Valerie Ziegler, MA '04 (center) with students from her Teacher Academy class at Abraham Lincoln High School on the steps inside San Francisco City Hall after receiving an award from Supervisor Carmen Chu.
University of San Francisco alumna Valerie Ziegler, MA ’04, has
been named California Teacher of the Year.
Ziegler was among five teachers and the only one in Northern
California named Teacher of the Year by California Superintendent of Public
Instruction Jack O'Connell in November. O’Connell visited San Francisco Unified
School District’s Lincoln High School, where Ziegler teaches U.S. government,
history, and economics, to personally make the announcement and congratulate
Ziegler, who received her degree in educational technology
and holds both single and multiple subject teaching credentials, is the first teacher
from SFUSD to receive the prestigious statewide award.
John Bansavich, USF director of learning technologies and instruction,
and one of Ziegler’s former instructors, remembers her as an excellent student.
Lincoln High students praised Ziegler’s approach as interesting
and inspiring. As part of Stanford University’s history education program, Reading Like a Historian, Ziegler
is known for taking her students out of the classroom and fostering engagement by
having them interpret primary sources of history.
On the technology side, Ziegler incorporates flip video cameras
for student interviews and a Smart whiteboard, which allows users to digitally
write and erase like a chalkboard but which also incorporates computer capabilities
such as drag and drop and video viewing. Ziegler’s students also benefit from a
classroom set of laptop computers.
“I have had students use laptops to create newsletters from
the depression era camps, play an online simulation to solve the national debt
problem, and created résumés,” Ziegler said.
Click here, to watch a short video about Reading Like a
Historian and Ziegler’s involvement.