Rancho Mirage High School Math Teacher Named Final 2024 Riverside County Teacher of the Year

Math Teacher Named Final RivCo Teacher of Year

Marie Stevenson

RANCHO MIRAGE – Rancho Mirage High School math teacher, Marie Stevenson agreed to volunteer as a judge for a lip sync battle in a colleague’s Friday morning dance class. Upon entering the gymnasium, Ms. Stevenson discovered that the stage belonged to her as Riverside County Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Edwin Gomez, and more than 100 students, and Palm Springs Unified School District colleagues, were all gathered to see her named as a 2024 Riverside County Teacher of the Year.

“Ms. Stevenson’s colleagues describe her as the lens that others look through to understand more of themselves,” said Riverside County Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Edwin Gomez, as he presented Ms. Stevenson with her award. “She builds relationships with others, and she makes connections to the real world for her students.

Stevenson will join James Waedekin from Banning Unified School District, Lindsay Hill from Beaumont Unified School District, and Lorena Morales from Alvord Unified School District, in representing Riverside County in the 2024 California State Teacher of the Year competition later this year.

“This is pretty awesome. But, really, I do it for you. You guys are the reason,” Stevenson said to the bleachers full of students immediately after receiving her award.”

About Marie Stevenson

Stevenson is a 16-year veteran of teaching mathematics to students from 8th grade through high school. An unyielding desire to help students feel like they can “do math” without fear drives her instructional methodology. This approach to curbing “math anxiety” emanates from her own experiences as the confused student who was afraid to participate in math class—even though she enjoyed the subject. As a result, she intentionally creates “low-pressure environments where mistakes are expected and valued, and creativity is lauded” as she wrote in her application.

Around campus, Ms. Stevenson serves in leadership roles as a department head and curriculum representative for the district and welcomes guests into her model observation classroom. She introduces math ideas as videos on her YouTube channel, encourages fellow math teachers to embolden students to take higher level math, and intentionally integrates mental health and community-building techniques into her classroom routines and practices.

After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB), Ms. Stevenson earned her teaching credential from CSUSB’s Palm Desert Campus. She completed a master’s degree in education media design and technology from Full Sail University and is currently enrolled at CSUSB for a master’s degree in mathematics.

All four teachers of the year will represent Riverside County in the 2024 California Teacher of the Year competition where at least one Riverside County teacher has been selected as a California Teacher of the Year in eight of the last ten years:

  • 2022 – Nichi Aviña, Cielo Vista Charter School, Palm Springs USD
  • 2021 – Keisa Brown, University Heights Middle School, Riverside USD, and Allison Cyr, Lyndon B. Johnson Elementary School, Desert Sands USD
  • 2020 – Brenda Chavez-Barreras, Good Hope Elementary School, Perris ESD
  • 2019 – Dr. Angel Mejico, El Cerrito Middle School, Corona-Norco USD
  • 2018 – Dr. Brian McDaniel, Painted Hills Middle School, Palm Springs USD
  • 2017 – Shaun Bunn, Ethan A. Chase Middle School, Romoland School District
  • 2016 – Michelle Cherland, Carrillo Ranch Elementary School, Desert Sands USD
  • 2014 – Jessica Pack, James Workman Middle School, Palm Springs USD

The Riverside County Teachers of the Year are selected from nearly 20,000 educators in the county. The rigorous application process requires candidates to spend time reflecting on, and carefully defining, their teaching philosophy. The county teachers of the year are selected on the basis of nominations by teachers, principals, and school district administrators throughout the county. Applications are then submitted to the Riverside County Office of Education, where a selection committee reviews the applications on each district candidate and selects semi-finalists. The selection committee then conducts interviews and site visits to select the final four candidates before the county superintendent announces the Riverside County Teachers of the Year.


Image Sources

  • Marie with district board county: PSUSD