Irvine Teachers of the Year

Irvine Unified School District recognizes exceptional instructors at the elementary, middle and high school levels.  

Irvine Unified School District recognized three exceptional instructors at the annual Teachers of the Year event held Friday, April 27. Every year during a gala dinner attended by nearly 800 teachers, family members and school district administrators, Irvine Company presents each honoree with $5,000.

This year’s honorees are:

Elementary School Teacher of the Year

Emily Bucago
Transitional Kindergarten Teacher
Westpark Elementary

“Mrs. Bucago has created a classroom environment that fosters learning and development through fun and play. Her students never know how intentional every activity is but Mrs. Bucago does. Her infectious love for teaching and her students inspires us all!” Westpark Principal Deanna Rutter

Middle School Teacher of the Year

Nelly Tsai
Science Teacher
Lakeside Middle School

“Everything Nelly does is for her students, from building a garden to having them investigate the water of Woodbridge Lake. Every grant she writes, every state and national committee in which she is involved in is for one reason – to benefit her students. She strives to make them better and more enthusiastic science students. She is a gem!” Principal Gina Cuneo.

 High School Teacher of the Year

Archana Jain
Math Teacher
Irvine High School

“Archana has embraced a growth mindset and intellectual risk taking – utilizing her real-world experience to foster a love of learning and resiliency for her students. She is an inspiration both inside the classroom and out, introducing and engaging students in STEM,” said Irvine High School Principal Monica Collunga.

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