By Lisi Burciga, Staff Writer
The Acalanes Union High School District (AUHSD) granted Acalanes psychology teacher Lauren Allen with the prestigious Acalanes High School Educator of the Year award to recognize her for her hard work as an Acalanes staff member this year.
Acalanes staff and administrators told Allen that she received the award on February 23. The award will be formally presented to Allen at the district board meeting taking place on May 3. After receiving the award, Allen went on to qualify as a finalist for the AUHSD Educator of the Year.
Each year, staff members of each of the four AUHSD schools (Acalanes, Miramonte, Campolindo, and Las Lomas) write letters nominating a colleague for the Educator of the Year Award. A committee of staff and administrators casts their votes in favor of one of the nominees, and the winner is then qualified for the district-wide version of the award.
“I was very surprised, and to feel recognized is just really incredible; I’m just so honored. This truly is one of the greatest highlights of my teaching career,” Allen said.
Allen began teaching in the district in 2008, and has since worked at all four high schools, joining the Acalanes family in 2011. Since her arrival, Allen has gained the admiration of many of her colleagues.
“She’s always enthusiastic to be here, and to work with students, and she is especially passionate about her curriculum,” Acalanes staff member Kristen Anderson said.
Allen’s passion and enthusiasm have certainly paid off, as her admirable qualities are what prompted her nomination for Educator of the Year. Fellow Acalanes educator Katherine Walton nominated Allen for the award.
“I absolutely have the highest respect for Mrs. Allen as a teacher on our campus. She is innovative, committed, passionate, kind, intelligent, and pushes herself to be a better educator each day,” Walton said.
Allen’s coworkers aren’t the only ones who feel she is worthy of her newly obtained title, as her students congratulate her on the accomplishment as well.
“Ms. Allen is one of my absolute favorite teachers. Her class is fascinating to me and I find myself eager to come every day,” senior Sarah Miles said. “She is such a kind person and very accommodating to all her students’ needs, and she definitely deserves this award for all the amazing work she’s done.”
Miles isn’t alone in her position as one of Allen’s biggest fans.
“Mrs. Allen is an all-around fantastic teacher. She keeps students engaged with a passionate voice and keeps the class interested by relating the material to our lives,” senior Connor McCarthy said. “It’s no surprise to me that she has won this award and I’m glad she’s being recognized for her hard work.”
Allen has expressed great gratitude toward all members of the Acalanes community after receiving the award.
“I’m very grateful for all of the teachers that I work with. I’ve learned a lot from each of them,” Allen said, “And, of course, I’m thankful for my awesome students.”