PTA Teachers – Making A Difference Program

The PTA Teachers – Making a Difference program is designed to showcase and publicize the outstanding dedication and support of teachers for PTA.

To recognize the special contributions of teachers at your school to PTA, California State PTA will select and feature their stories in our publications and on our website.

Nominations can be made throughout the year. Every nominated teacher will receive a letter of appreciation and a certificate. One teacher's name will be drawn monthly for special recognition, a free registration to the next California State PTA Annual Convention to be held May 7-10, 2014 in Los Angeles.

In addition, thanks to our sponsor, iFocus featuring Jungle Rangers, each month's featured teacher will receive a $75 gift card for school supplies.

This Month's Featured Teacher

Julie Saxena

Nominated by Herbert Hoover Elementary PTA
Palo Alto Council, Sixth District PTA

"Miss Julie has been an active PTA member for many years! She is a wonderful teacher, and has made a huge difference in my child's life! He started the first grade barely speaking English and having difficulty to read due to dyslexia. Six months later, he started reading small chapter books. When he is faced with difficulty he repeats Miss Julie's words: "We push and push and never give up!" That is one of the most amazing gifts a teacher can give a child - the love of reading and the will to never give up! I nominate her because I believe that she is the best teacher my children had in their lives. She is also very influential at Hoover Elementary, and her being at the conference will make the most difference for many kids beyond her classroom."

Last Month's Featured Teacher

Deanna Byrne

Nominated by Ernest Righetti High PTSA
Santa Maria Valley Council, Fifteenth District PTA

"Mrs. Byrne isn't like all of the other teachers at my school. She looks at each of her students individually and pushes them to do their best and soak in every second of learning that she has to offer. I am a sophomore at Righetti High School. Mrs. Byrne is my honors English teacher; however, she also teaches regular English for tenth graders. On the first day of school, she told us not to worry about our letter grade; instead, she told us to focus on the learning aspect and only the learning aspect of her class and the grade that we aim for will follow. Last year, as a freshman, I took the PSAT just to get a feel of where I was. I took the test again this year and English went from my lowest to my highest score. I owe this improvement to Mrs. Byrne and I believe she deserves recognition for the work and effort that she puts into her job and students."

To view the Honor Roll of all teacher honorees, click here.

Do you have a teacher you'd like to honor?

Apply online at PTA Teachers-Making A Difference Application [en español]

Recognition and Prizes

Teachers who are nominated will receive:

  • Certificate of nomination
  • Recognition on an Honor Roll banner at the California State PTA convention
  • Opportunity for selection of their stories to be featured in California State PTA publications and on our website

Application Tips

Tell us about a teacher at your school and how their dedication and support for PTA makes them special by completing the application online. Honorees for this award should be:

  • A PTA/PTSA member
  • Credentialed teacher at a PTA school in California

If you have questions or need more information, please contact:

California State PTA is pleased to acknowledge iFocus with Jungle Rangers as a sponsor of the PTA Teachers – Making a Difference program. The iFocus system features Jungle Rangers, an award-winning attention-training game that helps children ages 6 to 12 learn to focus while having fun. Learn more at