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Teachers of the Year Announced
Posted 4/20/22

Newport-Mesa Unified School District (NMUSD) and the Newport-Mesa Federation of Teachers (NMFT) are pleased to announce the selection of Amy Lewis, a first grade teacher at Sonora Elementary and Christine Tipton an elementary science teacher at California Elementary and Newport Coast Elementary as the 2022 Teachers of the Year. 

Teacher of the Year Amy LewisAmy Lewis and Christine Tipton are mother and daughter, and both are graduates of NMUSD schools. Their family also has a long history in education, with many of them serving as NMUSD teachers for the entirety of their careers. 

“We are thrilled to recognize Amy and Christine as our 2022 Teachers of the Year for their dedication to the craft of teaching,” said NMFT President Sarah Auwarter. “Their commitment to the profession is inspiring and truly reflective of the amazing teachers we have throughout our District,” she said.

Lewis and Tipton were recognized by the NMUSD Board of Education on Tuesday, April 19, 2022, and will be honored at the Newport-Mesa Schools Foundation awards banquet on May 4, 2022. Both were submitted for consideration in the Orange County Department of Education Teacher of the Year program.

Amy Lewis, Sonora Elementary

Amy Lewis has been a teacher in NMUSD for more than 20 years. She is a first grade teacher and works diligently to ensure her students feel confident and develop a love for school and learning. She focuses on connecting with students daily, greeting each student by name and warmly welcoming them into the classroom. She is known for encouraging her students to take risks, learn, and grow. 

In addition to teaching at Sonora Elementary, Lewis has served as first and second grade level chair, volunteer appreciation coordinator, and is the Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports (PBIS) coordinator for Sonora Elementary. She can often be found in front of the school interacting with the school community and has been known to spend her weekends attending her student’s sporting events. 

“I consider myself fortunate to have taught alongside the teacher who inspired me - my second-grade teacher Mrs. Mary Ferryman,” said Lewis. “I am excited that both my daughter Christine and I were selected as Teachers of the Year for 2022.”  

Teacher of the Year Christine TiptonChristine Tipton, California Elementary and Newport Coast Elementary

Christine Tipton began her career with NMUSD in 2017 and is an elementary science teacher at California Elementary and Newport Coast Elementary schools. She believes that all children have an innate sense of curiosity that drives learning and ultimately results in developing a deeper understanding of the world around them. She provides a collaborative environment for students to interact and learn important skills like observation, cooperation and discussion.

Tipton was inspired to become a teacher by her mother, fellow 2022 Teacher of the Year Amy Lewis, and her grandparents, both former teachers at NMUSD. She hopes to continue to encourage her students’ love of learning by establishing a garden club at both schools that she serves.

“Some of my fondest memories are volunteering in my grandmother’s classroom on Friday afternoons,” said Tipton. “I strive to bring the same sense of enthusiasm and community to my classroom each day, and am grateful for this recognition” she said.

Newport-Mesa Federation of Teachers Teacher of the Year Program

Teachers are nominated for the Newport-Mesa Federation of Teachers Teacher of the Year Program by their peers and/or school community members. Once nominated, teachers submit a written application to determine the finalists, which then proceed to classroom observations and interviews. Consideration for Teacher of the Year is based on the quality of instruction, educational philosophy, and contribution to the profession. This selection process is managed by a committee of prior winners, retired teachers, and NMFT leadership.