The following information was released by Los Alamitos Unified School District (LAUSD).
Justin Padilla, instrumental music teacher at Oak Middle School, has been selected as the Teacher of the Year for the Los Alamitos Unified School District. This highly prestigious honor is given to only one Los Alamitos Unified School District teacher each year, and it gives us great pleasure to give this recognition to Mr. Justin Padilla. Justin has been teaching at Oak for nine years, and in that time has built the instrumental music program from one fledgling band to a comprehensive full-time program that includes multiple levels of jazz bands, concert bands, and orchestras. Currently more than 200 students are active participants in the award-winning ensembles at Oak.
Under Justin’s leadership and guidance, the jazz band was recently selected to be one of six middle school bands in the country to participate in the Next Generation Jazz Festival, the education branch of the prestigious Monterey Jazz Festival. This is the third consecutive year that Oak’s jazz band was selected based on a blind audition and selection process by some of the leading jazz artists and educators. Additionally, Oak’s concert bands and orchestras consistently receive superior ratings at music festivals every spring.
Justin is visible throughout the District by having his bands perform at school and community events, serving on several committees, coordinating the district-wide band and orchestra festivals, and working with the Los Alamitos Education Foundation (LAEF) fundraising efforts to support all students in the district.
In addition to being a teacher-leader at Oak, Justin accepts numerous requests for student teachers and for music students from California State University Long Beach to observe his classes. He is also asked to teach master classes in conducting and jazz studies. He serves as the Middle School Representative for the California Alliance for Jazz and as the Vice President of Jazz Education for the Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association (SCSBOA), the premiere music education association in California.
“Mr. Padilla serves as an excellent role model for students and is an advocate for all young people. He is an extraordinary teacher, and we are fortunate to have someone of his caliber working in Los Alamitos Unified,” commented Superintendent, Dr. Sherry Kropp.
LAUSD music teacher Justin Padilla. Photo courtesy of LAUSD.
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