Rutigliano named California IB Teacher of the Year

On a day like any other, IB English and Theory of Knowledge (ToK) teacher Justine Rutigliano woke up, ate an oatmeal breakfast, and became the California IB teacher of the year.

After a secret nomination by IB Coordinator Lisa McCahon, Rutigliano was selected from all nominated IB educators in California for the dedication and passion she shows for her students and profession.

“I can’t tell you how nice it is to be recognized,” Rutigliano said. “This job is so funny because–this is my 16th year [teaching]–and you go through and work all these weekends and hours and summers and it’s just amazing how people just don’t get recognized all that often.”

Rutigliano has been teaching IB English for 10 years and has been at Sequoia for 5 years. This year, she teaches IB English Y2 HL and ToK.

“The vibe here–the love and the support and the congeniality, I don’t think that’s extremely common,” Rutigliano said of the Sequoia community.

Rutigliano was be presented a plaque, $1000 and registration and hotel accommodations at the spring California Association of IB World Schools (CAWS) conference in San Diego.

“Honestly, I have never known a teacher as dedicated and passionate about IB and their students as Justine,” McCahon said. “Justine lives and breathes IB…she holds high expectations for all students and welcomes all student perspectives and voices into the class discussion.”

Rutigliano looks forward many more years of teaching and being part of the Sequoia community.

“That was the most touching thing I think I’ve ever gotten,” Rutigliano said. “I was so surprised and incredibly flattered and humbled. To think that my colleagues, who I adore and look up to for my own inspiration and just hearing the kind words they had to say was just extremely humbling. There were definitely a couple days of disbelief. I’m just so grateful.”