery, a seventh and eighth grade science teacher at Manhattan Beach Middle School, were officially announced Wednesday, October 22 by Tom Torlakson, State Superintendent of Public Instruction.

The recognition follows Mabery's honors as the MBUSD Teacher of the Year and one of sixteen Los Angeles County Teachers of the Year. She is one of five California teachers of the Year and the only one selected to continue into the National Teacher of the Year recognition.
The MBUSD Board of Trustees will honor Mabery during a regular Board Meeting on Wednesday, November 5. The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m.

“Maggie Mabery embodies everything our district stands for,” said MBUSD Board President Karen Komatinsky. “She is an exemplary role model for our students and personifies what we hope they will achieve. My fellow Board members and I are thrilled and honored that Maggie is receiving this award. We look forward to celebrating her accomplishments in the weeks to come.”

As a California Teacher of the Year, Mabery will participate in public forums, sharing her insights on current issues and challenges confronting public education. She may also give demonstration lessons and contribute to teacher recruitment efforts.

On Monday, December 8, Mabery will join the other four 
California Teachers of the Year to meet with State Superintendent Torlakson and participate in a full day of professional development in Sacramento. Additionally, on February 9, 2015, all California Teachers of the Year will be honored at a banquet in Sacramento.

“We are so proud to have Maggie Mabery representing the state of California and MBUSD," said MBUSD Superintendent Dr. Michael Matthews. "She represents true excellence in 21st century teaching. Mrs. Mabery is student-centered, and she believes it is her job to help every student achieve his/her maximum potential.

"She is a STEM teacher who inspires our girls and boys to achieve in science, technology, 
engineering, and mathematics. MBUSD is a national leader in instructional technology, and Maggie Mabery is one of our finest at integrating technology into her lessons and using it to maximize student achievement.

"Finally, and perhaps most importantly, she is joyful every day," said Matthews. "She loves her students, she loves her job, and she inspires all of us to greet every day joyfully while motivating all of our students to be the best they can be.”

Mabery joined the middle school in 2001 as a science teacher. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education with a minor in science from Iowa State University and a Master of Arts in education administration from California State University, Dominguez Hills.

Mabery believes that the middle school years are an essential time to capture students’ 
interest and enthusiasm in science. Of her teaching style, she says, “I am not the holder of all knowledge; I am a facilitator of learning for the 21st century student.”

Said Mabery, 
"Making connections to the science world around us is my ultimate passion. I strive to educate the future scientists of the world that allows them to understand the effect science has on their lives. The value lies in the connection students make to their world."

Mabery feels incredibly honored to represent California in the National Teacher of the Year competition, for which she will write eight essays on a variety of educational topics, complete an application and submit letters of recommendation.

A committee 
composed of representatives from 15 national education organizations will meet in early December to review applications from each of the 50 states, five extra-state jurisdictions, the District of Columbia, and the Department of Defense Education Activity. The committee will narrow
the field to four finalists, interviewing those finalists, and selecting the National Teacher of the Year.

President Barack Obama will introduce the National Teacher of the Year at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. in April.

“What is stunning about this announcement,” said Matthews, “is that for the second year in a row, an MBUSD teacher has been recognized as a California Teacher of the Year. Last year at this time, we learned that Mira Costa High School choir director Michael Hayden was named one of the five California Teachers of the Year. We were proud then, and we are even more proud now that these two outstanding educators represent the great teachers in our district, our county, and our state.”

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