Donna Shepard, a special education teacher at Focus Point Academy, has been named the 2018 Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD) Teacher of the Year and is the district’s nominee for the annual 2018 Los Angeles County Teacher of the Year honors competition.
Ms. Shepard was one of five Rotary Teachers of Excellence awardees honored earlier this month.
“Honoring the exemplary educators in our district is one of the highlights of the year. Ms. Shepard’s remarkable dedication to the students she serves represents the excellence of our teachers,” said Superintendent Brian McDonald. “Her profound commitment to making a positive impact on students at Focus Point Academy is truly inspirational.”
Ms. Shepard is a Special Education teacher at Focus Point Academy, the structured program that incorporates daily supportive counseling and specially designed academic instruction for students diagnosed with emotional disturbances and specific learning disabilities. A native of Pasadena, she has been a teacher in PUSD for 25 years, with the last six working as a special education teacher. She has a bachelor’s degree in Human Services from University of Phoenix, a credential as an Education Specialist for both mild/moderate and moderate/severe disabilities with an Autism clearance, and a master’s degree in Special Education from Point Loma University.
“I love teaching at Focus Point Academy,” says Ms. Shepard. “My goal is to get each student reading and writing at or above grade level. I’m inspired every day by their growth and academic progress.”
As the district’s nominee, Ms. Shepard will represent PUSD in the annual Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE) Teacher of the Year competition, the largest of its kind in the state that is also part of the oldest and most prestigious honors contest in the U.S. for public school teachers. If selected as L.A. County Teacher of the Year, Ms. Shepard will be in contention for state designation.