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Burbank educator named 2012 national teacher of the year

April 23, 2012 | 11:02 am

BurbankTeacherA middle-school teacher from Burbank Unified School District was named 2012 national teacher of the year on Monday.

Rebecca Mieliwocki, a seventh-grade English teacher at Luther Burbank Middle School, will be recognized by President Barack Obama on Tuesday during a ceremony at the White House.

Mieliwocki, who has been a teacher for 14 years, was raised by two teachers but took a somewhat roundabout way to the profession herself. She first studied to be a lawyer, then worked in publishing before deciding to join the teaching ranks.

“It’s in my DNA. It’s who I am. It’s who I’m supposed to be,” she said in a statement. “Teaching truly is a calling. I may not have picked up the phone right away, but eventually I answered the call.”

Mieliwocki was named as the Los Angeles County teacher of the year in October. A month later she was named as one of five California teachers of the year by California Supt. of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson and advanced to the national competition.

“Rebecca Mieliwocki is an inspiration to her students, to me and to every California teacher. She brings enormous energy, enthusiasm and optimism to teaching — a career that has never been more challenging or more vital to our future,” Torlakson said in a statement.

As teacher of the year, Mieliwocki will serve as a national spokesperson for education for one year. She is the seventh California teacher to win the award since its inception in 1952.

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— Stephen Ceasar

Photo: Rebecca Mieliwocki. Credit: Council of Chief State School Officers

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