International Trade Education Programs (ITEP) Names Phineas Banning High School History Teacher Joe

ITEP is honoring Port Executive Director Geraldine Knatz with 2010 Keeper of the Flame Award at 10th Annual Scholarship Awards and Fundraiser Dinner in San Pedro

[USPRwire, Fri Apr 23 2010] International Trade Education Programs (ITEP) has handed the “Teacher of the Year” award to Phineas Banning High School History Teacher Joe Mendoza. Mendoza will be honored at the 10th Annual ITEP Scholarship Awards and Dinner in San Pedro Thursday (April 22, 2010). The dinner starts at 5:30 p.m., the program at 6:00 p.m.

“Teaching has been and continues to be a great career choice,” said Joe Mendoza, Phineas Banning High School, Wilminton and ITEP’s “Teacher of the Year award recipient.” “As a history teacher, year after year I get to instill American values in students and pass on the American heritage and morals that need to be passed down to future generations. Teaching history helps keep the American story alive. I get to teach skills that allow students to make decisions that will affect their own lives.”

For 14 years Mendoza has been involved, through school, with a program called Students Run L.A.”We train students from September to March to run the Los Angeles Marathon,” he said.

“This program brings me great satisfaction, because the results are so obvious and the change in behavior is so clear it is easy to get hundreds of teachers to run programs at their schools (and assist at my school) for no pay despite putting in hundreds of hours.”

ITEP will also honor the Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Geraldine Knatz with the 2010 Keeper of the Flame Award at the annual fundraising event. Knatz has been a major ITEP supporter of ITEP.

Knatz, who is the first female executive director of the Port of Los Angeles, oversees the daily operations and management of the nation’s number one container port. Under her leadership, the Port has reduced air emissions and health risks while expanding capital development programs to accommodate the port’s future growth as a premiere Pacific Gateway and national economic engine.
“The Port of Los Angeles has been a huge leader in keeping the torch lit at ITEP,” said ITEP Board Chairman Tom Good of Matson Navigation. “We would not be here today without the support from the ports and contributions from corporations and the international trade industry. They’re changing lives of high school students with career opportunities offering life changing work experiences.”

Under Knatz’s leadership, the San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan was created and implemented in November 2006. The Plan has paved the way for the Los Angeles Harbor Commission to approve two major container terminal expansion projects and a new deep-draft marine oil terminal. While her impressive tenure at the Port of Long Beach spanned two decades, Knatz began her maritime career as an environmental scientist at the Port of Los Angeles in 1977.
“ITEP has become successful thanks to the hard work and dedication of Geraldine Knatz and the Port of Los Angeles staff who have supported us for the last decade,” said ITEP CEO & Founder Carol Rowen. “The Port offers internships that better prepare the students for the marketplace.”

The ITEPAwards and Scholarships:

180 Degree Winner:
Jesus Mendez from Global Environmental Sciences Academy (GESA)

Southern California Gas Company Scholarship:
Ruby Bueno from ITA, International Trade Academy (Banning)
ITEP Scholarship Winners:
Greta Armenta from ITA, International Trade Academy (Banning)
Steve Chavez from ITA, International Trade Academy (Banning)
Geovanna Valenzuela from ITA, International Trade Academy (Banning)

Rising Star! Winners:
Diamond Porter from GBAC (Carson High School)
Miguel Hernandez II from Mojave XP (Barstow High School)
Madaly Alcala from SPEA (San Pedro High School)

Teacher of the Year:
Joe Mendoza from Global Safety and Security Academy (GSS)
Phineas Banning High School – Wilmington, CA

For more information visit: For images, media interviews contact: Aida Mayo or George Mc Quade at 818-340-5300, For the full story on ITEP visit:

Company: International Trade Education Programs (ITEP)

Contact Name: George Mc Quade

Contact Email:

Contact Phone: 818-340-5300

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