School: Luther Burbank Middle School
District: Burbank Unified School District
County: Los Angeles County
Region: Southern California
Grade: Middle School
Award Year: 2012
Rebecca Mieliwocki is the 2012 California and National Teacher of the Year. She was chosen from a group of 54 state teachers of the year to represent America’s 3.2 million public school teachers in a year of travel, speaking, and advocacy that took her to 30 U.S. states and 10 nations.
Mrs. Mieliwocki is a dynamic, enthusiastic, proud member of the education community who continues to work to restore admiration to the profession of teaching and to remind fellow Americans of just how much is going right in classrooms across the country.
Mrs. Mieliwocki is a 7th grade English teacher at Luther Burbank Middle School in Burbank, California. She has been teaching for 24 years and has taught every grade from 7th to graduate level education classes with Cal State Northridge. Rebecca holds a Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communication from California Polytechnic State University and a Master of Arts degree in Secondary ELA Curriculum & Instruction from California State University, Northridge.
She is the 2005 California League of Middle Schools Educator of the Year for Southern California, a 2009 and 2013 PTSA Honorary Service Award Recipient, The Zonta Club’s Burbank Woman of the Year, a mentor, teacher expert, conference presenter, and author for the CSUN College of Education’s Center for Teacher and Learning. She has contributed to the national conversation on education via a wide variety of media outlets and publications including CBS This Morning, CNN, The Ellen Show, PBS television, Levo League Office Hours, KPCC public radio, the Los Angeles Times, The Sacramento Bee, Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup Survey, EdWeek Teacher, Real Simple Magazine, Cosmopolitan Magazine, Scholastic’s Instructor Magazine, Educational Horizons Magazine & California Educator Magazine.
She is a contributor to several education texts including What Really Works in Secondary Education and The Best Lesson Series: Writing: 15 Master Teachers Share What Works. Currently, Rebecca is enjoying a new role working as a Teacher on Special Assignment for Burbank Unified School District specializing in teacher development.
She coordinates the district’s new teacher induction program and professional development for secondary educators for her district. She created and runs five Educator Mastermind groups and blogs for EdWeek Teacher Leader Voices column and EdPost. She continues to travel, write, speak, and advocate on behalf of America’s incredible educators.
Her book Adventures in Teacher Leadership: Strategies, Pathways and Inspiration for Every Teacher (ASCD) arrived on bookshelves April 15th, 2019.
A child of two veteran public school teachers, Rebecca initially shied away from becoming a teacher, but she soon realized there is no nobler, exciting, or rewarding profession than teaching. Her own K-12 teachers serve as her heroes and she models her teaching style on the example they set for her. She works hard to provide her students-be they adults or young people-with exciting and dynamic lessons that are educational, relevant, and inspiring.
Rebecca says, “Students learn best when they have the most enthusiastic, engaged teachers possible.” She believes strongly in the importance of good teacher preparation programs, continuous support, collaboration, and leadership opportunities for teachers, and a strong school leadership team to guide and drive achievement. She values the teaching profession as a sought-after career and one that can transform our nation for the better.
She says, “I firmly believe that our students are our future, so we, their teachers, must do our best to inspire them and guide them to greatness.”
There is no one group of professionals whose work knits the fabric of this nation more together tightly than teachers and she is incredibly proud to be one.
You can visit Mrs. Mieliwocki’s website at www.spellingcounts.net.