California Credit Union & LAUSD Announce 2019 “Rookie of the Year” Teacher Awards


Providing a Positive Classroom Climate

California Credit Union, in partnership with Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), recently honored 18 LAUSD teachers through its annual Rookie of the Year program. California Credit Union, which has served the education community with premier financial services for more than eight decades, created the Rookie of the Year program in 2015 to recognize first year teachers within the greater Los Angeles community.

The 2019 Rookie of the Year teachers were selected based on a number of factors, including effectiveness in preparing and delivering instruction, providing a positive classroom climate with strong routines and procedures, adopting a dynamic and engaging teaching style, and showing high levels of professionalism.

“We are proud to honor each of the 2019 LAUSD Rookies of the Year for a wonderful start to their new career in education,” said California Credit Union CEO Steve O’Connell. “We all know the life-long influence a special teacher can have in our lives. We applaud the commitment and passion of these new educators, and want to thank each of these inspiring new teachers for their dedication to their students and schools.”

Representing elementary, middle and high schools throughout the greater Los Angeles area, the LAUSD 2019 Rookies of the Year are:

  • Yanela Alvarez | Angeles Mesa Elementary | Los Angeles

  • Aviva Alvarez-Zakson | Hamilton High School | Los Angeles

  • Alma Bautista | Hazeltine Elementary School | Van Nuys

  • Carmen Cullen Gomez | Leichman Career Preparatory and Transition Center | Reseda

  • Emmanuelle Enos | Limerick Elementary School | Winnetka

  • Maria Figueroa | Carlos Santana Arts Academy | North Hills

  • Alejandro Flores | Murchison St. Elementary School | Los Angeles

  • Garrett Follmuth | Robert Fulton College Preparatory School | Van Nuys

  • Andrea Gonzalez | Christopher Dena Elementary School | Los Angeles

  • Ereka Gordon | Ambler Avenue Elementary School | Carson

  • Brian Learn | Early College Academy @ LATTC | Los Angeles

  • Kiersten Newquist | Melrose Avenue Elementary School | Los Angeles

  • Michael Ng | King Drew Magnet High School | Los Angeles

  • Stephanie Orozco | South East High School | South Gate

  • Jihyun Park | UCLA Community Elementary School @ RFK | Los Angeles

  • Desirae Ramirez | Carnegie Middle School | Carson

  • Maribel Rubio | Haddon Elementary STEAM Magnet | Pacoima

  • John Walker | Dr. Maya Angelou Community High School | Los Angeles

“Congratulations to our Rookies of the Year teachers for their great work,” Los Angeles Unified Superintendent Austin Beutner said. “I look forward to working together as we prepare our students for college, career and life.”

On August 11th, California Credit Union hosted this year’s winners, as well as LAUSD representatives, school principals and guests, at Dodger Stadium. The Rookies of the Year were then recognized during a private ceremony in the Emirates Lounge.

California Credit Union created the Rookie of the Year program in partnership with LAUSD to acknowledge first-year teachers who have shown exemplary commitment to education. Teachers are nominated by school administrators, and winners are selected by a LAUSD committee and a credit union representative. Since the program began in 2015, California Credit Union has recognized 95 LAUSD teachers as a Rookie of the Year.

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