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
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.