National Teacher of the Year to Visit UM

Students, faculty to meet National Teacher of the Year during April 17 public forums

Rebecca Mieliwocki

Rebecca Mieliwocki

OXFORD, Miss. – Rebecca Mieliwocki, the 2012 National Teacher of the Year, will visit the University of Mississippi on Wednesday (April 17) to discuss her career in teaching and educational issues with UM students, faculty and staff during two public forums at the Jackson Avenue Center.

This is the third consecutive year the UM School of Education, the state’s largest producer of teachers and educational leaders, will host the National Teacher of the Year. A forum with education students will begin at 10 a.m., and an open forum for faculty and staff is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.

“Whenever we can expose our pre-service teachers to a master educator like Rebecca Mieliwocki, it’s going to make an impression,” said David Rock, UM education dean, who began inviting the winner of the annual honor to Ole Miss in 2011. “We want to set the bar high for our students and let them know the impact a teacher can make. This gives them the opportunity to meet the best of the best and ask questions one-on-one.”

President Barack Obama named Mieliwocki, a seventh-grade English teacher at Luther Burbank Middle School in Burbank, Calif., as National Teacher of the Year in April 2012 from a pool of 54 state and territorial teachers. Since June, she has toured the country as national educational spokesperson, sharing her educational philosophy with current and aspiring educators.

“Students learn best when they have the most enthusiastic, engaged teachers possible,” Mieliwocki said. “I firmly believe that teachers must be held accountable for their students’ success, from helping them meet personal or school-wide goals to achieving on district and state assessments. Our students are our future, so we, their teachers, must do our best to inspire them.”

The daughter of two public school teachers, Mielwocki pursued careers in publishing, floral design and event planning before becoming a teacher. She holds a bachelor’s degree in speech communication from California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo and an English teaching credential from California State University at Northridge.

For more information about the National Teacher of the Year program, visit