CSUN alumna wins Teacher of the Year award

Tanya Ramirez

President Obama honored CSUN alumna Rebecca Mieliwocki as the 2012 National Teacher of Year, the most prestigious teaching prize in the nation since its inception in 1952.

Mieliwocki is a seventh grade English teacher at Luther Burbank Middle School and has taught for the past 16 years.

She beat out more than 3 million education for the top honor, according to an MSNBC article.

At the White House ceremony, President Obama spoke about Mieliwocki’s unexpected decision to become a teacher.

She first aspired to be a lawyer, then worked in publishing, then onto floral design and event planning, according to Obama.

“Ultimately, she found herself drawn back to the classroom,” Obama said during the presentation. “Her students are so lucky she did that.”

The President said Mieliwocki was chosen because of her optimism, cheerful demeanor and high expectations set for her students.

The National Teacher of the Year is selected annually by the Council of Chief State School Officers. The winner is chosen among a pool of 50 teachers, one from each state, according to the National Teacher of the Year website.

Mieliwocki will represent the nation’s educators and make appearances on their behalf, according to the website.

“There isn’t one (teacher of the year),” Mieliwocki said at the White House. “All across this nation there are millions of teachers who do what I do. I have a passion for my work. I have a bottomless well of belief in my students and their potential.”