Perez named Orange County’s Community College Professor of the Year

Larry Perez’s online video instruction adds a new media aspect to learning math. (Joseph Espiritu)

Mission Viejo, CA – During a surprise visit on campus today by Orange County Department of Education Superintendent William M. Habermehl, Saddleback College Professor Larry Perez was told he is Orange County’s Community College Professor of the Year during what he thought was a routine meeting with President Tod A. Burnett.  When he was given his award, Professor Perez was also joined by Dr. Raghu P. Mathur, Chancellor of the South Orange County Community College District, and representatives from Schools First Credit Union, Disneyland Resort, and the Orange County Register.

After his shock eroded, Professor Perez said, “I’m only as good as this institution.  Students are the ones who directly deserve all the credit for all my success.”

Dr. Burnett stated, “Congratulations to Larry Perez, who inspires us each day with his tremendous teaching skills and innovative tools to help his students succeed at math.  Through Algebra2Go and other resources he has created, Larry helps his students tackle what is often their most frustrating subject.”

Dr. Wright stated, “I have known Larry since I was on his hiring committee in 1999 and it has been a pleasure to work with him.  He is a wonderful professor and his students consistently rave about his warmth and willingness to help them completely understand his subject.  It is no surprise that he has been named the Orange County Professor of the Year.”

Professor Perez was one of five teachers who were told today by Superintendent Habermehl and his entourage that they are finalists for the Orange County Teacher of the Year Award.  The five winners were chosen from more than 60 finalists selected by individual school districts. After the finalists were interviewed, a panel of county officials picked the five winners.

The Disneyland Resort, The Orange County Register and the Schools First Credit Union co-sponsored the award. Representatives from each group also helped select the five winners, and provided the teachers with gift bags during the surprise visits.

The five winners will compete with the top teachers from other counties for the state Teacher of the Year Award, which will be announced this fall. All five winners will attend a dinner in their honor in October at the Disneyland Hotel, where each will receive a cash prize of $15,000 from Bill and Sue Gross through the Dr. James Hines Foundation.

Click here for photos and to read the Orange County Register story about Professor Perez and his fellow Teacher of the Year finalists.

Located in Mission Viejo, Saddleback College provides quality higher education and training to the greater south Orange County community.  Having served more than 500,000 students since 1968, Saddleback College offers more than 300 degree and certificate programs to help students reach their personal, career, and educational goals.  For more information, please visit www.saddleback.edu. 

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