Arroyo Vista kindergarten teacher Jill Reddy was recognized as the South Pasadena Unified School District 2018-2019 Teacher of the Year this past Tuesday at the SPUSD School Board meeting.
With 21 years of teaching experience, Reddy was also named one of Los Angeles County’s “Sweet 16” Teachers of the Year at a recognition ceremony on Sept. 22.
“Jill Reddy is amazing,” said Arroyo Vista Principal Cheryl Busick in a press release from SPUSD. “She is organized, passionate, enthusiastic, and a hard worker. Ms. Reddy has this magical ability to know exactly what it takes to move her students from one place to the next. She uses a variety of instructional strategies and resources to respond to students’ diverse needs. Her classroom is a positive, exciting, and engaging learning space where the focus is on academics as well as fairness, respect, and being kind.”
Reddy has taught nearly every grade at the public school elementary level. She taught third grade for 10 years, then fourth and fifth grade for nearly five years and for the past four years, she has taught kindergarteners. Reddy also has raised two children of her own with her husband Ramesh.
Reddy expressed to The Review in June that education is the foundation for a productive life.
“We want our children to be engaged citizens,” Reddy said. “We want them to be active and make informed decisions. But this is really about all teachers, not just us, but all of us.”
Jon Primuth, president of the SPUSD School Board, praised Reddy for her passion and taking steps to incorporate innovation within the classroom.
“She has a can-do attitude that really creates a huge positive effect on all the other teachers and administrators,” Primuth said. “She’ll step up and do all kinds of new projects.”
Primuth shared that as the teaching profession has changed over the past few years, Reddy has excelled in evolving and taking necessary steps forward in that direction with her students.
“She’s really been someone who’s implemented that in many different ways,” said Primuth. “I’ve really appreciated the way she’s done that.”
The Teacher of the Year award recognizes educators who have displayed exemplary dedication, compelling classroom practices, positive accomplishments and professional commitment to their students, according to school officials.
Reddy is the fourth winner of the recognition at Arroyo Vista, which started the award four years ago. The first teacher named was Brian Jehue, followed by Helena Yee and David Speck. She will advance to the California state Teacher of the Year competition which takes place later this month. Five experienced teachers are selected each year to reflect the diversity of students and teachers, according to the California Department of Education’s website.
The SPUSD Board of Education meets monthly at 1020 El Centro St. in South Pasadena at 6 p.m. Next month’s meeting will be held on November 13. For more information, visit www.spusd.net.