“I thank the ABOTA organization for validating the results we have been able to achieve with our Restorative Youth Court Program, where we focus on students’ strengths rather than their deficits,” said Mikki Cichocki.
“I first met her when we were working together in the Restorative Youth Court Program. I quickly understood that she was so devoted to her children,” said San Bernardino Superior Court Judge John. M. Pacheco.
SAN BERNARDINO, CALIF.—The American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) has honored Mikki Cichocki with its prestigious Teacher of the Year Award, given to her in recognition of her tireless advocacy on behalf of students, diverting them away from the criminal justice system and helping them return to their studies so they can earn their diploma and get on with a productive life and career.
“I was surprised to learn I had gotten this award,” said Cichocki, “and I thank the ABOTA organization for validating the results we have been able to achieve with our Restorative Youth Court Program, where we focus on students’ strengths rather than their deficits.
“Students come to Youth Court not to be punished but to be diverted away from the school-to-prison pipeline and become productive learners who are able to graduate and pursue their dreams and aspirations. The program helps our next generation move forward.”
San Bernardino Superior Court Judge John M. Pacheco presented the award to Mikki and said, “I first met her when we were working together in the Restorative Youth Court Program. I quickly understood that she was so devoted to her children…. For 33 years she has been a phenomenal teacher and is so involved with her students.”
“It is essential that we increase the resources devoted to providing needed counseling services that now are seriously under-staffed. We need to invest in expanded curriculum offerings, career and technical education and the visual and performing arts. Every student has their strengths. We must support and nurture each child to unlock their possible futures.”
About Mikki Cichocki
Mikki Cichocki traces her interest in education to her parents, both of whom were teachers in San Bernardino. Raised here, she attended San Bernardino public schools until the 10th grade and graduated from Aquinas High School. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies from Cal Poly Pomona. She has been teaching and working with various programs for the San Bernardino City Unified School District since 1988. Recently, she retired from the Positive Youth Development department in the district, where she worked with at-risk students, helping them to develop positive attitudes and keep them from becoming involved with and subsequently stigmatized by law enforcement. She also serveson the board of the California Association of Youth Courts and previously served as Secretary-Treasurer of the California Teachers Association, a position that allowed her to build coalitions with educational programs and resources.
For more information on Mikki Cichocki go to: https://www.facebook.com/Mikki4SBCUSD
The American Board of Trial Advocates, known as ABOTA, is an invitation-only organization of the finest lawyers and judges in America. ABOTA is an organization of attorneys representing both plaintiffs and defendants in civil cases. All of the attorneys who belong to ABOTA have earned great distinction at trial. ABOTA was created in 1958 to defend and preserve the rights granted to all Americans by the 7th Amendment to the Constitution, particularly the right to trial by jury. The Foundation of the American Board of Trial Advocates was established in 1993 as the educational arm to instruct the public on the history and value of our civil justice system. ABOTA also promotes professional education aimed at elevating standards of legal professionalism, integrity, honor and courtesy.