by HARSHAWN RATANPAL | special to 92128 Magazine

Teacher of the Year

Rancho Bernardo High School 2018-2019 Teacher of the Year Coleen Montgomery has been selected as one of three teachers in the school district to be awarded the distinction of being Poway Unified School District Teacher of the Year.

Montgomery has taught at the school since 1999. Currently she teaches a wide array of classes which span all of the grade levels at RB High, including Honors Humanities, AVID, and most recently, A Critical Study of Mass Media. The latter is a class that Montgomery herself introduced to the campus in just the past year. This innovative mindset may have had something to do with the accolades awarded to Montgomery, and it is what she suggests made her a better teacher throughout her career.

“I was trying to do a lot of what other teachers were trying to do,” Montgomery said. “I was so overwhelmed and felt inadequate a lot. Maybe part of my process was just to figure out what I bring to the classroom and that I don’t have to bring what everyone else brings to the classroom.”

After she was selected as District Teacher of The Year, she began the process of applying to be considered for the San Diego County Office of Education’s Teacher of the Year Recognition Program, which requires a mountain of interviews and essays. Completing her application in mid-April, Montgomery will find out the results in September along with the other teachers representing their districts in San Diego County.

Principal LeMaster has been working with Montgomery for years and had much praise for her.

“She’s supportive, nurturing, encouraging, and at the same time she’s really fantastic about having that student engagement that’s in the classroom at a high level so kids are involved,” LeMaster said. “She’s just an all around amazing educator and resource for our students, so I’m very happy that she was selected to represent all of our teachers, which is what the Teacher of the Year award really is.”


Harshawn Ratanpal is a junior at Rancho Bernardo High School. He is participating in an internship program with 92128 Magazine.