December 13, 2023
Dominguez High School AP English and Drama teacher Catherine Borek was recently awarded the 2023 Carlston Outstanding Teachers of America Award, presented by Above & Beyond. She was presented the award at the Compton Unified School District Board Meeting last night by Above & Beyond Executive Director Beverly L. Young.
The Carlston Outstanding Teachers of America Awards are given annually to exceptional California public high school teachers, nominated by former students who believe their teachers had a life-changing and positive impact on them. Borek was nominated by former student Bobby Jones, who after college played basketball professionally in the NBA and in Italy.
Borek was one of four teachers in California given the award, out of hundreds of nominations throughout the state. She received the award initially at Above & Beyond’s 21st Annual Outstanding Teachers of America Awards ceremony on November 11 in Mill Valley, California. She also received a check for $10,000.
“Thank you for what your organization does to respect teachers,” Borek said to Above & Beyond’s Young. “Every teacher in this room knows how important respect is and feeling like we are honored, because this is a hard job. And when we feel respected, it means a lot to us.”
CUSD Board President Denzell Perry, a Dominguez High School graduate and former Borek student, added: “I just want to say congratulations, you’re amazing educator. As someone who got to walk the halls of Dominguez High School, I know the impact that you make on that campus and to those students, because you did that in my life, as well.”
In 2022, Borek was named California Teacher of the Year, with four others, after being named Compton Unified School District’s Teacher of the Year and one of LA County Office of Education’s Teachers of the Year.
Borek started teaching at Dominguez High School in 1996 with the Teach for America program. She taught 9th grade English, loved it, and realized this was her home.
A passionate life-long learner, Borek earned a Master’s in English Literature from CSULA. In her time at Dominguez, Borek and her students have completed the LA Marathon, collaborated with the LA Opera to perform mini-operas, made it to the Poetry Out Loud regionals, starred in a Keurig commercial, published a play with Pen in the Community, and started a rugby club.
Above & Beyond is a public charity dedicated to equitable educational opportunities for all students. Above & Beyond Teaching celebrates and supports outstanding and inspirational California public high school teachers, especially those working in underserved school communities.