“I know my colleagues in the Hart District will join me in sharing a heartfelt congratulations to Mr. Jim Klipfel for being named one of the 10 LA County Teachers of the Year,” said Superintendent Mike Kuhlman. “What a deserving honor! Mr. Klipfel is one of the finest educators I've ever worked with and his students are fortunate to have him as a teacher, mentor and coach. Thank you Jim for representing our District so well!”
Mr. Klipfel, honored by the Governing Board on September 16, 2020, as the Hart District Teacher of the Year, is one of 10 teachers chosen by LACOE from a pool of 48 representing 44 districts from across the county. He is now in the running for State teacher of the year.
“I am honored, humbled, and grateful that my time serving, challenging, and supporting young people has been recognized in a way that brings much deserved attention to the educators, students, and families of Saugus and the William S. Hart Union High School District,” Mr. Klipfel said. “My fellow educators are heroic and inspiring professionals, and they deserve the broad recognition that comes with this honor. Finally, I am especially grateful to my countless mentors, heroes, and supporters. They are the shoulders that I now stand upon.”
Judged as the county’s top public-school teachers for this academic year, the 10 educators serve as standard-bearers for the teaching profession and their 72,000 classroom colleagues countywide. Each will receive a cash gift of $1,000 from the California Credit Union, the program’s main sponsor. Additional sponsors include Presenting Partner Arizona State University and Lakeshore Learning.
“During this time of extraordinary challenges to our school communities, it is especially important that we pay tribute to our outstanding teachers who, in the face of the pandemic, are bringing care, compassion and ingenuity to the virtual classrooms,” said Dr. Debra Duardo, Los Angeles County superintendent of schools during a virtual ceremony broadcast on social media. “I am truly impressed by their innovative practices and the partnerships they are building to keep students learning and thriving.”
In addition to being interviewed, contestants submitted essays, lesson plans and other materials to judging panels comprised of peers. At all levels, Teacher of the Year contests are designed to focus public attention on teaching excellence and to honor exemplary dedication, compelling classroom practices, positive accomplishments and professional commitment.
The 10 Los Angeles County winners automatically advance with other county titlists from around the state to the California Teachers of the Year competition this fall. The state is scheduled to announce its five co-winners in October. But only one of those state co-winners will be chosen to represent California in the National Teacher of the Year contest next spring.