Deichler wins LMUSD Teacher of the Year

Carly Krauk and Chloe Housley

During the end of the 2019-20 school year, AP Government and AP US History teacher, Philip Deichler, won both the NHS and LMUSD Teacher of the Year awards. Mr. Deichler is known around campus for his outgoing personality as well as his kind heart and his witty humor.

Winning both of these awards took him by surprise.  “I was pleasantly surprised to win the NHS teacher of the year, and very surprised to win the District teacher of the year,”  Deichler said.

Deichler is known to have a close-knit relationship with all his students, and he tries to make things as easy going as possible for everyone around him.

One of his past AP U.S. History students, Bray Knollenberg (Junior), shares that Deichler is “down to earth and he tries his hardest to build connections with all his students. [He’s] one of the most understanding teachers I know.”

Deichler finds delight in teaching. “I take a lot of pride in what I do, and I also take a lot of pride in reflecting on what I’ve done and figuring out how to make it better,” says Deichler. “I’m rarely satisfied with what just happened, and I am constantly searching for ways to improve.”

Not only has Deichler made an impact in NHS academics, he has also worked to spread the importance of mental health, which has touched many students. Some of Deichlers former students, Jadyn Oates and Billy Aguirre (Juniors), agreed that he has a kind and compassionate heart.

 “I hope my students take away a better understanding of the importance of self. This year we focused on social studies, as usual, but we also focused on social-emotional learning and mental health, and I hope something stuck,” Deichler says.

Nipomo High School Principal John Denno also praised Deichler and applauded his awards. “He is always on the cutting edge,” Mr. John Denno commented. “He is never going to remain comfortable, he is always going to do what’s best for kids. Nipomo High School is blessed to have P.J. Deichler as part of this staff.”

English teacher Nathan Shields, who also won LMUSD Teacher of the Year previously, was also happy that Deichler had earned both of these awards. “He’s a ROCK STAR! Everyone knows how good he is in his own classroom with his students. But he also does so much on campus in an effort to improve everything that is going on at NHS. Everyone knows his involvement in athletics and the Gaming Club. But most students probably don’t know how many years he’s worked as part of the school’s Leadership Team, and how much time he has spent working with rookie teachers for the past several years — not because he has to, but because he cares about their success and the success of their students at NHS,” said Shields.

In order for someone to win this award, a teacher must be looking out for more than just what goes on in his/her own classroom. He/she must actively work to make the entire school a better place for the students and the teachers. “P.J. embodies the view of a teacher who is looking to improve ANYONE he comes into contact with,” says Shields.

Despite the pandemic and the sheltering at home rules, Deichler still managed to enjoy his awards with a trip to In N’ Out Burger, which was his first meal out of the house since the stay at home order began.