John Payne Selected as Cypress College Teacher of the Year for 2010

Marc S. Posner
Wednesday, April 07, 2010
English Professor John Payne has been selected by a committee composed of students, faculty, and administration as Cypress College’s Teacher of the Year for 2010.

Payne also becomes the campus nominee for Orange County Teacher of the Year honors — a process sponsored by the James Hines Foundation through the Orange County Department of Education.

He was selected from a list of several deserving nominees for this award, each of whom were observed by members of the Associated Students in their classrooms. He candidacy was then moved forward for consideration of this honor.

Some of the comments generated by students indicated that he is “always professional,” “has an unrelenting sense of humor,” “has a strong value of class participation,” is “motivational to his students,” “compares classroom instruction with the real world,” and is “down to Earth.”

“CONGRATULATIONS JOHN!!!!!” Cypress College President Dr. Michael Kasler said in an e-mail to Payne. “This is a great honor and we are all very proud of you. What nice comments made by students.”

Paul Bottiaux, Director of Student Activities, echoed those sentiments: “John Payne is truly a fine example of a quality instructor.”

Student Ryan Ayers, who nominated Payne for the award, said he has taken three of the professors courses at Cypress College.

“Even though he is a tough grader, he works with students to make sure they can write the best essay they can,” Ayers said.

Payne began teaching English after leaving a five-year career in business and marketing. He has been at Cypress College since 1997 as a part-time instructor, a full-time assistant professor of English, and an English professor, having earned tenure in 2004.

He has also taught writing at Cal State Long Beach and Long Beach City College. John received his bachelor’s in English, master’s in English Literature and master’s in English Creative Writing from Cal State Long Beach.

In addition to serving on numerous department committees, Payne has served as a mentor in the Puente Program and has co-edited and co-produced Around the Circle, The English Department’s Journal of Student Essays. He has published over 50 poems and short stories in small press magazines across the nation.

About Cypress College:

Cypress College has motivated the minds of students since 1966. For nearly a half-million people — including actors, athletes, doctors, executives, mechanics, nurses and teachers — Cypress College has been a springboard to their dreams. For some, Cypress College is the ticket into their university of choice and for others it provides essential training for a rewarding career. Just one Cypress College class is often all it takes to provide cutting-edge skills that lead to a promotion or a new job.

Cypress College’s 16,000 students and the highly qualified teaching faculty are proud of the many excellent academic and vocational programs. Cypress College offers 58 university-transfer majors, 141 career-certificate programs, and degrees in 51 areas of study. The college’s traditional semesters begin in January and August, while short-term courses start throughout the year. A Cypress College education costs just $26 per unit — just $78 for a typical, full-credit class — California’s lowest tuition. Financial aid and scholarships also are available to qualifying students.

Cypress College is one of three campuses in the North Orange County Community College District and a member of the 110-campus California Community College System. The college primarily serves the cities of Anaheim, Buena Park, Cypress, Garden Grove, La Palma, Los Alamitos, Seal Beach and Stanton. Michael J. Kasler is the president.

Located at 9200 Valley View Street in Cypress, the college is easily accessible from several Southern California freeways, including the 5, 91, 605, 22 and 405. The campus is just a stone’s-throw from Downtown Disney and Knott’s Berry Farm.

More information about Cypress College is available by calling (714) 484-7000 or by visiting the campus Web site at