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GCC preschool teacher honored for excellence

Director of Child Development Center is among six in the county awarded for their classroom work.

April 12, 2008|By Angela Hokanson

As Debbie Frohmuth’s preschool students settled into circle time, they brought their problems to her, and she showed them they already knew how to solve them.

One boy told Frohmuth he didn’t want to sit next to one of his classmates. She asked him what he could do about that.

“Pick somewhere else,” he answered, finding a new seat on the rug.

Claire Davis, 4, piped up that she needed a tissue.

“What are you going to do?” Frohmuth asked.

“Get one,” Claire answered promptly, getting up to help herself.

Helping young children resolve their problems is one of Frohmuth’s stellar qualities as a preschool teacher, said Jeanette Tashiro, the director of the Child Development Center at Glendale Community College where Frohmuth teaches.

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And Frohmuth’s top-notch teaching is now being recognized by the larger community.

On Friday, she was named Preschool Teacher of the Year, one of six such awards given to preschool teachers in the county by Los Angeles Universal Preschool, a nonprofit organization that seeks to make preschool universally accessible to all 4-year-olds in Los Angeles County.

The organization intended to honor five preschool teachers, one from each supervisorial district in the county, said Terry Kanakri, communications manager, Los Angeles Universal Preschool. But two teachers received tie scores in Supervisor Yvonne Burke’s district, so six educators will receive the award.

It is the first time the organization, which was formed in 2004, has given out the awards, which are designed to recognize model preschool teachers for their important work, according to the organization.

“We were looking for teachers that have made a difference in the lives of children every day in the teaching and learning environment,” said Celia Ayala, chief operating officer of Los Angeles Universal Preschool.

Recognizing preschool teachers is important because they help lay the foundation for students’ future success in school by working with children to develop socially, emotionally and academically, Ayala said.

Two people nominated Frohmuth for the award: Tashiro and Chris Davis, a parent who has had three children in Frohmuth’s class.

“I think she’s just such a great role model for the other early-childhood educators,” Tashiro said.

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