Lo­cal ed­u­ca­tor named 2018 Cal­i­for­nia Teacher of the Year

Erin Ox­horn-Gilpin of Cas­taic’s North­lake Hills Ele­men­tary one of five se­lected for honor

The Signal - - NEWS - By Christina Cox Sig­nal Staff Writer

A sec­ond grade teacher from the Santa Clarita Val­ley has been se­lected as a 2018 Cal­i­for­nia State Teacher of the Year.

Erin Ox­horn-Gilpin, a first and sec­ond grade multi-sub­ject teacher at Cas­taic’s North­lake Hills Ele­men­tary School, got the salute Wed­nes­day from Cal­i­for­nia’s State Su­per­in­ten­dent of Pub­lic In­struc­tion.

“Erin is a true cham­pion for ev­ery child and makes the most of ev­ery mo­ment with her kids. She brings a pas­sion for teach­ing and the teach­ing pro­fes­sion to North­lake Hills,” Prin­ci­pal Erin Au­gusta said in a state­ment. “We are be­yond proud of Erin and her well-de­served honor.”

Ox­horn-Gilpin was one of five teach­ers se­lected by State Su­per­in­ten­dent Tom Tor­lak­son as 2018 a Teacher of the Year.

As an ele­men­tary school ed­u­ca­tor, Ox­horn-Gilpin has taught at North­lake Hills Ele­men­tary in the Cas­taic Union School Dis­trict for 11 years.

“Teach­ing is an ever-evolv­ing pro­fes­sion, re­quir­ing teach­ers to em­brace change and a growth mind­set,” Ox­horn-Gilpin said in a state­ment. “I strengthen and im­prove the teach­ing pro­fes­sion be­cause I never lose sight of what is best for my stu­dents. I al­ways put kids first!”

In her class­room, she uses cre­ativ­ity and hands-on lessons to teach her stu­dents the ba­sics of read­ing and writ­ing. One ex­am­ple of this is her unit on snails where stu­dents learned about them through a pic­ture book, snail races and snail mail.

“Erin rec­og­nizes needs and moves for­ward. It is that ‘mov­ing for­ward’ at­ti­tude that makes her one of the best teach­ers ever,” CUSD As­sis­tant Su­per­in­ten­dent of Ed­u­ca­tional Ser­vices Janene Maxon said. “Erin is al­ways re­flec­tive, al­ways think­ing of ways in which to im­prove plan­ning next steps for our stu­dents’ con­tin­ued progress.”

Au­gusta said Ox­horn-Gilpin also in­fuses prob­lem solv­ing, crit­i­cal think­ing and tech­nol­ogy into all of her lessons to make each ac­tiv­ity “a joy­ful one and full of learn­ing.”

“Stu­dents and par­ents are thrilled to be a part of the Room 8 ‘fam­ily,’” Au­gusta said.

Ox­horn-Gilpin also in­spired her stu­dents to give back to the com­mu­nity af­ter they re­ceived Chrome­books through a lo­cal grant.

To­gether, the stu­dents or­ga­nized a fundraiser for the Cas­taic An­i­mal Shel­ter where they do­nated money and learned how they could con­tinue their part­ner­ship with the or­ga­ni­za­tion.

Since 1972, the Teacher of the Year Pro­gram has hon­ored out­stand­ing teach­ers for their work. Nom­i­nees are se­lected through county-level com­pe­ti­tions be­fore a state se­lec­tion com­mit­tee re­views can­di­dates’ ap­pli­ca­tions and con­ducts site vis­its.

Dur­ing th­ese vis­its, the se­lec­tion com­mit­tee eval­u­ates teach­ers’ rapport with stu­dents, the class­room en­vi­ron­ment, their pre­sen­ta­tion skills and their teach­ing tech­niques.

Cour­tesy photo

Erin Ox­horn-Gilpin has been named a 2018 Cal­i­for­nia State Teacher of the Year.

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