November 8, 2007

Congrats Ms. Reina

Tamara Reina, who teaches English and U.S. history at the East Mesa Juvenile Detention Facility, was named on Monday as one of five California teachers of the year.

"I'd like to use this opportunity as a discussion point about kids, about their potential, about keeping kids engaged in the educational process, about preventing the kinds of stories I have in my classroom," Reina said. "I think [the award] acknowledges that positive proactive education can go on anywhere."

"Ms. Reina is not only an outstanding, thoroughly committed teacher, she is mentor, counselor, confidante, and, sometimes, parent to young men - many of whom are serious juvenile offenders," said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell. "Yet she is a steadfast supporter of her students and a true believer in their potential. Beyond the razor wire and sliding steel doors, Ms. Reina gives books to students who've never read one and hope to those who've never had any."

NASBE congratulates Ms. Reina and commends her for her steadfast dedication to the children society too often gives up on.