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Dec. 17, 2002
DH-02 TK 078
Contact: Thomas Knox
(310) 243-3367


California State University, Dominguez Hills Alumna
Named a "2003 California Teacher of the Year"

CARSON, Calif. - California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH) alumna Connie Baumgardt Blackburn, along with four other outstanding California teachers, has been named a "California Teacher of the Year" by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Delaine Eastin. Blackburn (B.A. Liberal Studies with distinction, 1976; Multiple Subject Credential, 1976) will be formally honored in January 2003.

Blackburn teaches kindergarten at Central School in Escondido and values her role as an ambassador for education. "Teaching is not for the light-hearted, but for the courageous," she said, while at the same time proclaiming teaching is the best profession in the world. Blackburn said new teachers should be pared with mentors. Her advice to anyone interested in becoming a teacher is to remain committed to the profession, as teachers are desperately needed. Blackburn's advice to all teachers is to never stop reading current research or learning new techniques and, no matter what, to never give up.

"We have entrusted the future of this nation to our teachers," said Eastin in a press release from the California Department of Education. "Teachers help mold the attitudes, beliefs, and achievements that will determine the character of our next generation. They are role models for living and inspiration for learning. I am proud to recognize the work of California's 307,000 teachers and to congratulate these dedicated professionals."

The State Board of Education will formally recognize the new California Teachers of the Year in January at a dinner. Sponsors include the California Teachers of the Year Foundation; the California State Lottery; Toshiba America Electronics Components, Inc.; the Masons of California; GTECH; National Semiconductor; Harcourt Educational Measurement; The Men's Wearhouse; and NCS Pearson. Other partners include the Sacramento Kings and Raley's/Bel Air.

Connie Baumgardt Blackburn can be reached at Central School, 122 W. Fourth Avenue, Escondido, CA 92025, at (769) 432-2431.

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