Outstanding Teacher of the Year

Wendy Umekubo

Wendy Umekubo

Mathematics; Valencia High School; Placentia, CA

Ms. Umekubo has her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mathematics from California State University, Fullerton.  She has been teaching at Valencia High School in Placentia, California for 42 years, and has taught almost every level of mathematics including basic math, general math for newcomers, algebra, geometry, pre-calculus, calculus, trigonometry, business math, and math analysis—all at regular, Honors, and AP levels.  She is also known on campus for leading huge flash mob celebratory dances at campus events.  When interviewed, Ms. Umekubo said, “When I decided to go into teaching, 42 or so years ago, I sought a job —-one that would be sustainable, satisfying , at which I thought I would be good.  I had no idea that I was entering a very long career that would enable me to touch so many lives in so many ways—beyond the teaching “of the math”.  Auntie Fumi always told me, “Wendy, create memories that your students will always remember—even cherish.” When I realized that  between the equations and the theorems and the algorithms, I could share life skills from my childhood, schooling, and career and not only send off improved math students, but more enlightened people who will support and change the world—-it was overwhelming, exciting, and invigorating.  Much of this knowledge came from the formers who would visit or call and/or eventually email me of their current doings and afterthoughts. This award has sent me that message….that I did even more than planned back in 1981 and I feel blessed and satisfied that I have done “my duty” and there are so many who acknowledged it well enough to support this prestigious award.”

-Published 2022

Carlston Family Foundation is now Above & Beyond Teaching