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Teachers of the Year honored

February 25, 2003

Christine Carrillo

They've taught students in the Newport-Mesa Unified School District

for years. They've shared their lives with their students and have

shared in their students' lives, as well. Now, they're being

recognized as top educators in the district.

They're Newport-Mesa's teachers of the year.

In an award banquet held Feb. 13, the Newport-Mesa Unified

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Federation of Teachers presented Teacher of the Year awards, which

included a $2,500 check, to 30 teachers throughout the district for

achieving excellence in teaching.

"I would say these were teachers who were not only exceptional

teachers, but they had also found ways of giving back to their

profession or extending their influence to involve the community,"

said Linda Mook, outgoing president of the federation. "I think

they're people who deeply care about their students and want to see

them excel and share their talents with others ... to achieve that

same level of excellence."

After completing an arduous application process, a panel of

judges, which included former teachers of the year, administrators

and PTA members, selected one teacher to represent each school. The

judges then chose the district's top three teachers of the year from

that list, two of whom will represent the district in the Orange

County Teacher of the Year competition.

"We had some absolutely fabulous teachers that we recognized this

year," Mook said. "It's probably, personally to me, one of the most

inspiring parts of my job ... I'm really proud and honored to be a

part of this process. I think that they are not only outstanding

teachers, but they are also put in a position of representing all the

really great teachers that we have in our district."

The district's top three teachers of the year represented the

elementary, intermediate and high school levels. Judy Taylor of

Lincoln Elementary, Cheri Sheldon of Costa Mesa High School's middle

school and Pauline Maranian of Estancia High School were selected as

the district's top three teachers.

"It makes me feel honored but also humbled because ... I feel like

I'm in good company," said Maranian, who has taught both English and

drama at Estancia for the past seven years. Teaching "is just about

meeting the kids where they are. You have to reach them at their

level and help them to rise to where you know they can be."

With that mentality driving her teaching methods, the judges knew

that Maranian would be an excellent representative for the district

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