Graduate Student Recognized as Finalist for OC Parenting Magazine Teacher Awards

Haley Smith is known for her creative classroom engagement and unit decor

Aug. 30, 2019 By Robbie Goforth

Earlier this year, Haley Smith, a current Masters of Arts in Teaching, Induction/Clear Credential student, was recognized as a top finalist for OC Parenting Magazine’s School Heroes award. Each year, OC Parenting recognizes outstanding Orange County teachers who have been nominated by their principals. Smith is currently a 5th grade teacher at Capistrano Valley Christian Schools.  


“It's a huge honor and totally unexpected being a 2nd year teacher,” said Smith. “It’s pretty awesome to be recognized for something I am so passionate about!” 


She was nominated due to her love and dedication to implementing creative strategies to improve student engagement, such as designing a Toy Story world to teach Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM). Smith has also transformed her classroom into a rainforest to help students learn about ecosystems and even a hospital scene (complete with masks and medical gloves) for students to “dissect” compound words from root words. 


“Haley has worked tirelessly to assist her school through seasons of transition and she is a dedicated masters student as well,” said Nicholas Block, professor of education. 


To learn more about the School Heroes award and the other education professionals who were nominated in 2019, see OC Parenting


To learn more about the Masters of Arts in Teaching and Induction/Clear Credential which can be completed fully-online through Biola's School of Education, see Biola’s graduate education website.



  • Kho Sinh Viên Dec. 26, 2019 at 6:30 AM

    Having been a teacher for 20 years I can conclude that all a good teacher can do is set a context, raise questions or enter into a kind of a dialogic relationship with their students.

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