23-24 Certificated Employee of the Year

Pam Brittenburg Named Eureka City Schools 2023-2024 Certificated Employee of the Year
Posted on 05/15/2024

May 15, 2024 - Eureka, CA - Eureka City Schools (ECS) is pleased to announce that Pam Brittenburg, teacher of English Language Development (ELD) at Alice Birney, has been named the District’s Certificated Employee of the Year for the 2023-2024 school year.

Brittenburg stood out among seven exceptional teachers nominated districtwide for this prestigious award. One nominee is chosen from each school site for the award and is also recognized as that school’s Teacher of the Year. The nominees included Jason Hineline of Grant Elementary, Harmony Pelren from Lafayette Elementary, Andrew Dehart of Washington Elementary, Beverly Racanac of Winship Middle School, Kayla Rogers of Zane Middle School, and Brenda Smith from Eureka High. These amazing educators were celebrated at the ECS Board of Education Employee Recognition Ceremony on May 2, 2024.Principal Sobilo and Pam Brittenburg

Alice Birney Principal Kristin Sobilo nominated Brittenburg for her exceptional teaching abilities, leadership skills, outstanding community engagement, and hard work in building both a site and district-level EL (English Learner) program that accelerates learning for emergent bilinguals. 

Brittenburg is an active member of the school community and is dedicated to improving the EL program to support EL students and families. Her contributions have undoubtedly made significant impacts and positive changes to the EL program. 

“When we were seeing a lack of progress in our EL students in second grade, she designed a targeted reading group with our bilingual technician and UFLI (A phonics program developed by the University of Florida Literacy Institute). She is brilliant about language acquisition, and she is willing to put the research into practice,” said Sobilo. 

Brittenburg is an avid reader of EL research and often networks with EL experts around the state to deepen her knowledge and understanding of the acquisition of a second language. She is a second-language learner and speaks Spanish fluently.

Her efforts in working with outside partners have provided valuable field trip opportunities for EL students, focusing on oral language development and enhancing their overall learning experience. She also spearheaded a yearlong series of field trips for Alice Birney’s ELAC (English Learner Advisory Committee) families and a partnership with Arcata Playhouse.  

“Through her efforts, she has fostered a true sense of community and belonging among our ELAC members. As a result of her dedication and collaboration with our entire EL team, our ELAC has grown to a strong 25-member group, making a significant impact on our school community,” added Sobilo. 

Over the last two years, Brittenburg has also led our district as the EL TOSA (Teacher on Special Assignment). She trains new EL teachers in the Systematic ELD program and collaborates with and supports EL teachers throughout the year. She also collaborates with teachers to streamline the CAASPP (California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress) accommodations for students needing support. This year the district hosted its third annual RFEP (Reclassified Fluent English Proficient) ceremony, which was led by Brittenburg. Plus, she recently worked with the district team on the Alternate RFEP criteria.

She works the dismissal gate at Alice Birney with a secure, safe, and efficient dismissal process. She attends IEP, SST, and parent conferences to collaborate with teachers and parents on student success.

“Pam is such a team player,” shared ELD teacher Amber Thompson.  

Brittenburg's commitment to the growth and success of Eureka City Schools' students and staff alike is evident and commendable. Congratulations to Pam Brittenburg!


Press Contact:

Sierra Speer Dillon

Communications and Marketing Coordinator

Eureka City Schools

[email protected]