Archived: Thanking Preschool Teachers Who Make A Difference


On April 26, I had the pleasure of joining more than 250 guests representing the ECE community, business leaders and general public at the Globe Theater in Universal Studios Hollywood to honor a special group of people committed to the preschool cause.

On that day, LAUP held its fifth annual Preschool Teacher of the Year Awards during which five dedicated early childhood educators were recognized for going above and beyond the call of duty to prepare their students for school and life.

Parents, peers and administrators nominated preschool teachers from across Los Angeles County for these prestigious awards that included a $2,000 prize. An independent panel taking into account each candidate’s record screened all nominees based upon a balanced, thoughtful and impartial evaluation.

This year’s winners were Silvia León at Montara Avenue School in South Gate; Shauneé Breaux Roberson at Training & Research Foundation – Ozzie Goren Head Start in Los Angeles; Kathleen Coppinger, at Lemay Early Education Center in Van Nuys; Maribel Cobian at Un Mundo de Amigos Preschool in Long Beach; and Anna Shirokova at Teremok Preschool in Chatsworth.

Every day, these individuals go above and beyond the call of duty to better prepare their students for school and life. They are all so deserving of this recognition and award.

Furthermore, they are using effective instructional methods and strategies in their classrooms that effectively contribute to the well-being of students, their preschool and community.

During the awards event, I was also honored to present LAUP’s second annual Elizabeth Hamilton Lowe Child Advocacy Award to children’s advocate Molly Munger of Pasadena. Molly’s tireless work on behalf of California’s children is a true demonstration of her dedication for civil rights and social justice for all.

Overall, I was overwhelmed by the support of the preschool cause during this ceremony. Our honorees received well-deserved recognition, and in my view, it is people like them who give our cause a sense of purpose. Congratulations to all!

Celia C. Ayala, Ph.D. is CEO of Los Angeles Universal Preschool.

Editor’s Note: This post has been updated.

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