South Whittier School District Teacher of the Year award for 2020-2021 goes to McKibben Elementary’s Carmen Ornelas.
“I knew that there were several amazing teachers that were in the running and I was quite honored to be among them!” Ms. Ornelas shared. "I truly am grateful to hold this title and be on the Teacher of the Year Wall, with so many teachers of excellence!”
Ms. Ornelas has been at McKibben Elementary as a General Education Educator for 24 years. McKibben Elementary principal, Jan Tyrone, shared she believes Ornelas is incredibly deserving of this year’s Teacher of the Year award.
“We have such amazing talent here in South Whittier, that I was thrilled to hear that Carmen had been chosen to receive Teacher of the Year. I was confident that she deserved it and was so happy that she was able to be recognized for the work she does and the effort she puts in to being a stellar teacher. The award is extremely well deserved.”
Tyrone went on to share that during the time she has known Ms. Ornelas she has found her to be kind, respectful and hard working. Tyrone also noted Ornelas’ wicked sense of humor that brings people to tears in laughter and how she is always thoughtful and sweet towards others, often checking-in and remembering important details about those around her.
When it comes to being inside the classroom, Tyrone shared Ms. Ornelas combines her knowledge and fun personality to build a strong and exciting learning environment.
“Carmen is an extremely conscientious educator who is dedicated to providing the very best instruction to all of her students. She is knowledgeable, organized, thoughtful and kind — all the things teachers strive to be — but best of all, Carmen's class is engaging and fun. Students are always excited to come to school, they are on task and ready to learn while in her room, and they love her vivacious persona. Carmen provides songs and chants for all sorts of little things that help students remember; things like not to forget punctuation or a capital letter in a sentence. The learning environment is so much fun that it is always difficult for me to leave!”
LACOE will be honoring Carmen Ornelas and all other L.A. County Teachers of the Year on October 1 and Ms. Ornelas is excited to take part.
Congratulations, Ms. Ornelas!