The Huntington Beach Union High School District (HBUHSD) is proud to announce its 2018-2019 Teachers of the Year – Jodi Young from Huntington Beach High School and Darla Merrill from Coast High School.

It was a sight to see this morning; a large entourage of administrators, staff and students accompanied by congratulatory signs, flowers, balloons and donuts as they surprised each teacher in their classrooms.

Each year, the district honors two outstanding teachers who exemplify dedication, practice effective instructional methods, and have an overall passion for the art of educating students.

Jodi Young, Huntington Beach High School

Everyone a has story and these kids are walking pieces of literature that I love to learn about.

- Jodi Young

Jodi Young – HBUHSD Teacher of the Year

An educator for over 20 years, Jodi Young teaches English at Huntington Beach High School. Passionate about student success, Young works specifically with students who are non-native speakers of English in order to help them succeed in classes where only the English language is used. Her passion for student success also extends beyond the classroom. Young, also a licensed job coach, works with students to assist them with credit recovery.

“Her passion for kids and making sure that every kid on this campus is successful, whether they’re high-end or low-end academically, makes her a great teacher,” stated Principal Daniel Morris.

In addition, Young also leads the Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) at Huntington which focuses on Common Core State Standards (CCSS), core instruction, differentiated learning, student-centered learning, individualized student needs, and the alignment of systems necessary for all students’ academic, behavioral, and social success.

“She’s their advocate. She fights for them – each and every one of them,” added Morris.

Darla Merrill, Coast High School

Darla Merrill – HBUHSD Teacher of the Year

Described as a force of nature in the education world by her peers, Darla Merrill has been an educator for over 30 years and currently teaches Science and STEAM courses at Coast High School. During her time at Coast, she has implemented Physics, Lego Robotics, and personalized PE learning opportunities that track student performance through the Adidas Zone program. In addition, Merrill has also implemented an annual long Solar Cup program where Coast students build and race solar-powered boats against other Southern California students.

“We cherish her commitment to the lives of our students and all of the ways in which she strives to create hands-on fun and innovative learning opportunities,” stated Principal Angela Harding.

Sarah Morrison, a 12th grade student at Coast, said Merrill definitely deserves this honor. “We would spend hours dedicating ourselves to building a solar power boat,” said Morrison. “Even when we had setbacks, her spirit is what carried us on.”

When asked about what she hopes her students will remember most about her class, Merrill stated, “I cared about every one of them and while they were with me, they were loved and had a place to be.”


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