L.A. Unified honors five Eastside educators as 2018 Teachers of the Year

Only 22 of the thousands of educators who work at L.A. Unified were honored as 2018 Teachers of the Year for their “excellence, creativity and ability to make a difference in the lives of their students,” according to the school district. Five of those teachers work on Eastside campuses in Boyle Heights, Cypress Park, East Los Angeles, Highland Park and Lincoln Heights.

Here are this year’s Eastside award winners:

Aileen Gendrano Adao | Courtesy LA Unified

Aileen Gendrano Adao
Math, Science, and Technology Magnet Academy at Roosevelt Senior High School
Boyle Heights

Aileen Gendrano Adao teaches 12th grade English at the Math, Science, and Technology Magnet Academy at Roosevelt Senior High School. Teaching for 11 years, she lives in Pasadena.

Jalina Ramirez Chatzipantsios
Florence Nightingale Business, Entrepreneurship, Technology Magnet School
Cypress Park

Jalina Ramirez Chatzipantsios teaches sixth and eighth grade Business, Entrepreneurship and Computer Science at Florence Nightingale Business, Entrepreneurship, Technology Magnet School. Teaching for 12 years, she lives in Monterey Park.

Benjamin Feinberg | Courtesy LA Unified

Benjamin Feinberg
Luther Burbank Middle School
Highland Park

Benjamin Feinberg teaches eighth grade math at Luther Burbank Middle School. He also coaches the Science Bowl team. Teaching for 10 years, he lives in Los Angeles.

Jennifer Tróchez MacLean | Courtesy LA Unified

Jennifer Tróchez MacLean
Gates Street Elementary
Lincoln Heights

Jennifer Tróchez MacLean is a fifth-grade teacher at Gates Street Elementary School. She is among five of this year award winners who qualified for the Los Angeles County Teachers of the Year competition.

One of her greatest joys is witnessing her students learn that with practice and perseverance they are able to master a skill or concept they initially didn’t think they could. Jennifer has a B.A. in Biology and Psychology from Occidental College and a M.S. in Science Education from the University of Southern California, and she is a National Board-Certified Teacher. Jennifer completed her teacher preparation at California State University, Dominguez Hills, where she was also a National Science Foundation Master Teacher Fellow in Elementary Science. Teaching for 21 years, Jennifer is bilingual in English and Spanish, and lives in Los Angeles.

Diana Shar | Courtesy LA Unified

Diana Shar
East Los Angeles Renaissance Academy High School
East Los Angeles

Diana Shar is a social science teacher at East Los Angeles Renaissance Academy High School. Teaching for 11 years, she lives in Los Angeles.

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  1. Wow! We can’t do too much to honor these (and all) wonderful teachers! As we get older, we realize they are the foundation for the people we are to become. Many a teacher has been thanked for helping students choose the right path, giving them that extra encouragement when it is needed, and supporting them in so many crucial ways. Sadly, many students don’t get this at home, so it is left to the teachers to show children how to bloom and grow so that they can be the very best and heartfelt version of themselves.

  2. So great to hear about these dedicated teachers! Where’s Mrs. Adao’s individual picture? 🙂

  3. Sandy Driscoll, You said it better than I could! Thanks, Eastsider, for publishing this story, and thanks to all teachers for your hard work and perseverance.

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