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spacerIn The News

CDC Preschool Teacher Named Early Educator of the Year

Long Beach City College’s Angelica Hernandez was among five teachers recognized countywide at the Los Angeles Universal Preschool (LAUP) Early Educator of the Year Awards.

LAUP recognizes five teachers – one from each of the Los Angeles County districts – who go above and beyond to provide excellent learning environments and classroom experiences for young children.

Hernandez is a child development teacher at LBCC’s Child Development Center and Learning Lab on the Pacific Coast Campus. She has lived in Long Beach since childhood and she attended LBCC, earning her AA degree in Early Childhood Education. She has been teaching for 12 years and has spent more than half of that time at the CDC.

“I like the challenges that [teaching] presents,” Hernandez said. “And I like working with families and their children and making them feel comfortable in this environment.”

Hernandez said she wanted to be a teacher for as long as she can remember. She models herself after her second-grade teacher, she said, who was her first Spanish-speaking teacher. This was important to Hernandez, who was born in Mexico and whose parents spoke Spanish.

“She always made me feel included. She translated everything for my mom. That’s what I’m aiming for,” said Hernandez, who is bilingual in English and Spanish.

She teaches a diverse class of three- and four-year-olds, half of which are bilingual.

“Angelica’s goal is to create equity in early childhood education and ensure that families have access to the resources needed,” said Stacey Smith-Clark, CDC and Learning Lab Center Manager. “If families are unsure or uncomfortable, she takes the lead, models best practices and advocates for them.”

LAUP hosted an awards ceremony and luncheon June 6 at The Music Center in Los Angeles where L.A. County Supervisor Janice Hahn presented the award to Hernandez, who also received $2,000 as part of the recognition.

In 2014, another CDC teacher, Debra Watts, was selected as a 2014 LAUP Preschool Teacher of the Year.

Learn more about Hernandez and the other 2017 winners in this video.


For more information, please contact the Office of Communications at (562) 938-4353 or (562) 938-4846. For media inquiries, please call (562) 938-4004.