Teacher of the Year
Kern County’s Teachers of the Year announced; Finalists now eligible for statewide honor later in the year
English and web design teacher at Independence High School Kip Glazer and 6th grade teacher Melissa Ann Bradex from Palm Avenue School in Wasco were honored on May 6 as the 2013-14 Kern County Teachers of the Year. The finalists are now eligible to apply to move on to the California State Teachers of the Year program later in the year. An alternate, Marie Sampson, a special education teacher for the Kernville Union School District, was also chosen in the event that one of our finalists is not able to apply for the state competition.
The selections were announced at a reception hosted by the Kern County Superintendent of Schools (KCSOS) at the Bakersfield Museum of Art to honor the 51 Kern County teachers nominated for the award by their schools and districts. A committee of educators and community leaders reviewed all the applications. Recent site visits were made to the top candidates’ schools. All 51 nominees received plaques and certificates.
California Department of Education (CDE) sponsors the annual California Teacher of the Year program. Local sponsors include California Retired Teachers Association-Kern County Division, Morgan Clayton-Tel-Tec Security Systems, Inc., Kern Schools Federal Credit Union and PAS Associates, with a special acknowledgment to the Bakersfield Museum of Art.
Independence High School
Kern High School District
Growing up in Korea in a family filled with educators, she always thought she would become a teacher. However, after moving to the United States she wasn’t sure — after all, English wasn’t her first language. She persevered and for the past 20 years, Kip has found that what she considered her greatest deficiency has become the greatest motivator in her life. Today, she is an outstanding educator who brings innovative ideas to the classroom. Teaching Senior English, AP English Literature and a web design course, she is currently working on her doctorate with a focus on Learning Technologies and incorporates new ideas into her classroom daily. A dynamic teacher with high expectations, she motivates her students to strive to be the best they can be and is passionate about them and their future. Mrs. Glazer is an outstanding educator, leader, and mentor.
Melissa Ann Bradex
Palm Avenue School
Wasco Union Elementary School District
From early childhood, Melissa has been teaching in some form or another in support of children who have fallen into difficult circumstances beyond their control. Growing up in a variety of foster homes herself, Melissa honed her leadership skills and began building her own self-confidence by helping other children with their learning. Her own teachers recognized her strength in math and her unending patience and began mentoring her as a peer helper for other children in the system that needed to develop some of these same strengths in themselves. In college she began writing a children’s book chronicling her personal story of being raised in foster care and succeeding in becoming a teacher. The book is now published. Always searching for new ways to improve her teaching practice, Melissa continues her own educational and professional development through her post graduate studies, Masters in the Art of Education with a specialization in National Board Certified Teacher Leadership, and currently with her application to the Doctoral Program at CSUB.
Marie Sampson (Alternate)
Woodrow Wallace Elementary School
Kernville Union School District
Mrs. Marie Sampson is a loving and kind teacher of very young special needs students. In every way, she displays the highest standards of the teaching profession. Marie is enthusiastic, energetic, and brings a ray of sunshine into the room where children work and learn. As much as she loves them, she also wants to help them attain the skills necessary to be an independent citizen of their community. Each time she employs a new learning strategy, Mrs. Sampson’s data driven mind wants to know — “does this really improve learning?” Mrs. Sampson is a reflective practitioner in her teaching profession, constantly looking for better techniques to support her student learning. In preparation for her specialized work with these students, Mrs. Sampson has completed her BA in Liberal Studies and holds Mild/Moderate and Moderate/Severe teaching credentials as well as a Masters in Special Education.