Sarah Avanessian, a Castaic High School English teacher and past Teacher of the Year from the William S. Hart Union High School District, was presented the Beth Dalton Memorial Literacy Leadership Award by the Los Angeles County Office of Education at the Literacy Lifts Conference.
In presenting the award, Avanessian was noted as “a literacy warrior who has impacted the lives of students, families and colleagues for 17 years. In 2017, she was named L.A. County Teacher of the Year and one of Santa Clarita’s 50 most influential people.”
“Beth Dalton was a champion of literacy and I was humbled to receive the award that honors her legacy,” Avanessian said.
The award’s namesake, Beth Dalton, was a middle school English teacher with Azusa Unified School District before becoming a literacy consultant with LACOE from 1999-2011.
In addition to her work as an English teacher, Avanessian is also an instructional coach and English Learner Coordinator, working alongside parents, school site and Hart District leaders to develop literacy and language-focused programs for students learning English as a second language.
She leads professional development at Castaic High School, focusing on the use of language across all academic disciplines, not just English.
“My goal is to always provide space for my students to escape the noise of a sometimes chaotic world through their books and through their pens,” Avanessian said.
“As an instructional coach, I am also able to provide that space for teachers to reflect on their practice and improve their craft,” she said. “I believe it is the most powerful professional development in education and was honored LACOE recognized my efforts.”