April 24th, 2012
01:35 PM ET

Obama honors Teacher of the Year finalists

(CNN) – President Obama praised more than 50 teachers at a ceremony at the White House on Tuesday. The educators were previously honored by their states and territories as Teachers of the Year. President Obama told the group “I wouldn’t be here today if it were not for teachers like these.”

On Monday, The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) announced that Rebecca Mieliwocki, a 7th grade English teacher from California, is the 2012 National Teacher of the Year. The 14-year veteran educator said, ““I have an unshakeable understanding that when children have a strong education, they can do anything.”

Earlier in an interview, Mieliwocki said, “I'm not the best teacher in America; I'm one of so many.”

California chose Mieliwocki as the state’s Teacher of the Year from among its roughly 287,000 teachers. The state’s selection process included a written application, visits by officials to her classroom and an interview. Mieliwocki is known for her teaching techniques at Burbank Middle School. She would play music on her iPad while students work, or use playing cards to select students randomly to read in class.

Read more over at CNN's education blog Schools of Thought.

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soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. Kool-Aid Police

    These are the few teachers that actually earn their money and benefits. It should be the norm not the exception.

    April 24, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • 1FreeWorld

      Just a thought,

      If no FREE PRESS is allowed,,,
      Then where is Free Speech?

      If no FREE-POSTS are allowed,,,
      Where is Free Speech?

      Was Obama in the Federal Government in 2007?

      What role was he playing? Ahem,,,,

      I mean what position was he in inorder to sign/vote for The NATIONALIZATION of the SallieMae/Student LoanGATE?


      Did he sign-off with a VOTE as SENATOR?


      April 24, 2012 at 8:58 pm |
  2. Howard

    Obama is always pandering to the teachers, and their unions, for votes.

    April 24, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • 1FreeWorld

      Obummer is the First,,,

      White African,,,, that,,, PLEASE,,,,

      Read this first,,, and see who COINED THE PHRASE



      Yes, the FIRST White AFRICAN


      If he wasn't the FIRST White African to say the Police ACTED STUPIDLY,,,,

      I will take your information and research it!

      I do not think Heman Cain can respond,,,,
      Herman Cain is not BLACK ENOUGH!


      April 24, 2012 at 9:49 pm |
      • 1FreeWorld

        The white Kenyan has hired Eric Holder to UP-HOLD the LAW!

        What is Eric Holder doing with Voter Fraud?

        Wanna know?

        Just watch here,NOW!


        Are you happy with his attempts to stop Voter-Fraud?

        What are your thoughts?


        May 8, 2012 at 10:05 pm |
  3. Ann

    President Obama is always supporting teachers because he believes that all Americans should have access to a good education. I relly admire him for that.

    April 24, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
    • C-Lo

      Then ask him to support voucher programs that make private and charter schools affordable for middle and lower class families. If he wants all Americans to have access to a good education, this would be an truly "admirable" step. My guess, though is that he's more concerned with the support of the union than he is about Americans' educations. Just a guess.

      April 24, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
      • 1FreeWorld

        I really do appreciate all the posts from the Teachers here!

        You Teachers are really helping all of us here in the USA,,,, err,,
        Helping the Tyrannical Government here in the USA!

        Not much time, but take a look!

        Math?,,, NOPE,,,
        Writing?,,, NOPE,,,
        Self-Love and Worth?,,, YES YOU CAN!

        YES YOU CAN!
        YES YOU CAN!

        What you will be experiencing in the near future? (Slow Jam News for the Students with Student Loans!)


        Thank GOD for Private Schools and Student Vouchers!

        April 25, 2012 at 10:13 pm |
    • Sponge-Bob

      He supports teachers even if they produce poor results. You admire Obama no matter what and whatever he says is gospel to you.

      April 24, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
  4. Nejxn

    Rebecca Mieliwocki certainly deserves recognition. Trying to teach English to a class of illegal Mexican immigrants has to be a very difficult job.

    April 24, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
  5. OBAMA2012

    Howad.....Mittens is pandering to the businesses he sent overseas. At least Obama has kept the teachers jobs in the USA. You are an idiot to fullest degree.

    April 24, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
  6. greg

    Obama 2012 Teachers need our support.

    April 24, 2012 at 8:08 pm |
    • 1FreeWorld

      Obummers Teachers 2012 Need our support?

      What does that mean?

      Obummers Teachers?
      Obummers Propogandists as Federal Re-Education-Camp Specialists?
      Obummers PAY-ME-TO-GET-A-BETTER-JOB as a Mafioso Protectionist?
      Obummers USEFUL-IDIOTS?
      Obummers UNION-THUGS?

      I bet none of the teachers standing behind wHousHinne know math..
      Our Economy is about to FAIL!

      Should have been:

      Obummers 2012 Teachers are about to lose thier HOMES, JOBS, and POWERS, just like the rest of the Tax Payers!

      G o d B l e s s the U S A!

      Watch here on how folks make a living,,,, I did it the Government's Way!


      April 24, 2012 at 9:26 pm |
      • DEcember 2012


        April 24, 2012 at 11:39 pm |
      • 1FreeWorld


        April 25, 2012 at 8:13 am |
      • 1FreeWorld


        April 25, 2012 at 8:22 am |
  7. Name*Liz Carter

    C-lo...private and charter schools do seem to more often produce better students, but I am a product of the public school system and I know there are many good public schools in the nation; there are many good teachers working in them too! Most of Americas school-age children, well I'd venture to say 99 percent of America' school-aged children are only able to attend public schools, because that's all their families can afford! You're telling us that we should ask the President to implement a voucher program for students to be able to go to these private and charter schools. How many children do you think would even be eligible still, after that?? I don't believe there would be many; comparing to the number of children of school-age that we have in the United States!! If all of them were eligible, and all of them did get to go to those schools, do you think that the quality of the studies would be the same; or on the level that they are percieved to be now? I don't! Those schools would just turn into the 'new public schools'!! Why not give more support and incentives to our existing public schools, students, and the teachers to work harder to enhance America's educational system and thereby producing many more better prepared young people to higher education?? Those who will be headed out to find jobs in America's 'Jobs Market'; if we still have one! Or they may be more prepared to create or invent their own life's work!! Most Americans haven't had that privilege, and ended up HAVING to work for some else! Many of us do manage to retire but people usually don't get rich working for someone else!! Furthermore, since it's been such a big mass con concern about the 'dollar figure' amount on what of each and everything the President tries to underwrite, why would you want hus to ask him to do that?? How much would we taxpayers have to pay for a voucher program?? You see, that's why I continue to say, you can't have it both ways!! By the way, the GOP certainly wouldn't sign off on a thing like that! That would be helping 'the poor'! They are in the business of 'welfaring' and maintaining the wealthy!

    April 25, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
    • C-Lo

      I'll start with your last point. Take a look around the nation, how many times voucher programs have been looked at, vetted and tried to get into the system. They are almost ALWAYS spearheaded by conservatives/Repubs and attacked by the left, primarily due to the teacher unions. That is a FACT. Studies have shown that this benefits the middle and lower middle class by giving them the extra money they need to afford those tuitions. You ask why not give more incentives and support to the public schools? WE HAVE and we continue to, and they continuously produce poor results.

      I too am a product of the public school system, but Liz, you are older than I (and I know what you experienced, and am sorry that you and others went through that), but the system is deteriorating now. We throw more and more money at it and it's a black hole sucking the life blood out of the communities. My daughters were also products of the more "modern" public school system and neither reached her full potential. Regardless of the HOURS I spent each night (3-5 minimum) helping with homework only to find out that the "teaching" style was to give assignments to learn at home while the teacher told war stories of his time in VN or spending office hours working on his coaching duties. It fell on ME to teach my girls. That is not what I am paying taxes to pay teachers salaries for.

      I understand your progression of all schools private or charter then becoming the new Public schools, but if they are accountable to the students rather than the elected officials, it will give them focus on what's important–teaching the kids, not getting involved in politics for their job.

      Denver has sort of a combined system (many public schools are run like charter, but there are additional costs for some of the advanced programs) that seems to be a great working model that is turning around the long term trends of inner-city school inferriority. Too long to discuss here, but worth investigating.

      April 25, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
    • C-Lo

      And by the way, I am not asking for Obama to implement a voucher/charter system, but to get DC out of the way of allowing communities who want to set these up. Neither to his credit nor detrement–it's not a DC issue but a community issue.

      April 25, 2012 at 6:20 pm |