Servant Leaders in Action: Education

Orange County Teacher of the Year


Lorri Varela (M.Ed. '02) has been teaching second grade in the Ladera Palma School in La Habra, CA since 1990. Throughout her career, Varela has focused on working with students who have difficulty speaking English. Varela was selected as the La Habra City School District Teacher of the Year and also the Orange County Teacher of the Year for 2005.

Not only did the Master of Education program train Varela to be a better teacher, but it also showed her how important it is to have Christian teachers in the public school system. In her own words, "there are so many students that may never hear God's word or be witnessed to anywhere other than in my classroom." At Hope she was encouraged to be the salt and light in her school community and to be a Godly example to her students. When she was twice chosen to be Teacher of the Year, she prayed that God would receive the glory through her awards. "In every speech and essay, I tried to express all that God has done in my life to make me the teacher I am today. I am very grateful to Hope for their part in training me as a servant in education."