The Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD) today announced the five recipients of the 2018 Teachers of Excellence Award, presented annually by the Rotary Club of Pasadena to educators who excel in their profession.
The 2018 honorees are William R. Boling of Marshall Fundamental; Ann Palmer of Jefferson Elementary; Jennifer Pringle of Rose City High School; Donna Shepard of Focus Point Academy; and Manuel Rustin of John Muir High School. The teachers were honored at an awards ceremony held May 23, 2018.
“These teachers are creative, talented, and deeply committed to inspiring students to achieve their dreams,” said Superintendent Brian McDonald. “I am pleased to partner with the Rotary Club of Pasadena to honor them and celebrate their outstanding work with the diverse students of our district.”
The Teachers of Excellence is a collaborative program of the Rotary Club of Pasadena and PUSD. The Rotary Club invites all schools to nominate teachers for this honor and a selection committee composed of principals, UTP, parents, previous winners, and Rotarians reviews the entries. The five teachers are awarded $1,500, and $500 is presented to each recipient’s school. PUSD’s Teacher of the Year is selected from the five Teachers of Excellence.
The Teachers of Excellence awards program fosters excellence in teaching in the Pasadena Unified School District. It demonstrates the Pasadena Rotary’s commitment to public schools and to exceptional teachers who deserve special recognition.
The 2018 Teachers of Excellence are:
William Richard Boling teaches Advanced Placement English, Macroeconomics, and Government and Politics classes at Marshall Fundamental Secondary School. Prior to joining Marshall in 2004, Mr. Boling graduated from Harvard University in 1971, worked as a broadcast journalist, as the senior editor of a journal devoted to trusts and investments, as a trust company investment officer, and finally, as a founder, managing director then managing partner of a successful, award-winning institutional investment management firm.
Ann Chambers Palmer teaches third grade at Jefferson Elementary School. She has been named a Pasadena Rotary Teacher of Excellence twice - first at the beginning of her teaching career in 2004 and now as she prepares to retire. Ms. Palmer came to teaching in the middle of her life, after a career in corporate settings and staying home to raise her children, one of whom is a Rotary award-winning teacher in PUSD. Ms. Palmer has been deeply involved in Jefferson as school site representative, PTA president, grade level representative, and master teacher. She co-founded Jefferson’s after school Mighty Readers Book Club.
Dr. Manuel Rustin teaches history, government, and economics in the Arts, Entertainment and Media Academy at John Muir High School. He also teaches a Hip Hop Studies course to help students explore issues of gender, race, and class through music, and leads a mentoring, support, and study skills class for students previously identified as being at risk of dropping out of school. A native of Sacramento, Dr. Rustin moved to Pasadena to be part of John Muir High School’s reconstitution in 2008 and received the prestigious Milken Educator Award in 2011. He has a bachelor’s degree from UCLA, a master’s degree in Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and a doctorate in Educational Leadership from UCLA.
Jennifer Pringle teaches English, English Language Development, and journalism at Rose City High School, a continuation high school that enrolls students who need to make up credits, flexible school schedules, or a small learning environment. Ms. Pringle also tutors middle school English learners throughout the district. A teacher since 1999, Ms. Pringle joined PUSD in 2015. Her specialty as a teacher is project-based learning, where students learn as they create projects such as the school’s first yearbook, student newspaper, and online news show. Ms. Pringle has bachelor and master’s degrees from the University of Southern California.
Donna Shepard is a Special Education teacher at Focus Point Academy, the structured program that incorporates daily supportive counseling and specially designed academic instruction for students diagnosed with emotional disturbances and specific learning disabilities. Ms. Shepard has worked as a teacher in PUSD for 25 years, with the last six at Focus Point Academy. She has a bachelor’s degree in Human Services from University of Phoenix, a credential as an Education Specialist for both mild/moderate and moderate to severe disabilities with an Autism clearance, and a Master’s degree in Special Education from Point Loma University.