California Teacher Named
2000 National Teacher of the Year
President Bill Clinton announced on May 11, 2000, Dr. Marilyn Jachetti Whirry as the 2000 National Teacher of the Year at a special ceremony in Washington. The ceremony also honored the 2000 State Teachers of the Year.
Now celebrating its fiftieth anniversary, the National Teacher of the Year Program focuses public attention on teaching excellence and is the oldest and most prestigious awards program for teachers. The Program is sponsored by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and Scholastic Inc., the global children's publishing and media company. Whirry, who will be the fiftieth National Teacher of the Year, now begins a year as a full-time national and international educational spokesperson.
With 35 years of teaching experience, 34 of them in California, Whirry, a twelfth-grade English teacher at Mira Costa High School in Manhattan Beach, calls her life "a canvas with swirling brush strokes that depict the motifs of my experience." In addition to her devotion to teaching English and literature, these motifs include presenting over 350 workshops to teachers--28 on reading and writing strategies in the summer of 1999 alone; conducting sessions for administrators on developing academic standards and evaluating student progress in learning, and doing consultation work in several states and in Japan.
Whirry was born in Trenton, New Jersey, on January 12, 1935. She attended parochial schools during her elementary years and graduated from a private college preparatory school, Villa Victoria Academy. In 1955, Whirry graduated from Immaculate Heart College in Los Angeles with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and history and in 1958 earned a Master of Arts degree in English and philosophy from the same institution. In 1982, she earned a doctorate in Contemporary Literature from International College in Los Angeles, and has credits from Harvard University and the University of Southern California.
Dr. Marilyn Jachetti Whirry's thoughts on teaching can be summed up with her statement:
"When I see a young person who has a burning love for learning, a passion for new ideas and life in general, a desire to help others and thrives on challenges, I know I am in the presence of a potential teacher. I would recommend that this young person enter the teaching profession because only in teaching can we satisfy all of these ideals. "