Obama with Teacher of Year 2012 -WH photoIn a country blessed with an abundance of extraordinary educators, what does it take to stand out as the Teacher of the Year? According to President Obama, who honored Rebecca Mieliwocki, a 7th grade English teacher from Los Angeles County, it is passion that makes great teachers go “above and beyond.”

Rebecca first aspired to be a lawyer, then worked in publishing, floral designing and event planning. As the daughter of two public school teachers, she eventually found her true passion back in the classroom.

“When kids finish a year in Rebecca’s class, they’re better readers and writers than when they started,” said the President.

“But even more than that, they know how important they are. And they understand how bright their futures can be. And they know that if they work at it, there’s no limit to what they can achieve.”

The President and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan welcomed Mieliwocki and all the recipients of the nation’s highest honor for educators, the 2012 National and State Teachers of the Year, to the White House for a ceremony in the East Room Tuesday.

Mieliwocki is known for unconventional and fun techniques developed during her 13-year teaching career, reported the L.A. Daily Breeze.

(WATCH the video below from MSNBC – Read more via NPR)

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