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A San Diego history teacher has been selected as one of four finalists for National Teacher of the Year, a prestigious award that includes a ceremony with President Barack Obama in Washington, D.C.

Kelly Kovacic, who teaches history and government at the Preuss School, was earlier picked as one of just five California Teachers of the Year. She now advances to the national competition. Preuss, a charter school located on the University of California, San Diego campus, aims to provide a college preparatory education for disadvantaged children and regularly ranks high in the U.S. News and World Report list of schools.

State Superintendent Jack O’Connell sent out a press release congratulating Kovacic on her accomplishment:

Ms. Kovacic’s passion for teaching makes her a natural educator. During her relatively eight short years in the classroom, she has made a tremendous impact on the lives of her students. Kelly has an innate ability to transcend the boundaries of her students’ world and provide them with the education, encouragement, and resolve to overcome hurdles and realize their own potential.

— EMILY ALPERT

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