Governing Board Recognized West Valley Teacher


The Governing Board of the Hemet Unified School District, on nomination by Trustee Ross Valenzuela, has selected Michael Apffel, teacher at West Valley High School, as the April recipient of the Governing Board Recognition and Award. 

Mike received his bachelor’s degree in Biology in 2002 and a master’s degree in Education in 2006 from California State University, San Bernardino.  He came to Hemet Unified as a substitute teacher in 2002.  Mike was hired in 2003 to teach Science and Math at West Valley High School, where he continues to teach today! 

Mike is a consummate professional who is an exceptional teacher in the classroom and respected leader on the campus.  In addition to his duties as the Science Department Chair, Mike teaches West Valley’s Biotechnology, Marine Biology, Project Lead the Way, and Zoology/Botany courses in addition to his “on deck” status as an AVID teacher.  With years of work teaching the front line Biology courses, Mike leverages his experience for the betterment of the District with his anchoring authorship of the Biology RCD curriculum.  Most recently, Mike served West Valley as the WASC Chair and provided key leadership in navigating West Valley to a very successful outcome in the one day re-visitation of our six year term of accreditation. 

Dr. Alex Ballard, Principal at West Valley High School says, “I am dependent on Mike’s straight forward, no non-sense approach to building programs and solving problems through both the lens of the Science Department, but also the school as a whole.  Mike is widely known for his integrity, high character and acumen as an educator.  It is an honor to serve the West Valley High School community with such a talented and committed educator.”

For outstanding performance, professionalism and loyalty to the Hemet Unified School District, Trustee Ross Valenzuela presented Michael Apffel with the Governing Board Recognition of Excellence Award and a $500 certificate to be used toward the District program of his choice.