Janet Steinmetz Named Brea Olinda Unified School District Teacher of the Year

Brea Olinda High School students and staff joined the executive cabinet of Brea Olinda Unified School District (BOUSD) on Feb. 20 to recognize Mrs. Janet Steinmetz as the 2024 BOUSD Teacher of the Year. The confidential nomination statements from Steinmetz’s peers revealed a common theme that celebrated Steinmetz as one of the most supportive and caring teachers at Brea Olinda High School. 

“Janet is the person who comes to mind when I think of an outstanding educator. She is enthusiastic about teaching and sharing her love of all things culinary with her students, and her dedication to her students is unparalleled,” said one nominator. 

The District’s Teacher of the Year is selected following nominations for Teacher of the Year at each school site across BOUSD. Steinmetz was among nine teachers across the district who were recognized for demonstrating excellence in their commitment to students, colleagues, and the District. This year’s Teachers of the Year included: Danielle Ackland of Mariposa Elementary, Elise Bowles at Brea Junior High, Wendy Cervantes at Brea Canyon High School, Kristen Delgado at Laurel Elementary Magnet School, Nancy Gonzalez at Arovista Elementary, Michelle Latka at Olinda Elementary, Debbie Lindbo of Brea Country Hills Elementary, and Holly Matles at Falcon Academy of Science & Technology. Steinmetz will advance to be considered for county-wide recognition.  

Steinmetz’s nominations also highlighted her support as the advisor for the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) Club, which goes above and beyond for after-school activities at Brea Olinda High School. Her nominators said that not only does she provide her students with amazing learning opportunities and the opportunity to connect to something on campus, but she teaches her students valuable life skills that they can take with them for the rest of their lives. 

“Her ability to teach and explain cooking skills so that they are not so intimidating to teenagers will make any parent want to nominate Mrs. Steinmetz as a Teacher of the Year,” said another nominator. 

Steinmetz’s teaching philosophy is grounded in a profound love for the subject matter of culinary education and an unwavering respect for every student - regardless of their abilities. Through this philosophy, she believes she is creating an inclusive and supportive environment that not only imparts culinary skills but also nurtures personal, social, and career development.

Seeking transformative learning experiences that extend beyond the classroom, Steinmetz uses creativity and collaboration to help students support one another in a team environment while also inspiring students to use their unique creativity and personal expression in the world of culinary arts. 

“I want my students to be prepared for success in the kitchen and success in all aspects of their lives. I hope to make a lasting impact on my students by fostering a love for culinary arts, leveraging technology for accessibility, promoting teamwork, and embracing creativity,” said Steinmetz.