National Teacher of the 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 8 nations. Mrs. Mieliwocki is a dynamic, enthusiastic, proud member of the education community who set out 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 18 years and has taught every grade from 7th to college level composition classes to graduate level education classes with Cal State Northridge. Rebecca holds a Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communication from California Polytechnic State University, her professional clear credential and her Masters degree in Secondary English Education 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 PTA Honorary Service Award Recipient, The Zonta Club’s Burbank Woman of the Year, a BTSA 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.
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 with exciting and dynamic lessons that are educational, relevant, and amusing.
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 together more tightly than teachers and she is incredibly proud to be one.
Member of NNSTOY
We are a network of State Teachers of the Year and Finalists who use our teacher leadership to ensure that every student receives an outstanding education. We do this through our focus on practice, policy and advocacy.We Believe...
- Every student has a right to a high-quality education, regardless of background, race, gender, disability or socio-economic status.
- To achieve educational excellence for all students, we must transform and support the teaching profession.
- It is imperative that we involve our nation’s expert teachers in conversations about improving education.
- Teacher leaders will transform the teaching profession and create, implement and sustain systems to solve our toughest educational challenges.
- We must prepare our country’s future workforce to be competitive in a global economy and participate in a diverse, democratic country.
- Educators must partner with families and communities on behalf of our nation’s children.