The Helpful Honda Guys Celebrate Teachers During Teacher Appreciation Week


Teacher Appreciation Week was held during the week of May 5-9th.  I had my daughter bring some flowers and a card as a little token for our thanks! Both her reading teacher and First grade teacher have done a wonderful job in teaching her basic math and reading skills.  What an amazing job they have – to help mold little minds!  I appreciate the hard work teachers do and I love that Honda, specifically the Honda Guys in Blue celebrate and honor outstanding teachers!

The SoCal Honda Dealer’s Helpful Guys in Blue  surprised winning teachers of the 2014 Helpful Honda Teacher Appreciation Awards last week with their personal wishlist of over $25,000 worth of teaching materials, art supplies, iPads and other technology while in their classrooms or during school assemblies to celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week over May 5-9th.

The Helpful Honda Guys kicked off their Helpful Teacher Appreciation Awards by surprising Intensive Special Education Teacher “Mr. Bill” while in his classroom at Pacific Boulevard Elementary in Huntington Park on Tuesday, May 8th captured here on VIDEO:

Winners of the 2014 Helpful Honda Teacher Appreciation Awards included:



Bill Mitchell “Mr. Bill” A Severe Pre-School Intensive Special Education Teacher, Pacific Boulevard Elementary, Huntington Park

Mr. Bill is the most influential educator at Pacific Blvd. School, as the advocate for full integration of special education students into the general student population.  He provides parents with hands-on training to support the social and emotional development of their children with disabilities and teaches general educated kids about the kids in wheelchairs, making their disabilities a teaching point.  Mr. Bill also uses his own money to build and create resources for his students, and volunteers his time to lead and support nearly every school event ­ from food drives and student assemblies,
to the attendance fair and graduation ceremony ­ and even launched a fundraiser to makeover the teacher lounge.  He is the self-appointed welcoming committee at Pacific Blvd, and makes sure that every new student,teacher, guest, and parent feels welcomed.  Mr. Bill still finds time to actively participate on the School Site Council, support afterschool student
enrichment programs, and chair the social committee of the annual ChristmasParty.

Above: The Helpful Honda Guys presented Bill Mitchell with deserving teaching materials for his special education classroom on May 6th with LAUSD School Board Member Mr. Bennett Kayser who also presented a proclamation on behalf of the LAUSD School Board




Lorena Carbajal // Kindergarten Teacher, Dolores Street Elementary School, Carson.  

As a former Dolores Street student, Mrs.. Carbajal’s dedication to the school spans over decades. She is integral to raising funds for PTA and the student body, and works with many grade levels as a Kindergarten teacher to build connections between students and the school with a focus on cultural integration. Mrs. Carbajal often spends her own money to buy classroom essentials and volunteers her own personal technology and resources, including fully staffing and purchasing toys for the schools,  Santa’s Secret Shop, Easter Gift Shop, Valentine’s Day event and more to give students an inexpensive way to give gifts to loved ones. She celebrates students’ cultural diversity by hosting cultural celebrations for her classes and others, and incorporates art and music into her curriculum to go above and beyond.   On evenings and Saturdays, using her own vehicle, she solicits and
picks up corporate donations for the school.   Outside of school hours, Mrs. Carbajal tirelessly volunteers her time as a faculty representative and treasurer on the PTA, collects recyclables to raise funds for the school, cooks and serves food at all school night events  including Engineering night, Mariachi night and Read Across America Day, and also serves the children as a member of the School Site Council.

Above: Winning teacher Lorena Carbajal receives her wishlist of iPads and learning rug for her kindergarten classroom from Helpful Honda with the help
of Principal Carolyn Battle on Tuesday, May 6th.



Laura Castrejon // 4th Grade GATE teacher, Alexander J. Stoddard Elementary, Anaheim.

As a winner of Teacher of the Year at her school and district, it is obvious 4th Grade GATE Teacher, Mrs. Castrejon is very special.  She brought the “Stand Up to Bullying” national movement to her school which is now imposed district-wide, and organizes and leads “No Name Calling Week” every year. Her impactful teaching style is based around Service Learning, incorporating art and community services into education. With a background in art, she teaches her students to create elaborate origami cranes, which they then sell for proceeds to donate to CHOC, and her classes have mailed 1,000 cranes to the Sadako Sasaki peace memorial in Hiroshima, along with creating an exciting “Trash Art” auction event for the school. Mrs. Castrejon also started the annual Heifer International “Read to Feed” fundraiser at her school to help feed millions of families around the world and inspire the children to build a better world.  She volunteers her personal time around the clock outside of the classroom, leads the 4th grade team in the district literature competition “Clue Me In” and organizes and leads the Art-English Language Arts Integration project “Attacking the Masters”.

Above: 4th, 5th and 6th graders gathered for a surprise outdoor assembly at Alexander J. Stoddard Elementary to honor winning Helpful Honda Award Teacher Laura Castrejon on Wednesday, May 7th



Lynette Ryan // AP Environmental Studies, Forensics and Community Arts and Sciences liaison,  Valley Academy of Arts and Sciences, Granada Hills


Ms. Ryan created the Science program for the school’s Public School Choice 2.0 plan to help win the school’s inception 3 years ago. She single-handedly developed the school’s most-demanded science elective program, and volunteered 40-hours a week for a year before being hired by LAUSD to write and win grants for school-wide programs and more.  Kids love Ms. Ryan’s
classes because she shares the beauty of science in exciting ways, and finds ways to merge ecology and art -including CSI style labs with fingerprint dusting; mixing vegetable and other chemicals to make bio fuel; and even partnering with local clean-up groups such as Ballona Wetlands to pick up litter which is then turned into structures for art education. Most recently, Ms. Ryan coached the school’s Aspen Challenge Team in a competition that focuses students on identifying and solving community Social issues. She and her students decided to work on the Public Health
Challenge, and in just seven short weeks, Ms. Ryan and her students planned and facilitated a community dinner focusing on healthy cooking presentations for working parents; hosted the “Million Calorie Burn” event on the school’s campus; hosted a spring break garden planting with small children; facilitated a “Healthy Kids Day” at Casa Esperanza Community Center;
initiated work on a mobile app that would help community members count calories; partnered with Food Forward (a non-profit harvesting group) to harvest citrus fruit in the San Fernando Valley to pick about a 1000lbs of food for Esperanza Community Center, and more. Needless to say, Ms. Ryan and her team won the LAUSD competition and will be representing the district at
the Aspen Ideas Festival in Aspen, Colorado this summer.

Above: Helpful Honda Guys surprised Lynette Ryan while teaching Forensics with over $5,000 in science supplies with Principal Debra Mcintyre-Sciarrino and Instructional Specialist Kelly Hanock and other community members.



John Hinkleman // AP US History Teacher and Cross Country Coach, San Bernardino High School, San Bernardino.

“He brings us hope” is how Mr. Hinkleman has been described by both current and past students.  The area where SBHS is located is low-income, high unemployment, and gang-plagued.  Yet, Mr. Hinkleman finds way to give his students hope for a brighter future.  He is a lead teacher in the Linked Learning program, and has created innovative ways for students to learn,
like his “Hinkleball” game used to help students prep for tests.  Mr. Hinkleman is also responsible for bringing back the Block S club, which fosters citizenship and leadership in athletes by encouraging community and role model activities such as feeding the homeless and tutoring which inspires the school populous.  Hinkleman co-created a 1,000 person Annual
Teacher Talent Show for current and graduated students, which humanizes teachers and raises funds for AVID to help kids go to college for the first time in their families.  His efforts also extend beyond high school ­ he leads the Law & Society Academy which focuses students on careers after high school in law, politics, and social work, and encourages graduates to come
back and mentor current students.  Even will all these roles, this Superman still finds time to coach cross country, track, and girls’ soccer.

Above: The Helpful Honda Guys surprised teacher John Hinkleman on Thursday, May 8th with a $5,000 Field Trip Fund and more at San Bernardino High
School¹s Annual Talent Show which Mr. Hinkleman co-created to raise funds or Cross Country & AVID to help kids go to college for the first time in their families

Celebrating teachers is one of many ways the Helpful Guys in Blue are giving back to those who are making a difference. The Helpful Guys in Blue awarded a teacher each day over Teacher Appreciation Week and residents can view Helpful Honda¹s Teacher Appreciation Winner videos on

Learn more about the Helpful Honda Guys and where they will be helping out next in your community at

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