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Burbank teacher named national 'Teacher of the Year'

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(CNS) – A Burbank Unified School District English teacher who lives in Glendale was named today the 2012 National Teacher of the Year, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious teaching honor.

“Rebecca Mieliwocki is an inspiration to her students, to me, and to every California teacher,” California state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson said. “She’s the perfect choice for this tremendous honor…”

Mieliwocki will be recognized by President Barack Obama Tuesday at a Rose Garden ceremony at the White House, a milestone in a career that almost ended up having nothing to do with teaching. She grew up in Napa, the daughter of two longtime teachers, but first studied law, then went into publishing before recognizing that teaching was in her blood, according to Torlakson’s office.

“It’s in my DNA. It’s who I am. It’s who I’m supposed to be,” Mieliwocki, a Cal State Poly San Luis Obispo graduate, said in a statement today.

The 62nd National Teacher of the Year, Mieliwocki will serve a year as a national education spokeswoman.

Sponsored by the ING Foundation and Target, the National Teacher of the Year Program is a project of the Council of Chief State School Officers in partnership with the University of Phoenix and People to People Ambassador programs. It was the CCSSO that announced Mieliwocki had been chosen first among the nation’s 3.2 million teachers.

Meanwhile, the Obama Administration named 78 schools in 29 states as first-ever U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools for maintaining excellent environmental programs and practices.

Three of those honored schools are in Los Angeles County — Environmental Charter High School in the Lawndale Elementary School District, Longfellow Elementary School in the Long Beach Unified School District and Grand View Elementary School in the Manhattan Beach Unified School District.

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