The Ventura County Office of Education is pleased to announce that Jamie Reese of Mountain View Elementary School in the Simi Valley Unified School District is the 2016 Ventura County Teacher of the Year.
Reese found out about the honor Friday when her parents, local dignitaries and members of the media made a surprise visit to her classroom. Among those who broke the good news were Ventura County Superintendent of Schools Stan Mantooth, SVUSD Superintendent Dr. Jason Peplinski, SVUSD Board of Education President Scott Blough, SVUSD Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services Hani Youssef and Mountain View Elementary School Principal Jennifer Goldman. Photos of the surprise visit are available here.
Reese has eight years of teaching experience and currently teaches kindergarten through third grade students with emotional disturbances. Principal Goldman said Reese has distinguished herself in numerous ways. "It has been incredibly satisfying to watch her grow," Goldman said. "Teachers go to her for tech guidance and curricular collaboration. Parents go to her for emotional support and advice on managing behaviors in the home. Students go to her for just about everything. Every time I turn around, Jamie is bringing something new to the table."
Reese says her students are her inspiration and she works to build a bond with each one. "If a student doesn't feel a connection with you, then nothing I have discussed will have impact or meaning for them," she said. "Connection is the glue that allows everything else to come together for a student."
Reese has also demonstrated leadership in integrating technology into the learning process. Through conferences such as the California Educational Technology Professionals Association (CETPA) and Computer Using Educators (CUE), she brings new ideas to her campus. These include initiating flexible seating, facilitating project-based learning for all grade levels and piloting classroom audio systems, which are now being installed throughout her school.
Additionally, Reese is helping advance the teaching profession by serving as a mentor for new teachers who are enrolled in VCOE's training program for beginning teachers. She also runs a weekly chat session on Twitter where teachers from inside and outside her district come to discuss homework, student motivation, technology and more.
Reese is now eligible to be considered for the 2017 California Teacher of the Year award.
More About the Teacher of the Year Program
The Teacher of the Year program is administered by the Ventura County Office of Education. Candidates are nominated by their district, school or professional organization. A panel of educators selects the winner based on the candidate’s essay, experience and an introductory letter from their sponsor. The first Ventura County Teacher of the Year was named in 1973. Additional information about the Teacher of the Year program is available by clicking here.