Drama instructor Mark Dressler was named Teacher of the Year for 2010-11, and honored recently at the annual Laguna Beach Unified School District Welcome Back breakfast. Dressler teaches at Thurston Middle School and Laguna Beach High School,
Dressler has directed young theater students at Laguna's schools since 1990, and he and his team have won numerous awards for their performances of musicals such as "Beauty and the Beast," "Bye Bye Birdie," "Fiddler on the Roof" and "Oklahoma."
He was also selected as an Orange County Department of Education 2010-11 Teacher of the Year semi-finalist.
Although many of his students have gone on to have successful careers in acting or filmmaking, Dresser said what he values most is how students in other areas of study benefit from their performing arts background.
"In my program, students learn to work as a group, listen to others and take direction, take chances and practice their individual skills," he said. "This helps them to be successful in whatever career they choose down the road."