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Teachers of the Year


Angel Mejico
El Cerrito Middle School
Riverside County Teacher of the Year

Dr. Angel MAngel teaches Visual Arts at El Cerrito Middle School.  She has taught for 15 years, 13 of which have been in the Corona-Norco Unified School District.  Angel comes to work every day “with a smile on her face and a sense of determination to give her very best effort to her students to ensure they obtain the very best contributions she can offer them and to ensure they experience learning through a creative and diverse curriculum.” According to Angel, she “incorporates knowledge, life experiences, education, high expectations, personal responsibility, empathy, compassion and motivation” as she teaches middle schools students, because her content is “not just about Art, but also about life.”  Angel was also selected as a Riverside County Teacher of the Year, as well as a District winner. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology at the University of La Verne, her Master degree in Curriculum and Instruction at La Sierra University and her Doctorate of Education in Sports Management from the United States Sports Academy.


Michelle Yoshida
Centennial High School

Michelle YMichelle teaches at Centennial High School as a History/Social Science Teacher.  She has taught for 20 years, all of which have been in the Corona-Norco Unified School District.  Michelle states that “being a teacher in a classroom full of students is one of her most favorite places in the world to be.”  Her teaching philosophy is generated from her belief that every student can be successful, regardless of their past.   Michelle pushes her students to understand that they are capable of doing more than they think they can. In her words, “ I love bringing out the best in my students.”  Michelle earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Education from the University of Delaware and her Master of Science degree in Education from California Baptist University.

Michael Hughes
Parkridge Elementary
Riverside County Teacher of the Year

Michael HMichael teaches at Parkridge Elementary School as a Transitional Kindergarten/Kindergarten Teacher. He has been teaching for a total of eleven years, all of which have been in the Corona-Norco Unified School District.  Michael believes that greeting his students with love is the first step in educating them.  He explains, “My students battle poverty, abandonment, parents being incarcerated, hunger and much more.  Thus, loving my students through life’s challenges is where I focus my energy. I start with building a safe and engaging place to learn. My room is warm and inviting and kids want to be there.”  Michael has been selected as a County Teacher of the Year, as well as being named a District winner.  He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from California State University, Fullerton.

Laura Drum
Santiago High School

Laura DLaura teachers at Santiago High School as an AP Literature, ELD and Journalism teacher.  She has been teaching for 16 years, all of which have been in Corona-Norco Unified School District.  Laura’s overriding classroom goal is to establish a welcoming environment that reduces each new student’s apprehension and fear so that true organic learning can occur.  Her classroom is a judgment free zone – one in which laughter, conversation and unbreakable bonds are formed. She believes that, “education is not a one room school house, a one-size- fits-all curriculum where some succeed and some fail.”  In her eyes, “failure is not an option.” Laura earned two Bachelor of Arts degrees, one in Education at Claremont Graduate University, and one in Educational Administration at Concordia University.

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