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Medeiros educator to compete for California Teacher of the Year title
freeman pic
Angela Freeman from Medeiros Elementary School will represent Stanislaus County in the 2012 California Teacher of the Year competition. - photo by NANCY ANGEL / The Journal

The Stanislaus County Office of Education recently announced that Angela Freeman from Medeiros Elementary School will be one of two educators to represent the county in the 2012 California Teacher of the Year competition.

This past spring, Freeman was selected among 83 nominees as Stanislaus County Teachers of the Year sponsored by the SCOE and Modesto Rotary. Freeman and Lynda Griblin from Standiford Elementary School in Modesto were selected as the two finalists to advance on in the competition.

“Five years ago I was nominated by my previous principal, and it didn’t go any further then the nomination.  But now, I became one of the 12 finalists.  This is a huge honor for me,” said Freeman.

Freeman will advance to the next level of the program, where she will have the opportunity to become one of five state Teachers of the Year.  Representatives of major educational and parent organizations and veteran teachers of the year make selections.  If she wins, she proceeds to the national level.

There a number a steps a teacher has to fulfill in order to be considered for Teacher of the Year.  The principal of the school has to nominate the teacher and explain why he or she deserves the title of Teacher of the Year.

According to Medeiros Principal Jennifer Yacoub, Angela is positive, proactive and goes above and beyond to ensure her students are successful.

“Angela uses numerous strategies, skills, and life experiences to maintain a high level of student interest and motivation in her classroom,” she said.

A third grade teacher, Freeman has always had a desire to be a teacher.

“Since I was a young adult, my life has revolved around teaching something, be it sports, horseback riding, or lessons in a classroom,” she said.  “My grandfather owned a chiropractor office and he wanted me to take over.  I tried taking classes for it but it was not for me.”

Freeman’s high spirit and energy is transmitted when she steps foot inside the classroom.  She is always finding new and creative ways to engage her students into the material she is teaching.

“I always try and pull something in that the kids can relate to or make a connection with.  There’s a story we read at the beginning of the year that has to do with hiking and I turn my classroom into a campground.  I bring in a tent, backpack, and tools just to get them involved,” said Freeman.

Freeman said she owes her success as a teacher to her many role models – from principals to her fellow teachers. 

“I work very closely with two other people.  We event went to high school together.  We are a unit and most importantly, a family,” said Freeman.

Freeman does not let the current budget cuts affect her dynamics in the classroom.  She goes above and beyond all expectations each day to ensure her students are receiving the best education.     

“It’s hard when your pay goes down, but the bottom line is you still have to teach, and no matter what you’re making you’re still going to go in the classroom and do your best to teach your kids every day.  I love what I do and I will continue to teach as long as my kids let me,” Freeman said.