Kohlmeier is one of 12 teachers selected from 63 applicants in Los
Angeles County awarded a 2001-02 Teacher of the Year award last week.
"He makes learning history so much fun. You know coming into class it
will never be boring," Daria said. "He shows us extra stuff we don't even
need to know. I never liked history before this year."
Kohlmeier also coaches softball at Glendale High School. He coauthored
"Crime Scene Investigation" with colleagues Robert Kiel and Barbara
Harris. The book is an interdisciplinary curriculum project that
incorporates history, science and English.
Kohlmeier's room is covered in newspaper clippings with historical
headlines and presidential campaign posters. American and Confederate
flags hang from the ceiling to remind students of a once divided nation.
A message taped to Kohlmeier's desk by a student reads "I just wanna
say that you're the best teacher in the whole wide world."
"It was a little nerve-racking going through the interview and essay
writing process, but it really caused me to think about my role in
education. It was a positive thing," Kohlmeier said. "Each day I try to
tie all of my lessons into a real life experience that they can associate
His students have been flooding his desk this week with articles about
the possible secession of the San Fernando Valley from Los Angeles.
Kohlmeier has used that possible secession as a link to the conflict
between north and south that led to the Civil War.
Kohlmeier and his students planned to spend Monday -- Memorial Day --
placing small American flags in the yards of nearby homes as part of a
community service project.