Excellence in Teaching

Ilona Brewster

Ilona Brewster has been working in adult education since 1998. She started in adult education as a teacher’s aide in the Individualized Instruction Labs at both North Valley Occupational Center and Pacoima Skills Center. She was going to teach English at one of the local high schools in the San Fernando Valley, but a new principal at Pacoima Skills Center offered her a position in an evening I.I. Lab and asked her to try teaching in adult education for at least one year; if she didn’t like it, she could leave. Here we are, in 2017, and she still has not left adult education. Ms. Brewster’s teaching career started at Pacoima Skills Center in 1999. She taught in the academic (I.I. Lab) program and an ESL Beginning Low class. She also taught a credit recovery class at Granada Hills High School until 2001. In 2001, Ilona was offered a full time position at North Valley Occupational Center, in the Learning Lab, and NVOC has been her home ever since.

Ilona has worked in many different capacities in the adult school, which has allowed her the opportunity to become familiar with all of the different programs that the adult schools have to offer. She has worked as an academic teacher in the High School Program, an ESL teacher, GAIN/CalWORKs Advisor, Perkins Advisor, Teacher Advisor, College Transition Advisor and Teacher Advisor. Ilona has made several contributions to the field of adult education.

She spearheaded a pilot program, called IMPACT (IMProving Adult College Transition), for LAUSD’s Division of Adult and Career Education, where she worked closely with the local community colleges to develop college preparation courses/curriculum that were used to help students transition easily into the community college system. Through the program she acquired several grants, one being the Policy to Performance grant, which helped fund the program for two years. As part of this program, she used an Individual Student Plan, which has recently been re-visited and revamped by the Los Angeles Regional Adult Education Consortium (LARAEC). This will help the adult schools and community colleges access and share student records and information.