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Baldwin Park High Teacher Named LA County Teacher of the Year

BALDWIN PARK – Raquel Viramontes, a nine-year science teacher at Baldwin Park High School, was named one of 16 Los Angeles County Teachers of the Year on Sept. 29 by the Los Angeles County Office of Education in recognition of her dedication and passion to her students and profession.

Viramontes was named Baldwin Park Unified School District’s Teacher of the Year in spring.

Her award was announced during a lunch at the Hilton ballroom in Universal City attended by some 600 educators and family members. Viramontes accompanied by family, friends, colleagues, Board of Education members and Superintendent Dr. Froilan N. Mendoza.

The Baldwin Park Unified contingent erupted with cheers and applause when Viramontes was the first teacher recognized at the event.

"I feel very humble,” she said. “There are so many teachers who are deserving of the award and I feel blessed and lucky that I was picked. I'm glad that I can be here to represent the teaching profession."

The honor puts Viramontes in an elite group of teachers which represents the best of the 72,000 public school educators in the California’s most populous county. She advances to the California Teacher of the Year competition.

Viramontes teaches biology, forensics and human anatomy, using project-based instruction to bring lessons to life for her students.

She holds a Master of Arts in education from Claremont Graduate University, a Bachelor of Arts in biology from Pomona College and an associate degree from Rio Hondo College.

"Raquel Viramontes brings engagement and critical thinking to enrich the education of her students," Baldwin Park Unified Superintendent Dr. Mendoza said. "She is an integral part of the Baldwin Park Unified family and we are so proud of her accomplishments." 

In partnership with the Los Angeles County of Education, the California Credit Union awarded each of the 16 teachers with a $1,000 check. Lakeshore, another partner of the event, awarded $100 gift cards for classroom items.

Now in its 36th year, the Los Angeles County Teachers of the Year competition is the largest in the state and is part of the nation's most prestigious honor for educators.

"These are the events where we are really able to honor our teachers," Los Angeles County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Debra Duardo said. "It's an honor to be here and have the opportunity to meet the families and some of the colleagues who have supported you."

The County Office of Education also created a video that highlights Viramontes’ approach.

PHOTO

BPUSD_TOY_1: Raquel Viramontes, a nine-year science teacher at Baldwin Park High School, was named one of 16 Los Angeles County Teachers of the Year on Sept. 29 by the Los Angeles County Office of Education in recognition of her dedication and passion to her students and profession.