In a school district that features some of the best educators in the state, two stood out above the rest in the last year.
The San Ramon Valley Unified School District named Mona Keeler and Kathy DeRenzi Teachers of the Year on Tuesday night.
Keeler is an algebra teacher at and works with the math department to find the best strategies to educate the school's students. The teacher of 20 years also tutors students at group homes and volunteers her services at a local nursing home in Walnut Creek.
"Mona personifies the 21st century teacher in my mind," Iron Horse principal Joe Nguyen said. "Her impact is wide and at multiple levels in the San Ramon Valley community."
DeRenzi is a first grade teacher at . She's a reading specialist and is part Quail Run's leadership team. The teacher of 17 years teaches in a "model classroom" in the district and helps to train and support other elementary teachers throughout the district.
She seems to know the exact right strategy to give students the boost that they need to become grade level readers," said Carol Loflin, principal at Quail Run. "She is the type of teacher I wish my own kids could have had."
Keeler and DeRenzi will now be considered for Contra Costa County Teacher of the Year. Last year, Donna Kenyon, a teacher at in Danville, was one of the three finalists for county Teacher of the Year.