The Alameda Unified School District (AUSD) is delighted to announce its Teacher of the Year for 2013-2014: Michael Lamb, a mathematics teacher at Alameda High School (AHS).
"I was flattered to be nominated and I am now very honored to be selected," Lamb, 48, says.
An AHS teacher for 21 years, Lamb was recognized in part for his deep commitment to students.
"I was impressed by his respect for the students and his ability to retain a fairly relaxed classroom, in spite of the complexity of the subject," says Barbara Kahn, a member of both the Board of Education and this year's Teacher of the Year selection committee. "But I was particularly impressed by his awareness of what each individual student was doing and the unobtrusive manner in which he was able to monitor and provide help where it was needed."
Adds Elizabeth Young, who was AUSD's 2011 Teacher of the Year and also a member of this year's committee, "He oozes dedication. His students know that he will go the extra mile - lunch period, Saturday, or an afterschool session - to help them be successful."
Lamb says he often tells his students that math was not his best subject in high school or college. "But I took it as a personal challenge to never let math win," he says. "Math became my nemesis. I took it every semester in college. So I often tell my students, 'just because you're not mature mathematically yet doesn't mean it won't happen. We rarely see the growth and maturity as it's happening - you have to take a step back to see how far you've come.'"
Lamb's commitment to his colleagues (he is chair of the AHS Math Department) also impressed the committee. "Michael Lamb is a true professional, as exemplified by his strategies to reach individual students and his firm belief in collegial support," says Tracy Corbally, who was AUSD's 2013 Teacher of the Year and sat on this year's selection committee. "He mentors colleagues in the same way he helps his students - by finding out where they are and helping them grow to find their own way to success in the classroom."
Nominees for Teacher of the Year come from parents, students, staff, and the community. After being invited to submit materials (including a resume and letters of support), a selection committee observes nominees in the classroom and then interviews them. Lamb will be formally recognized at theMay 13, 2014 Board of Education meeting, along with finalists Jo Korpuz (Edison), Jenny Hartigan (Lincoln), and Suki Mozenter (Paden). Next fall, he will compete to become Alameda County Teacher of the Year.
"Our Teachers of the Year continue to inspire me," says Superintendent Kirsten Vital. "These are teachers who bring the highest levels of care, passion, commitment, and craft to their profession. I am so grateful to have teachers like Michael Lamb in our district."
—Information submitted by
Alameda Unified School District