Teacher of the Year announced

Howard Alcosser was awarded the title for the third time in his last year at DBHS.


Brian Chang

Alcosser received a plaque for Teacher of the Year after competing against Denise Mesdjian and Chris Buccola.

Brian Chang, Asst. News Editor

Hailed as the architect of Diamond Bar High School’s AP Calculus program, veteran teacher Howard Alcosser has become well-known on campus. In his final year at DBHS, he was selected as the school’s 2015 Teacher of the Year by his colleagues for the third time, an unprecedented achievement.

Alcosser was nominated by math teachers for the title, along with Humanities teacher Chris Buccola and English teacher Denise Mesdjian. Alcosser was voted as overall Teacher of the Year by his coworkers during the Staff Appreciation Luncheon hosted by the Magnificent 7, a group of parent associations.

“It is a great honor, especially since there are so many awesome teachers at DBHS,”Alcosser said via e-mail.

Named as “Best in the World” in 2005 and “Best in the Nation” in 2007 by the College Board, Diamond Bar’s mathematics department is top-notch, thanks largely in part to Alcosser’s hard work. Alcosser is the advisor for the school’s Math Team and also hosts an annual event during which DBHS alumni give advice to current Calculus students about college.

“I think [my greatest accomplishment has been] being in on the beginning of building a successful AP Calculus program that has grown into one of the premier AP Calculus programs in the country,” Alcosser said.

As a College Board Endorsed Consultant, Alcosser has led Calculus workshops around the country, and has presented at AP Annual Conferences in Washington, D.C. In 2006, the College Board named him as one of 20 Exemplary AP Teachers in the Western Region.

Alcosser has been with the school since its opening in 1982 when it was a small, new school created to accommodate the large influx of students enrolling at Walnut High School.

“The majority of the changes have been due to the number of students. The population more than doubled, which means more buildings and more teachers,” Alcosser said. “I feel very lucky to have
[seen these changes].”

He is proud of what he has been able to accomplish in his 33-year career at the school and has high hopes for his successors. While this is his last year teaching, Alcosser said he wants to continue teaching Calculus to students around the country by visiting other schools.

“I’m the kind of person who is always trying to improve myself – but I have to say that when I look at the AP Calculus program here and the teachers that will continue the program — I’m happy,” Alcosser said.