Johanna Mauro and Tim Olson have been named Humboldt County Co-Teachers of the year for 2019-20. This is the first time the County has selected co-winners for this honor, which further demonstrates the quality of our local educators and tough job of the selection committee.
Both were honored earlier this month as one of the twelve Excellence in Teaching awardees. The Humboldt County Board of Education will officially honor Mauro and Olson during its September meeting at the Humboldt County Office of Education in Eureka.
Johanna Mauro teaches 9-12th Grade Art and Photography at Arcata high School and serves at the Arcata Arts Institute (AAI) Director. She graduated from Humboldt State University and has been teaching for over 20 years. Although, she has been heavily involved in the AAI for the past 12 years, she took the reins and became the director in 2018.
AAI offers advanced classes to about 100 students in visual art, media art, theatre, and music. In addition to core classes, students have the opportunity to take ‘Master Classes’ which are skill based and taught by artist experts from the community. This collaboration supports students’ opportunities to pursue internships and volunteer experience they can use on their resume and portfolios.
“Art skills like creativity and collaboration are life skills,” Mauro states. “What they gain from AAI is transferable into any career path they choose. It is my hope that students use these rich art experiences as a springboard to launch from high school onto a lifelong path of creativity and productivity.”
Tim Olson has been teaching for 22 years and is the 9-12th grade Spanish teacher at Eureka High School. He graduated from Humboldt State University and while there, spent a semester studying abroad in Oaxaca, Mexico.
Tim is always striving to improve upon his teaching practices and is part of a Constructing Meaning (CM) training cohort that supports implementing new strategies and tools that help students meet higher expectations and engage on a more academic level.
When asked about Olson’s teaching practices, Delores Haskamp, counselor at EHS states, “Tim Olson’s enthusiasm for learning is contagious. His students look forward to his classes and are inspired to learn. He has an intrinsic ability to engage all students and holds them accountable for responsible participation in their learning.”
“Honoring the exemplary educators in our county is one of the highlights of the year. Each one represents incredible commitment and dedication to achievement for all the students they serve,” stated Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Chris Hartley. “I’m especially excited that for the first time ever, we have two Humboldt County Teachers of the Year, each representing the importance of world languages and the fine arts. Their creativity, compassion, and incredible commitment to serving their students is truly inspirational.”
As Humboldt County co-teachers of the year, both have an opportunity to apply to represent the county as its nominee for 2019-20 California Teacher of the Year. The California Department of Education is expected to announce its selections for State Teacher of the Year in November.