RivCo Animatronics Teacher Hailed County ‘Teacher Of The Year’

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Harvest Hill STEAM Academy teacher Misty McBee was named the 2025 Riverside County Teacher of the Year

MENIFEE, CA — Harvest Hill STEAM Academy teacher Misty McBee was named the 2025 Riverside County Teacher of the Year, Menifee Union School District announced Friday.

According to the district, the animatronics teacher is the first from that district to receive the honor and the first animatronics teacher to be awarded that distinction.

“This prestigious recognition marks a historic milestone,” Dr. Edwin Gomez, Riverside County Superintendent of Schools, said. He visited McBee’s classroom to personally deliver the news, and praised her for her innovative approach to education and her significant contributions to student learning and school culture.

Harvest Hill STEAM Academy teacher Misty McBee was named the 2025 Riverside County Teacher of the Year, (Menifee Union School District Photo)

“Misty is known by all for her striving to ensure all students receive the best learning opportunities possible through engaging curriculum and instructional strategies. She has created an animatronics course for students that prepares them for high school Career Technical Education courses and diverse career opportunities. Her classroom is one where students are motivated and engaged as they learn critical thinking and problem-solving skills in project-based learning modules.

Board Trustee Jackie Johansen highlighted that the enthusiasm in McBee’s classroom serves as a prime example and model for student engagement.

“The Riverside County Teacher of the Year award is a highly competitive honor, selected from nearly 20,000 educators,” the district said. “Candidates undergo a rigorous application process that includes nominations by peers and administrators, application reviews, interviews, and site visits by a selection committee. The final four candidates are chosen before the county superintendent announces the winners.

“This is the third year in a row that the Menifee Union School District has produced a county-level educator of the year. “

“Mrs. Tara Surguine was selected as the Riverside County Confidential Employee of the Year
in 2022. Then, in 2023, Principal Daphne Donoho from Táawila Elementary School was selected as the Riverside County Principal of the Year.

“The Menifee Union School District congratulates Misty McBee on this exceptional achievement and is honored to have such a dedicated and innovative educator represent the district.”

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