A Mar Vista teacher has been named among the Los Angeles Unified School District’s “Teachers of the Year.”
Ronald Theile, who teaches math, science and music at Mark Twain Middle School, is one of 21 LAUSD educators to receive the honor. A resident of Santa Monica, he has been a teacher for 16 years.
“Congratulations to these outstanding teachers who use their professional skills, talent, creativity and life lessons to instruct, encourage, push, prod and help students do better and excel,” said LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy.
The educators who were honored range from a Japanese language instructor, math/science educators, and a special education teacher, to English and choir instructors like Theile.
“Seeing a student overcome their personal and academic challenges is the ‘brass ring,’” said Theile.
Theile is the director of the renowned Mark Twain Bell Ringers, who were invited to perform at the 2012 London Summer Olympics. The students performed at historical venues such as Westminster Abbey in England and at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.
“Beyond his many talents in music and as a teacher in the classroom, Mr. Theile is just a blessing to have on a school campus. He is my right arm,” said Mark Twain Middle School Principal Dr. Rex Patton.
In a letter to the school district, Patton drew a correlation between the school’s mission to improve upon its steady academic success and the importance of teachers such as Theile.
Mark Twain Middle School World Languages Magnet has been steadily improving academically by going up 115 points on its Academic Performance Index (API) score in the last five years to 715.
“We are expecting another substantial increase this summer,” the principal wrote. “Mr. Theile understands the need for academic rigor and culturally responsive pedagogy and the need to connect to the different cultures that each student brings to the classroom.”
Santa Monica resident Tyson Evans, a physical education teacher at John Muir Middle School in Los Angeles, was among the other 21 educators nominated.