The Arcadia Unified School District is pleased to announce Patrick Tierney as its Teacher of the Year for the 2014-2015 school year. Tierney, who speaks fluent Spanish, Latin, and Portuguese, has been a Spanish and literature teacher at Arcadia High School since 1987.
“Patrick represents everything that is right about public education and the consummate professionals who educate our children each day,” said Arcadia Unified School District Superintendent David Vannasdall.
Tierney was a college professor before a profound visit to a high school campus changed his career path and life forever.
“I was all set to continue my career as a college instructor in 1977 when I arrived in California,” Tierney said. “While visiting a friend at a local high school, I was caught in a hallway as the bell rang to end class. I had never before been aware of such passion, agitation and movement all in one cramped space. I jettisoned my college career immediately to be a part of this environment, and you might say that the educational community has never been the same. I certainly haven’t.”
Tierney, who established the Advanced Placement (AP) Spanish Literature program at Arcadia High School, has been teaching for 38 years. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Pittsburgh, and also earned Masters Degrees in Spanish and Portuguese, and in Latin Literature.
“We are thrilled for Patrick to receive this worthy distinction,” Arcadia High School Principal Dr. Brent Forsee said. “Considering we have some of the most innovative and best teachers in the country in our district, it’s high praise to be named Teacher of the Year in Arcadia Unified.”
Arcadia Unified School District employs more than 400 teachers. Arcadia High School has been named a Gold Medal School for the past three years by U.S. News and World Report on its annual Best High Schools Rankings list. Less than three percent of the more than 19,000 schools that were evaluated nationwide in 2014 earned the gold medal distinction.