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Teacher of the Year

LAKE COUNTY, Calif (October 14, 2020) The Lake County Office of Education (LCOE) honored the 2020 Teacher of the Year Amanda Laughner at the Wednesday, October 14, 2020, County Board of Education Meeting.

Typically, the Office of Education honors our educators at the Lake County Excellence in Education Awards Dinner, however, due to COVID-19 we are unable to do so this year and honored Laughner virtually.

Laughner is a High School Science Teacher at Upper Lake High School. Various other staff members and teachers from the district joined her at the Multipurpose Room as she was honored at the meeting.

Brock Falkenberg, Superintendent of Schools, gave an introduction for the Teacher of the Year at the meeting. Laughner received much praise from her colleagues, a plaque for her excellence and a $1,500 check from the Community First Credit Union.

“Amanda Laughner is a first-class educator with a passion and commitment to excellence,” Upper Lake High School Principal Annie Pivniska Petrie said. “She has dedicated her years as an educator to serve and motivate students who come from all backgrounds.”

Laughner’s strengths include her daily commitment, dedication, and professional preparedness for each of her classes along with a personal goal of providing equal access to education for every student.

Her successes at the Upper Lake High School includes the start of the Native American Club where she advocates for Native youth while building connections with the community and teaching a “Learning by Making” STEM enrichment class, which was a new course through a partnership with Sonoma State University.

Laughner’s first public school position was at Pioneer Valley Regional School, a rural Massachusetts school nationally recognized for classroom integration of students of all abilities and its focus on the whole child.

“My teaching career was founded on the positive relationships I had with my own teachers.  I viewed education as the path to achieve the life I wanted, and my excellent teachers believed that as well.  With their support, I became a first generation college graduate,” Laughner said.

Before becoming a teacher, Laughner earned her Bachelor's of Science in Forestry at Mississippi State University, a Master's of Science in Forestry and Forest Products at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and finally a Master’s in Education at the University of Massachusetts.

“Thank you, it was a really great, meaningful event!” Laughner said.

View all of the Educators of the Year