A William S. Hart Union High School educator was recognized by the Los Angeles County Office of Education as a 2019 Teacher of the Year on Friday, officials said.
Laurel Priesz, an English teacher and literacy coach from Canyon High School, was named as one of the recipients of Los Angeles County’s 2019 Teacher of the Year awards on Friday.
Los Angeles County Superintendent of Schools Debra Duardo presented the outstanding educators during the annual Teachers of the Year banquet held Friday, Sept. 20 at the Universal City Hilton.
“What better way to launch the school year than to honor extraordinary teachers and the teaching profession,” Duardo said. “These individuals are the heart and soul of a good education, each day instilling a love of learning and inspiring our young people to reach their full potential.”
Priesz was given the award during the annual county awards luncheon, representing the best of the education profession in the state’s largest honors competition for K-12 educators.
The Santa Clarita teacher and 16 other educators were selected for their excellence in all areas of eligibility criteria, including personal growth, commitment, personal attributes and professional skills, according to Hart District officials.
In particular, Priesz was chosen after her efforts to improve education in her school launched an entirely new program, providing students with home computers necessary for their learning.
After discovering that more than a dozen of her students lacked home computers, Priesz worked alongside the Hart District to meet their needs. The next year, partnering with a local nonprofit, she helped more than 130 students in need get personal computers for school purposes, according to L.A. County education officials.
The California Teacher of the Year program has brought recognition to exemplary teachers since 1972, paying tribute to their “resolute efforts,” Hart District officials said.
Priesz is now under consideration for the 2019 State Teacher of the Year award, according to Dave Caldwell, spokesperson for the Hart District.
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