Adult Education Teacher Named Toyota Teacher of the Year
OUSD Adult Education Teacher Named Toyota Teacher of the Year in Surprise Visit
Oakland, CA -- On Wednesday, August 22, Beth Detwiler was at Coliseum College Prep Academy teaching her normal morning family literacy class to a group of adult students when suddenly, her day was turned on its head. First, in walked OUSD Superintendent Kyla Johnson-Trammell followed by a video crew. Minutes later, Johnson-Trammell introduced a visitor with a big surprise.
Family literacy teacher Beth Detwiler the moment she learned she is Teacher of the Year and that she won a $20,000 grant for her program.
And the surprises kept coming. Trailing behind Cramer were Detwiler’s parents and two children, Sophia and James, both of whom are OUSD students. Detwiler’s husband joined the party via Facetime as he is overseas.
Detwiler was overcome by the surprise, and teared up at the announcement and seeing her family. But she immediately deflected the attention. “All of you, Ladies, who come everyday, and come to this class, I know you have a million other things to do as parents, and yet, you’re here,” she said to her students, before getting distracted. “Hi! These are my kids,” she said about Sophia and James who walked up and gave her a hug.
The $20,000 grant will come in handy for Detwiler and the family literacy program, although she and her colleagues have yet to decide exactly how they will use it. “One of the projects I really want to incorporate in this class is technology and getting my students to feel really comfortable around it, and to become producers of content and not just consumers of technology,” she said.
Detwiler’s daughter, Sophia, who is in the sixth grade, said about the award, “I think it’s great.” She added that the way her mother is in the classroom is similar to the way she teaches at home. “She brings a lot of enthusiasm.”
Watch video of Beth Detwiler receiving the Toyota National Center for Families Learning Teacher of the Year Award and a $20,000 grant for her program.
The whole Detwiler family was in on the surprise, as was much of the District and the school. Beth Detwiler had no idea it was coming. “I am so impressed. They totally kept the secret and didn’t cave under pressure,” she said, especially about Sophia who said that morning at home that she forgot to put something in her backpack. When her mother asked what she forgot, Sophia said “nothing.” Detwiler cross-examined her but never got out of Sophia that it was a note from her father to get her out of school that day. “It turns out the secret she was keeping was this,” Detwiler said with a proud smile.
Detwiler was already scheduled to speak at the National Center for Families Learning Conference in Florida next month, and Josh Cramer says that her session will certainly be a hot ticket now that she’s won this award.
OUSD congratulates Beth Detwiler from Oakland Adult and Career Education at Coliseum College Prep Academy for being the 2018 Toyota National Center for Families Learning Teacher of the Year!