The Mountain View Los-Altos Union High School District named Michael Moul teacher of the year last week for his role as an outstanding teacher, leader, and advisor at Los Altos High School. Moul will be honored at the county-wide Teacher of the Year celebration in October.
Moul has taught English at Los Altos High School for nine years, but his role at the school goes well beyond the English department. He's also a staff advisor for the award-winning student newspaper, the Talon.
As the advisor, Moul gives a fair and helpful critique of the news stories in every issue, according to Zoe Morgan, editor-in-chief at the Talon this year. She said Moul helps facilitate the process, but has a hands-off approach that lets the students run their own newspaper.
Moul also takes time out of each year to explain journalism ethics and First Amendment rights. Morgan said he starts each year by going through the law and landmark court cases that gives high school newspapers some of the strongest free speech rights.
Beyond the school newspaper, Moul has taken up a number of leadership roles on the campus. Los Altos Principal Wynne Satterwhite said Moul is the co-chair of the leadership team of staff and administrators, as well as the English department program coordinator. He also participates in the Homework Club, Skills Team, Camp Diversity, and is a last minute fill-in for whatever the school needs, according to a district press release.
"He's a calm, thoughtful presence on campus, and he's an emerging force as a leader on campus," Satterwhite said.
Moul graduated from Santa Clara University with a degree in English and theatre arts. He teaches world literature and AP English language at Los Altos High School, according to the press release.
Every year, school districts in the county choose one teacher for the Teacher of the Year award. The high school district rotates between schools, and this year Los Altos High School teachers nominated prospective teachers to be voted on by the entire school staff.