A Benton Middle School Visual and Performing Arts Academy eighth-grade history and media arts teacher known for her passion for her craft and skill with technology is being honored as Norwalk-La Mirada Unified’s 2015 Teacher of the Year.

Allison McMath, who started with the district in 2010, was honored at the annual “Star Awards” ceremony in May, along with the top district administrator, site administrator, classified manager and classified employee. Teachers nominated by their peers at each school site were also recognized.

Each was praised as a shining example of excellence in his or her profession by Interim Superintendent Ginger Shattuck and by the presidents of Norwalk-La Mirada Unified’s teacher and classified employee associations.

“NLMUSD’s Star Awards are given each year to honor exemplary dedication, excellent practices, positive accomplishments and professional commitment,” NLMUSD Board of Education President Jessie Urquidi said.

Kelly Rush, president of the Teachers Association of Norwalk-La Mirada (TANLA), served on the panel that chose McMath as the NLMUSD Teacher of the Year.

“She was inspirational when she spoke about her profession, and the work she has done to bring arts technology to the classrooms is incredibly exciting,” Rush said.

McMath, who also teaches study skills, is a graduate of Brea Olinda High School. She received her Bachelor of Arts from Cal Poly Pomona and her teaching credential and Master of Arts in education, digital teaching and learning from Azusa Pacific University. McMath began her career as a first- and second-grade teacher in Fullerton School District.

“I am extremely honored,” said McMath. “I never thought I’d be in this position standing amongst so many great teachers and receiving this award.”

Norwalk-La Mirada Unified Star Award recipients:

  • District Office Administrator of the Year: Assistant Superintendent Wayne Shannon
  • Site Administrator of the Year: Benton Middle School Principal Michael R. Gotto
  • Classified Manager of the Year: Technology Services Director Tim M. Scholefield
  • Classified Employee of the Year: Media Clerk Stacy Apodaca

“Each one of these professionals has been judged by their peers as outstanding examples in their professions. Every day they make the most of a precious opportunity – to make a positive difference in the lives of our students,” Shattuck said.

Each of the winners received a $1,000 cash prize, courtesy of the employee associations.

PHOTO: Teacher of the Year Allison McMath.