2010 CA Teacher of the Year

Valerie Ziegler 

Valerie Ziegler, who teaches U.S. History, Economics, and Advanced Placement U.S. Government at Abraham Lincoln High School in San Francisco, was named one of five 2010 California Teachers of the Year by the California Department of Education (CDE).  Ms. Ziegler earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Indiana University in 1997 and a Masters of Education Technology from the University of San Francisco in 2004. Prior to her teaching career, she held a variety of jobs including: Team Member and Driver of the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile, Team Manager as a technology consultant at Andersen Consulting in Chicago and Business Analyst at Commerce One in Pleasanton, CA. After completing her student teaching at Washington High School, Ms. Ziegler began her full time teaching career at Abraham Lincoln High School (ALHS) in fall 2004. She has taught U.S. History, American Democracy, Economics and AP U.S. Politics & Government. Furthermore, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History named Ms. Ziegler the 2010 California Preserve History Teacher of the Year!

She served for three years as the Chair of the Social Studies Department and is currently a team teacher in the Teacher and Green Academies at ALHS. The Teacher Academy provides hands on experiences for high school students interested in the field of education or careers working with children. Ms. Ziegler worked with colleagues to develop the Green Academy; the first of its kind in San Francisco. The Green Academy admitted its first class of students in the fall of 2009 with a focus on teaching sustainability and providing hands-on training for students interested in careers in the green economy.

Since 2005, Ms. Ziegler has been taking students to Washington, DC, as part of the Close Up Program, to help them learn the responsibilities of citizenship and the joy of travel. During the summer of 2007, Ms. Ziegler served as a Fellow to the House of Representatives for CA-12 (Rep. Lantos), spending a week in DC learning the inner workings of Capitol Hill; in 2010, she served as a Master Teacher for the House Fellows Program. Beginning in 2008 Ms. Ziegler has worked with Stanford University's Departments of Education and History to develop and test curriculum for the "Reading Like a Historian" program; aimed at improving literacy through historical thinking.

Ms. Ziegler has used the Teacher of the Year status to meet with and to learn from other teachers across the state. She hopes to bring these best practices back to the students of San Francisco. Critical thinking skills, relevancy in the curriculum and teaching through simulations are a foundation of Ms. Ziegler's teaching philosophy.

    * Click here to view a list of curricula, lessons, and educational resources that Ms. Ziegler recommends. (PDF)
    * Click here to view a list of professional development programs that Ms. Ziegler recommends. (PDF)

If you would like to contact Ms. Valerie Ziegler, email her at Zieglerv@sfusd.edu