Teacher Sylvia Padilla Honored by the White House as Champion of Change

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Sylvia Padilla

Sylvia Padilla, a teacher at Patrick Henry K-8 School, was recognized last week as a Champion of Change.

On Friday the White House and the President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics honored educators who have devoted their time and efforts to inspiring their students to excel and promoting the teaching profession by setting a strong example in the classroom. Ten educators, including Syvlia Padilla from Long Beach Unified School District, who have focused on improving student outcomes and closing the academic achievement gap for their students – most of whom are Hispanic and English Language Learners.

“America’s future is inseparable from the Hispanic community’s future – and by strengthening the academic success of Latino students, we strengthen our nation’s long-term economic prosperity,” said U.S. Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan. 

Sylvia Padilla has been a bilingual teacher for the past 20 years. She currently teaches fourth grade in the two-way bilingual immersion program at Patrick Henry K-8 School in the Long Beach Unified School District.

She has been awarded Los Angeles County Teacher of the Year and California Association of Bilingual Education Teacher of the Year for collaborating at the school, district and state level to improve instruction, implementation and assessment of state standards in English and Spanish. Sra. Padilla earned her bachelor and Master of Arts degrees from California State University, Long Beach.

“These leaders have shown an absolute dedication to helping their students succeed and are examples of the profound impact that educators can have not only in their classrooms, but in their communities,” Duncan continued.

The White House Champions of Change program was created as a part of President Obama’s Winning the Future initiative to honor ordinary Americans doing great work in their communities.  Each week, a different sector is highlighted and groups of Champions, ranging from educators to entrepreneurs to community leaders, are recognized for the work they are doing to serve and strengthen their communities.

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