After 43 years as an educator, it’s hard for Emelina Emaas to imagine a life without students. “I kept saying I would retire last year, but I couldn’t even fill out the application. My heart is rebelling.”
As a teacher and artist, Betty Evans was able to mix creativity into the curriculum for kids in juvenile hall. Now that she’s retired, a love of dance keeps her on her toes, art keeps her creative mind churning and her newly adopted 11-year-old daughter keeps her plenty busy!
Named one of five 2016 California Teachers of the Year, Megan Gross was also recently a finalist for the 2017 National Teacher of the Year Award run by the Council of Chief State Officers. This dedicated special education teacher has spent her entire career advocating for students with disabilities.
For nearly 30 years, Marilyn Reynolds taught reading at a continuation high school in Southern California. This helped shape her writing career that includes 10 books of realistic teen fiction in her True-to-Life Series From Hamilton High. The books focus on troubled teens and also earned her an Emmy nomination for a TV adaptation of one of her stories. She continues working with at-risk youth, helping them find their voices through creative writing.
She’s a runner, a coach, an adviser to the school Gay Straight Alliance, a believer in her students and a rapper.
Peggy Nemeth, an English teacher at Riverdale High School in Fresno County, doesn’t do freestyle rap. “I have a terrible memory. I tell most of my kids they’re smarter than me. I memorize rap songs just so I can entertain them. I reward them with it.”
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