Azusa, CA – Azusa Unified School District named science and technology teacher Donna Hawkins as the 2017-18 Teacher of the Year for her encouragement, sincerity and knowledge, and being a skilled instructor who promotes critical thinking and collaborative learning with lively, multi-sensory class presentations.

Praised by her colleagues as a shining star in the “Azusa galaxy,” Hawkins was honored by the District during its May 2 Board meeting. She was also named Slauson Middle School’s teacher of the year.

“Donna eloquently personifies the resourcefulness and dedication of Azusa Unified educators, bringing enthusiasm and generosity into her classroom and forging the special connection with her students that will transform them into life-long learners,” AUSD Superintendent Dr. Linda Kaminski said. “Congratulations to Donna on being honored by her peers as teacher of the year.”

Hawkins is Slauson’s science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) teacher, who uses her command of STEM subject matter to effectively communicate to students the numerous ways science and technology benefit their lives every day, and how they can use their knowledge to make the world a better, safer place.

Chosen as a Northrop Grumman Fellow in 2015, Hawkins constantly seeks to inspire her students to develop tech skills that will lead to highly lucrative careers in STEM fields. She recently guided Slauson STEM students through the national “CyberPatriot” afterschool competition, where participants look for vulnerabilities in computer operating systems.

“It is an honor to be able to come to school every day and make a positive impact on our students,” Hawkins said. “I am so fortunate to work in a district dedicated to preparing our students to meet the challenges they will encounter as adults.”

Each year AUSD recognizes outstanding teachers for exemplary dedication to students and for going above and beyond what is expected in the classroom.

“It is a joy to watch Donna in the classroom and observe the natural ability that enables her to connect with her students, encouraging them to participate and take on challenges,” AUSD Board President Helen Jaramillo said. “Azusa Unified is proud to honor her for her achievements.”


Hawkins: Azusa Unified School District’s Teacher of the Year, Donna Hawkins, is joined by her family on May 2, after being honored during a special presentation.