President Barack Obama is honoring Rebecca Mieliwocki (Mil-WAU-kee) as the 2012 National Teacher of the Year.
Mieliwocki is a seventh-grade English teacher in suburban Los Angeles. During a White House ceremony, Obama said Mieliwocki maintains "big expectations" for her 7th grade class but remembers that "school should be fun."
Mieliwocki is known for inspiring and motivating students, often using the Socratic method of questioning to stimulate students' critical thinking and create dynamic lessons.
The president noted that the Burbank, Calif., teacher hosts family nights, sends out weekly memos to parents and maintains a Facebook page for her class.
Obama and Mieliwocki were joined in the East Room by winners of state teacher of the year awards.