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CUSD Announces Middle School Teacher of the Year


SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO – A surprise visit to Aliso Viejo Middle School by CUSD Board President Martha McNicholas, Vice President Gila Jones, Clerk Patricia Holloway, Trustee Amy Hanacek, Superintendent Kirsten Vital and Capistrano Unified Educators Association President Sally White was made to announce Math Teacher Susan Royal as this year’s Middle School Teacher of the Year for the Capistrano Unified School District.


The group headed to Royal’s classroom to share the news with her and her students. "Susan's dedication to teaching is inspiring,” President Martha McNicholas stated.  “Her students not only walk away from her classroom with a stronger understanding of math, they also walk away with a stronger understanding of who they are becoming as young adults.”


Aliso Viejo Middle School Math Department Chair and teacher Susan Royal has a dedication and passion for student learning.  She is driven to do whatever it takes to improve the math performance of all students, implementing new strategies and fostering the Growth Mindset to make sure each of her students not only hears, but also understands what she is teaching them with an "I can" attitude.  


Her reach extends far beyond the traditional classroom.  For over 16 years she has taught before and after school English Language Learner support classes, developed a summer reading and math camp for elementary students and uses the community as her classroom to promote outside student service and involvement.  


Susan, herself, never stops learning.  She is constantly reading new research, analyzing data and going to conferences.  She is involved locally with the Orange County Department of Education and Orange County Math Council, and nationally the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.  Her work with these organizations benefits her students and colleagues as she also serves as a member of the Common Core Taskforce, rolling out the Mathematics Common Core Standards and supporting new math teachers in the district through mentoring via the CUSD Induction program.


"I firmly believe that every student can learn, and it is up to me to find ways to teach them,” Royal said.  “I identify those students who need support and schedule time to work with them.  It is equally important to me to help those who are reaching mastery stretch their understanding."


Royal will represent CUSD at the Orange County Department of Education Teachers of the Year program where four teachers will be selected to move on to the California Department of Education Teacher of the Year program.


Pictures and video are available on our Facebook page at or by request.                                                                  





Posted by: Tania Cluttey, District Admin, Capistrano Unified School District Published:2/6/17
Audience: Homepage, Community (Community page), K-8 Schools News Group, Homepage and Middle School News Group

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