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.”
Retired principal Hervey A. Taylor III spent his educational career motivating and encouraging students toward the direction of success. He currently is working on a doctoral degree that focuses on educational leadership and organizational development so he can continue to be an advocate for students as they navigate through the educational system.
Jason Davis, a fifth-grade teacher at Chaparral Elementary School in Chino Hills, enjoys teaching everything, but says he gets the most fun out of science. It’s evident as he talks about teaching students about robots or a project to build a prosthetic arm.
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