The West Covina Unified School District selected Lucy Lopez as the WCUSD Teacher of the Year for the 2018-19 school year. Lopez is entering her 10th year teaching at Merlinda Elementary School this year and is still humbled by the selection.
“I am honored and humbled that I have been selected as the district’s Teacher of the Year. It is simply incredible,” she said. “I’m so blessed and teaching is the best decision I have made. I love doing what I was meant to do.”
Colleagues at Merlinda and even the district office recognize the work she does with her students.
“Every child deserves a champion,” said Dr. Rochelle Johnson-Evans, principal of Merlinda Elementary. “They deserve an adult who will never give up on them; who inspires, guides, enlightens, motivates and understands the power of connection; and insists they become faithful life-long learners so they can face the future knowing they’re prepared to be the best that they can possibly be.”
Lucy Lopez earned her Bachelor's and Master's degrees in education from Azusa Pacific University. Starting in 1989, she served as an instructional aide at the Covina Unified School District before she landed her first teaching job at a private school affiliated with Azusa Pacific University. She is now entering her 16th year teaching and is still full of passion as she was when she first started.
“Everyday is a new opportunity for everyone,” she said. “It’s another chance for me to help guide my students, and another chance for them to reach their full potential.”
Lopez actively encourages her students to be active learners. Her proudest moments come from watching her students engaged in work that challenges them to critically think. Her colleagues credit her for preparing excellent classroom lessons, building a strong rapport with her students and organizing outstanding student presentations.
“I was very blessed when I first came to this district because this is one of the first classes I stepped into. She was truly symbolic of what West Covina Unified School District teachers should be like,” said Dr. Charles Hinman, Superintendent. “She is a loving, honest and trustworthy leader. Her students are very young, but they act like adults. It’s amazing, the love you feel in her classroom. If I had the opportunity to pick a kindergarten teacher for my own children, it would have been this teacher’s class.”
As if creating future leaders wasn’t enough, she currently serves for leadership, mentoring student teachers, School Site Council, PTA teacher representative and after school intervention.
“I strive to be my students’ heroes,” she added. “I want to change lives forever, and this is how I plan to do it.”
Lucy Lopez was already awarded a Continuing Service Award in March 2017 by the Parent Teacher Association for ongoing service to children and youth of West Covina. It seems like she’s definitely on the right path to becoming everyone's hero!