Nicole Walters, a second-grade teacher at Los Alamitos Elementary, has been named Teacher of the Year for the Los Alamitos Unified School District.

Walters is “an exceptional teacher who does whatever it takes to help her students succeed and her families feel valued and important,” said Superintendent Dr. Sherry Kropp. “Nicole brings joy to work, loves her colleagues, and makes all of us better. She is an extraordinary teacher who lights up the classroom. It is a privilege to have her on our team.”

Walters came to the district in 2007 as a long-term substitute and was hired permanently the same year. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in American Studies from California State University, Long Beach, and a Master’s from National University in Educational Technology. Walters also was recognized as the Seal Beach Teacher of the Year in 2010.

In recognizing Walters at a recent school board meeting, Los Alamitos Elementary Principal Gary Willems told Walters she is “phenomenal. You love all your students and your families leave a year with you knowing their child had a champion.

“The true power of Nicole’s teaching lies in her ability to get to know her students and create an unequivocal rapport which gives her students the ability to demonstrate their vulnerabilities and build their strengths in a safe, non-judgmental environment,” Willems said.

School Board President Diana Hill said the real impact of Walters’ teaching is “the lives you’ve touched and will continue to touch, and that has an incredible ripple effect.”

Walters, accompanied by her husband and sons, said the Teacher of the Year recognition “means the world to me. I do what I do because I love what I do. I work in the most amazing district with the most amazing people. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

Walters will now compete for Orange County Teacher of the Year.

This article was released by the Los Alamitos Unified School District.

(L-R) Asst. Supt. Ondrea Reed, Asst. Supt. Dr. Nancy Nien; school board members David Boyer, Marlys Davidson, Meg Cutuli; Teacher of the Year Nicole Walters; board members Diana Hill, Karen Russell; Supt. Dr. Sherry Kropp, Asst. Supt. Dr. Andrew Pulver. Courtesy photo.