First published in the Oct. 30 print issue of the Burbank Leader.
A Burbank educator was recently named one of the Los Angeles County teachers of the year along with only 15 other colleagues in the sprawling area.
Amelia Cheatum, who teaches history to 7th- and 8th-graders at John Muir Middle School, was recognized after being named the Burbank Unified School District teacher of the year in July.
She was selected from a field of 56 educators representing 52 school districts.
“During this time of extraordinary challenges to our school communities, it is especially important that we pay tribute to our outstanding teachers who, over the past year and half of this pandemic, have been bringing care, compassion and ingenuity to both their virtual and in-person classrooms,” county Superintendent of Schools Debra Duardo said in a statement. “I am truly impressed by their innovative practices and the partnerships they have created to keep students learning and thriving.”
Cheatum — a product of the BUSD, having attended Edison Elementary School, Luther Burbank Middle School and John Burroughs High School — is known for encouraging her students to approach history as professional historians do by questioning the source of information and drawing their own conclusions.
“Amelia is an amazing teacher who is beloved by her students,” Muir Principal Greg Miller told the Leader in July when Cheatum won the BUSD teacher-of-the-year honor. “She makes the history curriculum come alive for her students and challenges them to apply the lessons of the past to how we live today. She also brings the lives and stories of those who have historically been overlooked to her students and helps them have a more inclusive view of history.”