CNUSD Teachers of the Year2017-2018
Michael GrothemCorona Ranch ElementaryMichael teaches sixth grade at Corona Ranch Elementary School. He has taught 13 years, 10 of which have been in CNUSD. Michael believes that in order to be an outstanding teacher, he must make daily choices to be dedicated to his students and his job and to use his talents, personality and humor to make his classroom a fun and welcoming place that is conducive to learning. He finds ways to relate to his students at their level, to help them find their passion and to find themselves. Technology is integrated into his classroom instruction on a daily basis. He states, “Although technology is an effective tool for learning and engagement in every subject, it also helps to prepare my students to become ready for their future careers in the 21st century.” Michael earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Business from California State University, San Bernardino and his Master of Arts Degree in Education from Azuza Pacific University.Karie TorresTemescal Valley Elementary
Karie teaches Special Education Early Childhood Rocket at Temescal Valley Elementary School. She has taught for 20 years, 14 of which have been in the Corona-Norco Unified School District. Karie believes that to be an outstanding teacher, she must always be willing to do what needs to be done with a passion for helping students be successful. As a teacher of special needs students, she believes her first job is to establish rapport and build trust with her students and families while providing a safe environment to help all students learn in their own unique way. She states, “Through the use of home to school communication books, emails, texts and phone calls to parents, I stay on top of priorities and concerns and strategize to move each child forward.” Karie earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree from California Baptist University and her Master’s Degree in Special Education from Chapman University.Kathy LopezLee V. Pollard HighKathy teaches Visual Arts at Lee Pollard High School. She has taught 29 years, 19 of which have been in CNUSD. She believes that teaching is one of the most influential occupations because a teacher’s words and actions speak loudly over the course of a student’s lifetime. She states, “Teachers ingrain kernels of wisdom and encouragement into a student’s mind and heart and gives each student a voice that needs to be heard and accepted, nurtured and channeled into developing into their personal best.” Kathy stresses that art pulls out the best in people and helps them see themselves in an unfiltered light. She is grateful to be able to teach the thing she loves most in the world while helping students see their magnificence and talent in the process. Kathy earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree at California State University, Los Angeles and her Master of Arts Degree in Education from California Polytechnic University, Pomona.Sean RobinsonEleanor Roosevelt High SchoolSean teaches US History and AP Government at Roosevelt High School. He has taught for 10 years in CNUSD. Sean’s philosophy of teaching centers on authenticity, energy, positivity, engagement, connection and high expectations. Although others may see him as quiet and mild-mannered, in the classroom he transforms into a comedian, actor, singer, dancer, voice impersonator, storyteller, game show host and newscaster. He states, “Even if students are cringing just as often as they are laughing, at least they are always awake, engaged and learning. As a result, students feel safe to ask questions and participate without fearing judgement from me or their peers.” Sean earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree and his Master of Education Degree from the University of California, Riverside.