Instructor Barbara Bennett Named OC Teacher of the Year


May 3, 2017 8:44 AM

Photo: SCE Provost Valentina Purtell (left) and NOCCCD Chancellor Dr. Cheryl Marshall (right) give a warm congratulations to Orange County Teacher of the Year Barbara Bennett (center).

Congratulations to Disability Support Services faculty member Barbara Bennett on being named 2018 Orange County Teacher of the Year by the Orange County Department of Education. Bennett has taught DSS classes at the School of Continuing (SCE) Education for 37 years and currently teaches courses in banking, consumer skills, computers, and reading. She was one of six winning teachers selected from 62 nominated by their public school districts and the county's community colleges.

“Barbara Bennett is a pioneer in educating adult students with disabilities and is a leader in her field,” said SCE Provost Valentina Purtell. “Barbara wrote original curricula for her courses and has led hundreds of students through graduation from our programs into transition opportunities such as working, living independently, and going to college,” continued Purtell.

According to OCDE, the Orange County Teachers of the Year (TOTY) program provides recognition for outstanding K-12 and community college teachers in Orange County. Each school district may nominate one to three teachers (depending on district size). Each community college may nominate one teacher per accredited college. Selected winners are honored with a “golden apple” award and will be recognized at the annual banquet, held this year on October 24, 2017 at the Disneyland Hotel by the premier sponsor, SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union.

“These educators have risen to the top,” said OCDE Superintendent Al Mijares, who surprised Bennett with her golden apple trophy presentation on Tuesday in front of her students. SCE’s leadership team and NOCCCD Chancellor Dr. Cheryl Marshall also joined in on the surprise visit.

• To read more about the presentation, including quotes and nomination letters from her students, click here for the press release:
• To view photos of Bennett receiving her award, click here:
• To view the OCDE video of the surprise award visits, click here:
• To read the Orange County Register article on the OC Teacher of the Year Awards, click here: