Playa del Rey resident and Westchester-Emerson Community Adult School teacher Shari Siegler is one of ten teachers in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) who have been named 2008-2009 LAUSD Teacher of the Year.

The educators honored range from a band instructor, math/algebra, early education teacher to adult education, science and social studies teachers.

The newly anointed Teachers of the Year now qualify for the 2008-2009 Los Angeles County Teachers of Year competition, which spotlights excellence in teaching.

The Los Angeles County program, the largest in the state, is part of the California and National Teachers of the Year programs and pays tribute to Los Angeles’ richly diverse teaching force, LAUSD officials said.

Lewis Chappelear from Monroe High School in North Hills is the LAUSD’s current California Teacher of the Year winner and was a finalist for the National Teacher of the Year.

Three years ago, LAUSD Teacher of the Year Kelly Hanock from Monroe High School also won the coveted award as one of five California Teachers of the Year.

“Great teachers help their students conceive their dreams, believe in themselves and ultimately achieve their lifelong goals,” said LAUSD Superintendent David L. Brewer III.

“I commend these inspiring educators for their unparalleled professionalism and unwavering commitment and devotion to their students. We wish them good luck in the upcoming competition.”

Siegler, who has been a teacher for 31 years, has been teaching English/reading adult independent studies for ninth- through 12th-graders at Westchester-Emerson Community Adult School for 22 years.