OC Teachers of the Year: Irvine has two!
Two of the six stops were in Irvine: Kari Tucker-McCorkhill, who teaches psychology at Irvine Valley College, is the only community college honoree. And Irvine High’s Archana Jain is the second local educator to be named one of six Orange County Teachers of the Year.
Archana Jain, who has been an IUSD math teacher for more than 12 years, was surprised with the Teacher of the Year honor in front of her students in her classroom. Superintendent Mijares, IUSD Superintendent Terry Walker, Irvine High Principal Monica Colunga, IUSD Board Member Lauren Brooks, Irvine Teachers Association President Teri Sorey, and members of her family were present, along with other OCDE officials
Prior to joining IUSD, Jain was an aerospace engineer for a decade. She was also named the district’s 2018 High School Teacher of the Year. She has encouraged and inspired young women to get involved in STEM, and is a mentor for the Robotics Club, the Society of Women Engineers, the Engineering Club, Astronomy Club and OC Maker Challenge. Jain not only uses her experience and impressive background in the classroom but she has also used it to create an engineering pathway for Irvine High School students. She formed the Irvine Technology and Engineering Center to give students access to rapid prototyping tools and industry software.
By establishing a dynamic, project-based environment, Jain has helped students find academic success and purpose.
“This is such a huge honor,” Jain said. “We are all capable of achieving more than we think if we persist and believe in our abilities.”
Kari Tucker-McCorkhill has earned a reputation among students and colleagues at Irvine Valley College as a dedicated, enthusiastic and passionate educator.
One example of her devotion to education: she dedicated the proceeds of a statistics book she published to fund student scholarships at the college.
Tucker-McCorkhill constantly strives to make her psychology lessons relatable with real-world examples. Her students have used psychology principles they learned in her class to create a mentoring system aimed at helping new students adjust to the college life.
“With many years of experience in the classroom, I have come to realize that truly effective teaching is a career-long endeavor that requires constant attention to the most important goal we have as educators – to inspire and encourage student’s learning and growth,” Tucker-McCorkhill said.
Congratulations to two of Irvine’s outstanding teachers.
They and the other teachers of the year were awarded with a trophy and prizes, and all six will be guests of honor at a dinner gala held at the Disneyland Hotel in November. There, they’ll receive cash awards from sponsor SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union and the Dr. James Hines Foundation, established by Orange County residents Bill and Sue Gross. The five Orange County finalists who teach pre-kindergarten through grade 12 are eligible to compete in the California Teachers of the Year program.