Concordia University Irvine alum Natalie Elliott knew since third grade that she would be a teacher
IRVINE, Calif. (November 4, 2016)— Natalie Elliott, a Concordia University Irvine graduate and Huntington Beach resident, who has been teaching at an elementary school in Watts for nearly a decade, was recently named a finalist for Los Angeles County Teachers of the Year. She is one of seven teachers from the nation’s second largest school district—Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD)—who joined 11 others from across Los Angeles County in competing for the 2017 California Teacher of the Year. Teacher of the Year honorees were announced by the California Department of Education last month.
In June, Elliott, who teaches sixth grade at 92nd Street Elementary School in Watts, was named one of 22 LAUSD Teachers of the Year. Seven of the 22 Teachers of the Year were named as finalists by the Los Angeles County Office of Education to be a Teacher of the Year.
“I think there are so many teachers at my school site who are deserving of this honor,” says the 32 year-old educator. “I was shocked, humbled and honored. Since third grade, I remember committing myself to becoming a teacher.” LAUSD has more than 30,000 teachers.
Los Angeles County Teachers of the Year, who are honored for their expertise, creativity and commitment to their students, must have at least a decade of experience teaching.
“Seeing one of our own rise to this level validates what we do every day,” said Dean of the School of Education at Concordia University Irvine Deborah Mercier. “We’re very proud of Natalie’s accomplishments.” This marks the second time for Concordia’s School of Education to have an alumni recognized for their innovative teaching style. In 2008, Orange County middle school teacher Greg McFall was named California Teacher of the Year by the California Department of Education.
Elliott grew up in Huntington Beach attending schools in the Fountain Valley School District. After graduating from Fountain Valley High School, she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Chicano Studies from UCLA. She later earned a second Master’s degree in education from Concordia in 2015.
About Concordia University Irvine
Concordia University Irvine (CUI) is a private non-profit Lutheran Christian four-year liberal arts university that prepares students for their vocations—their calling in life. Concordia offers undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs in education, nursing, theology, business, and athletic administration. CUI’s undergraduate program is distinctive because of its nationally recognized core curriculum, Enduring Questions & Ideas, and its Lutheran heritage that provides a thoughtful and caring Christian community that lives out the theology of "Grace Alone. Faith Alone." Concordia is a U.S. News Top Tier Regional University and has been named by The Chronicle of Higher Education as one of the fastest growing private nonprofit master's institutions. Marking its 40th anniversary this year, the university enrolls over 4,000 students annually and is in its final year of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II Membership Process.
Lizz Mishreki, APR
Director of Public Relations