Preschool Teacher of the Year Awards Seeking Nominations, 2 Years After Long Beach Teacher Wins

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In 2014, Long Beach City College (LBCC) Teacher Debra Watts won the Preschool Teacher of the Year award. Photo courtesy of LAUP. 

Los Angeles Universal Preschool (LAUP) is once again looking to honor outstanding preschool teachers who are making an impact on the lives of tiny tots during the Ninth Annual LAUP Preschool Teacher of the Year Awards—two years after one of Long Beach’s own took home the award.

Individuals are encouraged to nominate educators who are doing “meaningful work” in preschool education by February 19. Winning teachers are awarded a $2,000 stipend by the Elizabeth Lowe/Bob Weekley Award for Excellence in Preschool Teaching Endowment, along with classroom supplies courtesy of Lakeshore Learning Materials, according to a release.

“It is LAUP’s priority to recognize the value of the talented professionals who spend their days nurturing and teaching our children during this very important stage,” LAUP’s CEO, Dr. Celia C. Ayala, said in a statement. “LAUP looks forward to highlighting the 2016 Preschool Teacher of the Year award winners who represent the best of early learning in Los Angeles County.”

The 2014 winner of the award, Debra Watts, hailed from Long Beach City College’s (LBCC) Child Development Center and Learning Lab. With 21 years of experience in early childhood development and 15 of those years at LBCC, Watts won the award after holding frequent workshops for fellow teachers and childhood development students regarding language arts and storytime in the classroom. She also won for her mentorship as a Mentor Teacher through the California Early Childhood Mentor Program, which allows student teachers to work under direction in the classroom.

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors will present the winners with an official scroll at the celebration luncheon in May held at the Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration.

According to the LAUP website, LAUP is a non-profit organization that champions the advancement of early education programs. It seeks to promote and create strategic partnerships that advocate for policies that promote program excellence and access.

Preschool teachers can be nominated here.

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