Juan Orellana Named LA County Teacher of the Year

Juan Orellana Named LA County Teacher of the Year
Posted on 09/30/2022

    Juan Orellana, a third grade teacher at Monte Vista School has been named one of the top 16 public-school teachers in all of Los Angeles County.  Orellana and 15 other outstanding teachers were recently announced as Los Angeles County Teachers of the Year at the Los Angeles County Office of Education’s 41st Annual Teacher of the Year Awards Banquet held at the Universal City Hilton. 

     The Los Angeles County Office of Education Teachers of the Year Program is the largest local competition in the state and nation and is part of the oldest and most prestigious honors contest in the U.S. for public school teachers. The extensive application process includes an interview, the submission of essays, lesson plans and other materials to judging panels comprised of previous teachers of the year.  Orellana and the other LA County Teachers of the Year serve as standard-bearers for the teaching profession and their 73,000 classroom colleagues countywide. Each will receive a cash gift of $1,000 from the California Credit Union, the program’s platinum sponsor. 

     "The teaching profession is integral to the fabric of our society; that has been more evident than ever in recent years when more than 140,000 U.S. children have lost a primary or secondary caregiver due to the Covid-19 pandemic. One of the few consistencies for children during unprecedented times has been the connection with their teacher and classmates," said Los Angeles County Superintendent Debra Duardo, M.S.W., Ed.D. "Teachers have sustained students and families with their incredible capacity to nurture and empathize with the tragedies our students often confront. It is one of the greatest honors of our office to recognize some of the most exceptional educators in our county." 

     Orellana has been an educator for 24 years, 23 of those serving the students of MVSD at Voorhis and Monte Vista schools.   He earned a BA in Spanish, a BA in Political Science and an MA in Spanish from UC Davis.  He also received a Cross-cultural Language and Academic Development (CLAD) certificate from Cal State Los Angeles.  In addition to teaching third grade, Orellana has shared his expertise and leadership on several school and district committees including School Site Council, Student Council, PBIS, SEAL, After School Interventions, Chess Club, Mt. View Family Engagement, Lectura Workshops and more.

     Orellana strongly believes in providing students with a classroom environment that provides opportunities to be actively involved in the learning process.

     “I believe in my students and know all students are capable.  Allowing students to be engaged in their own learning and to feel part of a community of learners builds intrinsic motivation and leads to the development of a more participatory and democratic classroom,” said Orellana.

     He is a strong advocate of parent involvement and works to bring parents into the equation by working directly with them or through District family engagement committees.  Additionally, Orellana strives to provide activities geared at developing the socio-emotional well-being of our students. 

     “I bring sports, student leadership, and performing arts to them.  Bringing fun activities to our students increases productivity in the classroom and decreases behavior problems.  I realize that when we all team up, success is easier to accomplish.  I am committed to giving students the tools and the experiences they need to achieve and succeed.”

       Joining in the celebration and proudly recognizing Orellana at the awards luncheon were MVSD Superintendent, Dr. Raymond Andry, Board of Education President, Adam Carranza, Board of Education Vice President, Veronica Sifuentes, Mountain View Teachers Association President, Leticia Urias and CSEA President, Isaac Trujillo.

    “I am very excited for Mr. Orellana's accomplishments and proud to have him represent our District as one of the Top 16 Teachers of the Year for Los Angeles County,” said Dr. Andry.   “Juan is an amazing teacher. I have seen his love and commitment for the students he serves shine firsthand when I visited his classrooms at Monte Vista and previously at Voorhis and the smiles on his students' faces as he provides them with fun and exciting lessons.” 

     Orellana will advance with other county titlists from around the state to the California Teachers of the Year competition this fall.      

  • Magnolia Learning Center