Everyone has a special teacher who has impacted their lives in some way. This year, more than ever, teachers and students have had to reach way outside their comfort zones to get through lesson plans and continue the learning process in a meaningful way.

Education is a core value of the Palos Verdes Peninsula Rotary Club. Each year, for the past 40 years, they have awarded the very best local teachers (selected by a rotating group of schools) distinguished title of Educator of the Year. 

This year it’s fitting that the Rotary Club is continuing their tradition of honoring these teachers for all they do, even though the venue has had to shift. 

“Of all years, we felt that this is a critical year to highlight teaching,” says Palos Verdes Peninsula Rotary Club President Eileen Hupp. “We applaud all educators who are working tirelessly online, in hybrid format, and in-person. Since it was not possible to gather for our usual gala, we had to be creative and do it virtually.” 

Huge congratulations to this year’s honorees:  Lydia Cordova – Ridgecrest Intermediate School, Michelle Slattery – Palos Verdes Peninsula High School, Kristy Spencer – Rancho Vista Elementary School,  Bonnie Roth – Dapplegray Elementary School, Captain Joy Groenleer – College for Officer Training at the Salvation Army,  Jose Rincon – Marymount California University, Chris Meisel – Chadwick School, Christy Burden – Peninsula Heritage School, and Jonny Brammah – Rolling Hills Preparatory and Renaissance Schools. Rotary Club members and event Co-Chairs Joan Behrens and Dr. James Hartman will host this year’s virtual event. 

Over the past 10 years, the Rotary Club has raised over $400,000 for needs-based college and vocational scholarships for students.  Scholarship applications are available now at all local high schools. The community is invited to support the Rotary Club’s scholarship program by purchasing a ticket to the virtual event or making a tax-deductible donation. 

Purchase tickets to the February 4th Educator of the Year virtual event, or visit RotaryPVP.org and click on Educator of the Year. Tax-deductible donations for the scholarship program may be made via Eventbrite or by mail to the Palos Verdes Peninsula Rotary Foundation, 904 Silver Spur Rd., #270, Rolling Hills Estates, CA 90274.

Congratulations, Educators of the year!

Rotary EOTY
Caption for Educator of the Year Group Photo: (l. to r. front row) Christy Burden (Peninsula Heritage School), Bonnie Roth (Dapplegray Elementary School), Captain Joy Groenleer (College for Officer Training at the Salvation Army), José Rincón (Marymount California University)( ( l. to r. back row) Chris Meisel (Chadwick School), Lydia Cordova (Ridgecrest Intermediate School), Michelle Slattery (Palos Verdes Peninsula High School), Kristy Spencer (Rancho Vista Elementary School), and Jonny Brammah (Rolling Hill Preparatory School). Photo credit Chris Stillians of CMS Design Portraiture.

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