Heads of state. High-profile journalists. Fortune 500 CEOs. World Series and Super Bowl champions. The short list of VIPs who are invited to the White House does not regularly include teachers. Every year though, one teacher is selected as the National Teacher of the Year — an exemplar of the power of education. This impactful teacher has the privilege and opportunity to meet the President of the United States. CSUN alumna Rebecca Mieliwocki is such a teacher, receiving this honor in 2012 from then-President Barack Obama.
A master educator, Rebecca has inspired her students to reach new heights and now motivates new teachers to follow her example. Another alumna of CSUN’s Michael D. Eisner College of Education, Erica Rood, combines her passion for the creative arts with her love of teaching to inspire her students at the CHIME Institute in Woodland Hills. A 2016 Presidential Award-winner for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching, Rood was also recognized by the White House as one of the best teachers in the country. In addition to preparing nationally recognized educators, CSUN’s Eisner College of Education is working to ease the looming teacher shortage crisis in California.
Along with graduates of CSUN’s Liberal Studies Program, which is another pathway to the teaching profession, Eisner College alumni dominate the ranks of the honored Los Angeles Unified School District Rookies of the Year and Teachers of the Year. More teachers get their start at CSUN than the entire UC system combined, and CSUN’s K-12 educational influence extends far beyond the teaching ranks. Matadors fill the roles of superintendents, principals, psychologists and every other critical job in education today. We also prepare the vitally important educators who make a difference for students who have special needs, as well as provide support for their families. I hope you enjoy this issue of CSUN Magazine that highlights the university’s significant impact on K-12 education, and the corresponding impact on current and future generations.
Dianne F. Harrison Ph.D