Pandemic Teaching

This award recognizes outstanding teaching during difficult times

Check out the winners!

20 teachers were selected from the over 200 teachers who were nominated

Congratulations to the Winners of the OPT Award!

About the OPTs


The OPT Awards

CSUN faculty and alumnae have put together these awards to honor the excellent work of many of our best educators.

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Our Criteria

The OPT award focuses on two main criteria for outstanding teachers

Our Team

The team that developed the OPT Awards and will review submissions.


Brian Foley

CSUN Professor, Educational Technology Masters Program (EdTechMA) Coordinator

Jake Chipps

CSUN Adjunct Faculy and High School Teacher and EdTechMA Alum

Jenn Wolfe

CSUN Assistant Professor

Bryant Cooper

High School Teacher, CSUN Teacher in Residence and EdTechMA Alum

Cat Gaspard

CSUN Associate Professor

Joshua Einhorn

Grants Officer, Michael D. Eisner College of Education

Alicia Ruvalcaba

Pathways in Education Teacher and and EdTechMA Alum

George Reyes

Magnet Coordinator at the Laurel Cinematic Arts and Creative Technologies Magnet and EdTechMA Alum

Erica Angelo

Compass Charter Teacher and EdTechMA Alum.

Maria Yniguez

Coordinator, Chandler Elementary School

Chris McLemore

CSUN Adjunct Faculty, Middle School Teacher and EdTechMA alum

Ariana Gomez

Elementary School Teacher, Muay Thai fighter, and EdTechMA Alum

Presenting the OPT Awards

Congratualtions to the 20 winners of the OPT Award and 24 Honorable Mention teachers


Teachers Deserving Honorable Mention

Sydney Snyder

CHIME Charter

Akiko Arevalo

Marquez Charter School

Monica Sada

Camellia Avenue Elementary School

Genecis Suarez Gaona

Multicultural Learning Center

Yisel Meza

Chandler Elementary

Ailette Bright

Burbank Boulevard Elementary

Jaime Choi

Chandler Elementary

Claudia Corbera

Sylvan Park Elementary

Lisa Martinez

Porter Ranch Community School

Nancy Madrid

Vinedale College Preparatory Academy

Debra Meltzer

Hoover St. Elementary School

Garry Joseph

The Alta Vista School

Julie Shute

Porter Ranch Community School

Erin Sopapunta

Francis Polytechnic High School

Stacy Angela Medina

Canoga Park High School

Stacy Angela Medina

Canoga Park High School

Joy Apostal

Linda Marquez High School

Dayanara Byrne

Francis Polytechnic High School

Gabriela Mancilla-Angulo

Maywood Center for Enriched Studies

Michael Ng

King/Drew Medical Magnet

Michael Dang

Southeast MS DREAMS Magnet

Melanie Ronning

Madison Middle School

Susan Hollenbaugh

Granada Hills Charter High School

Congratulations on your Excellent Teaching During the Pandemic!

Nominating a Teacher for OPT


Do you know an outstanding pandemic teacher?

Teachers can self-nominate or be nominated by students, parents, administrators or other teachers are welcome to nominate them. To nominate a teacher, simply submit their name, school and email on the form linked below.

  • Nominations are now closed. Thank you to everyone who participated.
  • Go to the Nomination form
  • We contact nominees and invite them to submit an application.
  • Submissions need to be complete by May 27.

Submitting Documentation


Submission is Easy

Teachers can submit their information by filling out the application form. Just tell us about your teaching during the pandemic.

  • Go to the Application form (copy link)
  • Complete the form with information about your instruction.
  • Include screen shots, examples of assignments or student work.
  • Please remove any text or images that identify students.
  • Share the document with us (learningnet@csun.edu) to submit your application by May 27th (deadline extended).

Frequently Ask Questions

What is the deadline for submitting for the OPT

All submissions must be in by May 27, 2020, 11:59pm (deadline extended).

What teachers are eligible for this award?

All Los Angeles area teachers who teach grades K-12 are eligible; this includes teachers at public, private, and charter schools.

Do you need to be in Los Angeles to apply?

The focus of this award are the teachers in the Los Angeles area. But we encourage great teaching anywhere. We will consider submissions from other areas.

What can teachers win?

Winning teachers will recieve a certificate as well as a $50 gift cards donated by Target (we are open to further donations!)

How will submissions be evaluated?

The general criteria for evaluating submissions is posted above.criteria.

Are CSUN students eligible?

Any teachers are able to apply except for anyone on or related to the evaluation team. Student teachers could submit with their mentors as a team.

Will the winning teachers share their secrets?

One of our goals of doing this is to identify the experts amoung us. It will be up to the winners to decided what to share, but we will encourage them and provide a platform for sharing their great work.

Do teachers need to complete all parts of the submission form?

No. Great teaching comes in many different types. We created the form to provide opportunities for teachers to share the good work they are doing. But not every teacher will be doing all the things mentioned on the form.

More Questions?

Ask us a question and we will post the response.contact us