State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell named five remarkable educators as California Teachers of the Year for 2008 in early November. Concordia alumnus Gregory McFall, MA '07, teaches U.S. History at Johnson Middle School in Westminster in the Westminster Elementary School District (Orange County). “Mr. McFall truly believes in his students and in their ability to succeed. But before students can succeed in school and in life, he feels that educators must break the pattern of generational poverty that is contributing to the widening of the achievement gap,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell. “Mr. McFall is committed to finding what works for his students with limited social and cultural experiences and building upon their accomplishments, one success at a time.”
In Mr. McFall’s application for the California Teachers of the Year Program, he wrote: “I feel educators can effectively break the cycle of poverty to equip and prepare students for college and a career. To diminish the effects of poverty in education, teachers must root the community’s fundamental ideas into our schools to increase economic opportunities for our students and their parents. We must seek out corporate and community leaders to embrace the school and model cooperation. We must look carefully at the school culture and the school recreational programs, and align our school practices with the positive influences within the community to ensure we are providing educational equity for all students. Only through mutual relationship of community, district, and school can we break the effects of poverty on education and take steps to guarantee high achievement for all students across the nation.”
Mr. McFall earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminology at California State University, Fullerton in 1990 and a Master of Arts degree in Curriculum and Instruction at Concordia University in 2007. He received a teaching credential from National University in 1997 and is a Highly Qualified Teacher.