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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California
Southern California

Preschool Teacher is $10,000 Richer After Going the Extra Mile for Her Students

Preschool teacher Veronica Brenes received the $10,000 Knowledge Universe Early Childhood Educator Award.

A preschool teacher at USC’s Child Development Learning Center got a $10,000 surprise of a lifetime.

Veronica Brenes received the Early Childhood Educator Award from Knowledge Universe, a private provider for early childhood education and care Thursday. Brenes has been working at the center for three years and teaches many children of USC staff and students.

“Teachers, colleagues, staff, and even the director had no idea [about surprising Brenes],” Neil Simon, Knowledge Universe Communications Director, said.”

“I was very, very in shock,” said Brenes. “I’ve just always been about children and how they challenge me and how they make me grow as a person and as a teacher.”

Ten awards are distributed throughout the country each year.  Brenes was the only California teacher to receive an award this year—hers was the last award granted in 2014.

Brenes was nominated by Knowledge Universe field managers in the region for her outstanding efforts in teaching. She created an art studio for her students when they showed interest in art projects.

“In the end, Veronica stood out because she took that extra mile,” Simon said. “Ultimately we want people to realize that USC has another gem on campus and that’s its partnership with preschool education.”

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