(l) Monica Erne-Weller  (r) Elva Madrigal 

The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) has named 22 instructors from its elementary, secondary, and adult schools, special-education programs, charters and magnets as “Teachers of the Year.”

And half of them work in the San Fernando Valley.

Among them is Jessica Perry-Martin, a visual arts teacher at the Arts Theatre Entertainment Magnet School, one of the four campuses that make up the Cesar Chavez Learning Academies in San Fernando.

Lisa Bennett, a special education teacher at Van Gogh Charter Elementary in Granada Hills, is an awardee by the district as are two instructors at Poly High School in Sun Valley; special education teacher Monica Erne-Weller and social studies teacher Elva Madrigal. Another honoree from Sun Valley is Amy Weisberg, a kindergarten teacher at Topanga Elementary Charter School.

Other Valley awardees are Robyn Arnold, a third-grade teacher at Sherman Oaks Charter Elementary School; Anna Gaiter, a fourth-grade teacher at Plainview Elementary School in Tujunga; Leslie Hicks, a mathematics instructor at Daniel Pearl Senior High School in Lake Balboa; Martha Infante, who teaches social studies at Taft High in Woodland Hills; Janet Di Giulio Skidmore, who teaches English, history and art at Lawrence Middle School in Chatsworth; and Katherine Yonemura, a fourth-grade teacher at Hesby Oaks Leadership Charter School in Encino.

In addition to their district honors, Arnold, Perry-Martin, and Weisberg are among the five teachers the district has entered into the county “Teacher of the Year” competition in September. A California and a national teacher of the year will be named later.

“Amazing teachers change the trajectory of student lives all over Los Angeles,” said Board President Mónica García in the release announcing the honored teachers. “Congratulations to the Los Angeles Unified Teachers of the Year. Thank you for believing in them, challenging them and having high expectations of them so that they can reach graduation and beyond!”

“Congratulations to these heroes who excel at the art and science of teaching our students,” added District Superintendent Austin Beutner.

All of the LAUSD honorees will be feted at a luncheon in September.

— Mike Terry