A long-time teacher at St. Bernard High School in Playa Del Rey was awarded the 2015-2016 Teacher of the Year Eddy Award. 

On May 10, Jennifer Altergott received the honor at the LAX Coastal Chamber of Commerce Eddy Awards held at the LAX Hilton Hotel. Since 1983, the Eddy Award has been given to local teachers demonstrating educational excellence.

“Whenever I pass Mrs. Altergott’s room I witness learning,” said school principal Patrick Lynch. “Hands are raised or heads are buried deep in projects or lab work. Often lively laughter fills the air amid the anxious chatter of students asking questions or working together.”

He added, “Mrs. Altergott brings a positive energy and generous insight to her classes. Our students benefit daily. We are so happy she teaches here.”

Altergott, who teaches lab biology and environmental science, joined the school’s staff in 2010. Altergott received her B.S. in biology from Loyola Marymount University and a M.S. in biology from UCLA. She previously worked as an ecologist for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. 

Altergott was also featured in the documentary “Balancing the Odds” by award-winning filmmaker Varda Bar-Kar. The film explores ways to improve the U.S. gender gap in STEM careers through an innovative curriculum, developed around single-gender science and math classes.