Los Angeles County is home to more than 70,000 teachers, and Arcadia Unified’s Barry Lisbin was identified as one of the top 48 among them to be celebrated and recognized through the Los Angeles County Office of Education’s (LACOE) 2020-2021 Teachers of the Year program.
“Barry is that person where it’s not about having a good day or a good year or even a good couple of years but [has] truly [had] a career with us in Arcadia, with our students, where he has earned that reputation for going above and beyond in being a teamplayer, bringing his best to work every single day both for his students and colleagues,” said Arcadia Unified Superintendent Dr. David Vannasdall in celebration of Lisbin as Arcadia Unified’s 2020-2021 Teacher of the Year during a recent virtual Arcadia Unified Board of Education meeting.
Lisbin, an Arcadia Unified alumnus who is currently in his 29th year of serving the students of Arcadia High School as a math teacher, was selected as Arcadia Unified’s 2020-2021 Teacher of the Year, which earned him entry into the county-wide competition.
“I know there are lots of other teachers that are just deserving as I am,” said a humble Lisbin during his virtual Board Meeting recognition. “I appreciate the recognition […and] think every teacher that works hard every day deserves this also.”
Part of Lisbin’s “why” for choosing teaching as a profession is his dedication to showing each of his students that anyone is capable of successfully learning math.
“I understand that math is not always easy for some students to understand, but I do believe that all students can learn it,” shared Lisbin. “I try to make the concepts fun to learn and, at the same time, have fun myself [… and] am willing to explain concepts as many times and in as many ways as needed to help my students understand.
Not only has Lisbin served the students, families, and team of Arcadia Unified for nearly 30 years, but his mother, Lyla Lisbin, devoted nearly 20 years of her teaching career to serving Arcadia Unified’s Camino Grove Elementary School community.
In its 39th year of hosting its L.A. County Teachers of the Year event, which was created to celebrate great teaching and great teachers throughout the county, LACOE had to reimagine the delivery of its recognition due to current health-related restrictions. Typically, the event takes place at a special, in-person luncheon that brings together L.A. County school districts and their respective Teachers of the Year to celebrate one another with one another. This year, LACOE put together a video to honor its 2020-2021 L.A. County Teachers of the Year.
“It’s amazing how you have achieved great things despite the difficulties,” shared Los Angeles County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Debra Duardo in a video message to this year’s LACOE Teachers of the Year program honorees.
The LACOE program is the county-level stop for a larger state and national Teachers of the Year program. School districts name a Teacher of the Year to represent their district in the county competition. Counties then choose finalists to represent them at the state competition.
Entrants into the LACOE program are required to complete an extensive, rigorous application, which includes letters of support, responses to numerous essay prompts, and other related teaching information. Lisbin made it through as a semifinalist in this competition. This year, 10 finalists were selected to represent L.A. County in the state-level competition.