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California Teacher Named 2012 National Teacher of the Year

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Rebecca Mieliwocki, a 7th grade English teacher in California, was named the 62nd National Teacher of the Year this morning.

According to a press release from the Council of Chief State School Officers, which sponsors the annual award, Mieliwocki is a 14-year veteran teacher has been in her current position at Luther Burbank Middle School in Burbank, Calif., for nine years. She has a bachelor of arts in speech communication from California Polytechnic State University and teaching credentials in secondary English from California State University Northridge. Mieliwocki's parents were both teachers.

CBS received an exclusive interview with Mieliwocki, in which she says that increased leadership opportunities—rather than just higher pay—is the best reward for good teachers. You can see the full clip here.

We're still waiting on more information about Mieliwocki. As of now, CCSSO has not publicly released the four NTOY finalists' applications, despite the fact that this has been protocol in years past (no word yet on why the process was less transparent this time around). We're also planning to report on the White House awards ceremony tomorrow, so look for more coverage after that event.

Photo: President Barack Obama presents the 2012 National Teacher of the Year award to Rebecca Mieliwocki, who teaches at Luther Burbank Middle School in Burbank, Calif., during a ceremony in the East Room at the White House in Washington. (Charles Dharapak/AP)

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