Flanked by her family and colleagues, President Obama today called Burbank Unified teacher Rebecca Mieliwocki — the 2012 national Teacher of the Year — “the definition of ‘above and beyond.'”
Mieliwocki, a Glendale resident who teaches English at Luther Burbank Middle School in Burbank, was given the national prize Monday by the Council of Chief State School Officers.
Known for an unconventional teaching style that emphasizes critical thinking, Mieliwocki beat out more than 50 other nominees. She also maintains a Facebook page for her class and keeps in regular contact with the students' parents.
Mieliwocki was cheered loudly by the audience at the event. Obama pointed out a particularly loud cheering section during his remarks.
“This is Rebecca's crew right here, who are very proud. Auntie, cousins?” Obama asked the group.
“My boss,” Mieliwocki interjected, to laughs.
“Oh, boss. Even more important,” he said.
Obama spoke about how Mieliwocki was raised by two public-school teachers but took a somewhat roundabout way into the profession.