slide image

Standout teachers honored

The JUSD Teachers of the Year compose an inspiring group: innovative, dedicated, and full of positive energy as they help every Jurupa student learn without limits.

The Board of Education on March 12 honored 24 standout instructors, one representing each district school site.  Principals emphasized the top teachers' love of teaching, quality of instruction, and rapport with students.

Of the honorees, three teachers will move on for consideration in the Riverside County Teacher of the Year awards: Heather Knell of Peralta Elementary, Shane Wells of Mira Loma Middle, and Stella Sloan of Jurupa Valley High.  Here are short descriptions of the fantastic teachers in the running for countywide honors this spring:

Heather Knell standing with plaque

Peralta Elementary – Heather Knell

Heather Knell is an uplifting teacher who raises the spirits of everyone on Peralta Elementary's staff.  Working alongside the Resource Specialist Program

(RSP) teacher, Heather is our full-inclusion specialist assisting Peralta's third graders with special needs.  She also serves as the PTA Vice-President and is a dedicated member of the Impact Team.  If Mr. Cmelak, her principal, ever needs a pick-me-up, he just walks down to "Knell-Lee's" room. Her kids are always singing, dancing, and learning with a smile.  The singer Jon Bon Jovi would describe Heather's teaching with the words, "She has seen a million students, and she has taught them all."  Congratulations Heather!  You Rock!!!        

 Shane Wells standing with award

Mira Loma Middle – Shane Wells

It is a pleasure to recognize Mira Loma Middle School's Teacher of the Year, Shane "the awesome" Wells.  Known as the Jack of All Trades, he is a social science teacher, technology guru/coordinator, AVID teacher, and AVID coordinator.  Mr. Wells always carries a smile on his face and is always willing to lend a helping hand to anyone and everyone!  Showing inspiring leadership, he held technology workshops for staff, presented digital citizenship to the student body, and worked with the science department to implement college and career lessons.  Students love him, and the staff respects him.  We are blessed to have a Shane at Mira Loma – he is an exemplary mountain lion!

 Stella Sloan standing with award and flowers

Jurupa Valley High – Stella Sloan

Jurupa Valley High School proudly announces Stella Sloan as teacher of the year.  Stella began her teaching career at Rubidoux High School before moving to JVHS when it opened in 1989.  We are grateful she became a Jaguar!  Stella has helped to develop a solid mathematics program at JVHS and has taught all levels of math.  Students often express how much they love her teaching and credit her for their success.  Daily, Stella is one of the first to arrive campus, with a smile on her face, and she is often one of the last to leave, with a smile on her face.  We thank Stella for her 33 years of outstanding teaching and dedication to her profession!


The full list of Teachers of the Year:

Camino Real – Chandra Partlow

Glen Avon – Maralene Taylor

Granite Hill – Jamie Smallwood

Ina Arbuckle – Thomas Warner

Indian Hills – Suzanne Wong

Mission Bell – Minerva Castorena

Pacific Avenue – Marleen Jockers

Pedley – Valerie Othon

Peralta –
Heather Knell

Rustic Lane – Tonya Coats

Sky Country – Corinta Loera

Stone Avenue – Heidi Felix

Sunnyslope – Jennifer Stromdahl

Troth Street – Silvana Diaz

Van Buren – Kathleen Perez

West Riverside – Teresa Chavez

Jurupa Middle – Erika Krause

Mira Loma Middle – Shane Wells

Mission Middle – Blanca Preciado-Diaz

Jurupa Valley High School – Stella Sloan

Patriot High School – Victoria Bautista

Rubidoux High School – Christopher Odabe

STEPS Community Day School – Hugo Nevarez

Nueva Vista – Annamay Isaacson


Congratulations to all of the 2018 honorees!