South Pasadena Teacher of the Year

Jill Reddy has been selected the teacher of the year in the South Pasadena Unified School District

Jill Reddy has been selected the teacher of the year in the South Pasadena Unified School District. Reddy is a kindergarten teacher at Arroyo Vista Elementary School. Photo by Bill Glazier

Jill Reddy, who teaches kindergarten at Arroyo Vista Elementary School, has been selected as the 2017-18 Teacher of the Year in the South Pasadena Unified School District.

Reddy will soon submit an application to potentially become the Los Angeles County Teacher of the Year.

“It is a great honor and lovely to been nominated and voted on by the people I work with and admire,” said Reddy, who taught 3rd, 4th, 5th grade students before becoming a kindergarten teacher about five years ago.

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Including a year and half in the Alhambra Unified School District at the outset of her career, Reddy has been teaching approximately 21 years. Since coming to the South Pasadena Unified School District, she has never left Arroyo Vista, noting: “It’s just a joy to be here.”

Teacher of the year Jill Reddy, far right, is joined by her kindergarten class at Arroyo Vista Elementary School, instructional aide Christina Tumale and fellow kindergarten teacher Laura Ishibashi. Photo by Bill Glazier

The look in a young student’s eye “when they really get it, when they’re excited about what they are doing” is what Reddy enjoys most about the teaching profession.

“It’s just so exciting to see,” she stressed, noting there’s a tremendous amount of joy when a kindergartener learns how to read. “Their eyes light up and you can see the excitement. They feel proud.”

SPUSD Superintendent Geoff Yantz believes Reddy holds all the qualities to earn the prestigious County Teacher of the Year award. “She is patient, caring, approachable, welcoming and creative,” he said. “She possesses all the characteristics that comprise an outstanding teacher. She’s a role model for all of us.”

Reddy’s principal at Arroyo Vista, Cheryl Busick, says the district’s newest teacher of the year “works tirelessly to make sure kids do their best. She makes kids feel loved, inspired and confident in their ability to learn. She’s amazing.”

It marks the fourth year that Arroyo Vista has had the teacher of the year. It started with Brian Jehue, followed by Helena Yee, David Speck and now Reddy.

School site teachers of the year for 2018-19 are selected for each of the local district’s five campuses. From there, Reddy was chosen as the district Teacher of the Year.


School Site Teachers of the Year:

Arroyo Vista: Jill Reddy – kindergarten

Marengo: Noelle Fong – 3rd grade

Monterey Hills: Dawn Tull – 4th/5th grade, Christina Torres – kindergarten

SPMS: Betsy Kahn – librarian

SPHS: Tasha Wahl – special education teacher

While it’s Teacher Appreciation Week and all teachers deserve appreciation, there are always special ones like Reddy, who continue to go above and beyond in the classroom each day. She doesn’t plan on walking away from teaching anytime soon.

“As long as I have enthusiasm, I want to keep on going,” she said. “I absolutely love it.”