Honor the Extraordinary
Before you start to flip through our 2018 Top 25 Teachers of O.C. issue, I have a little assignment for you: please take a moment to remember an educator in your life that helped shape the person who is reading this magazine today. How old were you? What was happening in your life at the time? Did they make you laugh? Did they inspire you? How did they support your goals? Or ease your uncertainties? Would you be different today if it wasn’t for their guidance?
We received over 150 nominations for our annual Top Teachers of Orange County awards from administrators and principals singing the praises of exceptional teachers that have not only taken on the noble profession of teaching, but have gone above and beyond in the classroom. Reading through these moving essays was both inspiring and difficult to choose a top 25. We also opened the nominations to students, parents and teachers for our annual Family Favorites of 2018 category, receiving over 300 nominations this year and awarding the top 5 teachers. Although it was a challenge to narrow down with an overall well-deserving bunch, I couldn’t see this as a bad problem – I mean, how wonderful is it that there are so many extraordinary, wonderful, hardworking, and passionate teachers in our county?
Our annual Parenting OC 2018 Top Teacher Awards event was held at the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana on February 7th. I actually had butterflies in my stomach to finally put faces to the names that I had become familiar with through their beautifully written nominations. I couldn’t be more honored to be in the midst of this remarkable group of educators. Each one was equally as gracious and appreciative – strong values that proved their nominators really nailed it. And what an honor it was for us at Parenting OC to honor the extraordinary.
Today, more than ever, teachers deserve honor and recognition for being one of the strongest forces that shape character, capability, and talent of individuals and the future. With devastating current and recurrent school shootings (see our Ask the Experts article on how to talk to your child about such tragedies in this issue) and major budget cuts in the field of education, the profession has taken on so much more than teaching the standards of math and reading to young minds. Teachers are courageous heroes, brave caretakers, inspirational coaches, wise mentors, stand-in parents, and more. They have taken on one of the hardest jobs in the world with passion and care. And whether they are protecting a child from a bully, or teaching algebra, or directing students to take turns with speaking, we can be sure to count on this special breed of people to instill the values and direction our society needs.
Our March issue also offers a variety of fun features – how to make a trip to Knott’s Berry Farm educational, surf and bodyboarding summer camps for your child, the benefits of meal planning for your family, a kid’s cooking class with Goofy at Disney California Adventure, and more. Make sure to also check out the Easter events calendar with a listing of all the OC-based egg hunting events and Easter Bunny meet-and-greets for the whole family.
I hope you enjoy this official spring issue as much as we enjoyed putting it together. As always, please feel free to reach out to me with your comments, suggestions, events, or just to say hello. Now, go thank your favorite teacher today.
– Jackie Moe