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US President Barack Obama (C) gives the 2012 National Teacher of the Year trophy to Rebecca Mieliwocki, a 7th-grade English teacher in California's Luther Burbank High School, during a ceremony in the East Room at the White House in Washington, DC, on April 24, 2012.
Rebecca Mieliwocki had no interest in becoming a teacher after she graduated from California Polytechnic State University. Little did she know that 20 years later she would be honored at the White House by the President of the United States as the 2012 National Teacher of the Year.
Mieliwocki, 43, teaches seventh grade English at Luther Burbank Middle School, a racially and economically diverse middle school outside Los Angeles. Mieliwocki has said that social and economic pressures have made her job increasingly more challenging since she began teaching in public schools 14 years ago.
After completing the current school year, Mielwocki will take a one-year sabbatical to work as a spokeswoman for the Council of Chief State School Officers.
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