Which San Ramon Valley USD Teacher is a Contra Costa County Teacher of the Year Finalist?

County’s school districts announce their 2014-2015 Teachers of the Year

For more information, visit our website at http://cocoschools.org/.
For more information, visit our website at http://cocoschools.org/.
By Jonathan LanceBlog Contra Costa County Office of Education

Currently, there are more than 8,126 teachers educating approximately 171,418 students in Contra Costa County’s public schools. To recognize their efforts and bring much-deserved honor to the teaching profession, the participating school districts in the county recently named their Teachers of the Year (TOY) representatives. (See list below.)

The upcoming school year's 22 TOYs represent 17 Contra Costa County school districts, the Contra Costa Community College District, and the Contra Costa County Office of Education (CCCOE). Twenty of these twenty-two representatives, those who teach grades K thru 12, are eligible to compete in the Contra Costa County TOY competition. The two top teachers in the county TOY program will represent Contra Costa County in the California State TOY Program this coming fall.

"Once again, we have a tremendous group of teachers who have earned their school districts’ highest accolades, due to their talents, work ethic, and dedication. These honored educators not only represent their individual schools and school districts, but also embody all of the exceptional teachers we are so fortunate to have in our county," reports Contra Costa County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Joseph A. Ovick.

The county's TOY program is directed by the CCCOE. With such a high caliber of teaching professionals to draw from, the CCCOE’s TOY program uses a three-stage selection process, with a point and percentage system to determine the final candidates as follows:

I Application Screening:
On April 4, a committee of 14 judges, representing the county’s education, business, and public-sector partners carefully reviewed the applications submitted by the school districts. This committee independently rates each application. After the application screening and scoring are completed, four teachers will be selected to advance to the next two phases as finalists.

II Classroom Observation and Interview:
During the weeks of late April and mid May, a small committee of education specialists and business partners will observe the finalists interacting with their students. Immediately following, the committee interviews the candidates discussing topics such as their teaching philosophy and techniques.

III Speech Presentation:
On August 11, the four TOY finalists will each give a three- to five-minute speech to another panel of a dozen educators, business, and public-sector representatives who will judge the finalists on their speech and presentation skills.

On the evening of September 11, 2014, all 22 TOYs, accompanied by their families, friends, and co-workers (an audience of more than 400) will be honored at the annual Contra Costa County Teacher of the Year Dinner Celebration, held at the Hilton Concord. Dr. Ovick, who serves as master of ceremonies, introduces the TOYs by sharing a special story that reflects his classroom visits of each teacher during the current spring and summer months. This will be followed by the four finalists giving their three- to five-minute speeches (same speeches given in August) to the filled banquet room.  Finally, the night will come to a dramatic close with the announcement of the two 2014-2015 Contra Costa County Teachers of the Year.

2013-2014 Contra Costa County Teacher of the Year Representatives:

  • Nikki Alford, Oakley Union Elementary School District,Gehringer Elementary
  • Jason Davis, Knightsen Elementary School DistrictKnightsen Elementary
  • Keith Johnson, West Contra Costa USDEl Cerrito High
  • Kevin Jones, Antioch Unified School DistrictAntioch High
  • Jane Kelson, Acalanes Union High School DistrictCampolindo High
  • Michael Kleiman, Liberty Union High School DistrictFreedom High
  • Elizabeth Lanfranki, Pittsburg Unified School DistrictMartin Luther King, Jr. Junior High
  • Patrick Leong, Contra Costa County College DistrictDiablo Valley College
  • Dorinda Mas, Byron Union School DistrictDiscovery Bay Elementary
  • Bruce McCormick, West Contra Costa Unified School District,Portola Middle
  • CiCi Migay, Brentwood Union School DistrictBrentwood Elementary
  • Tricia Newhart, Orinda Union School DistrictDel Ray Elementary
  • Catherine Patterson, John Swett Unified School District,Rodeo Hills Elementary
  • Ann Ralph, Moraga School DistrictDonald Rheem Elementary
  • Gail Robles, Walnut Creek School DistrictParkmead Elementary
  • Joann Rossi, Contra Costa County Office of EducationEarly Start Program @ Marchus School
  • Stephen Slater, Mt. Diablo Unified School District, Wren Avenue Elementary
  • Olivia Vann, Lafayette School DistrictSpringhill Elementary
  • Brian Wheeler, Martinez Unified School DistrictAlhambra High
  • Karen Young, San Ramon Valley Unified School DistrictCoyote Creek Elementary
  • Kathleen Young, Mt. Diablo Unified School DistrictHighlands Elementary

Note regarding eligible participants:

  • Seventeen of the eighteen Contra Costa County school districts represented, plus the CCCOE are participating in this year’s TOY program. (Because this year’s CCCOE candidate teaches pre-K, she is not eligible in the California State TOY competition.)
  • Each year, one instructor from Contra Costa Community College District is submitted to the TOY program for his/her outstanding body of work with their designated college. The colleges rotate each year between Diablo Valley, Los Medanos, and Contra Costa. (These instructors do not compete in the State Teacher of the Year competition.)
  • Due to the larger number of students in their districts, West Contra Costa USD, Mt. Diablo USD, and San Ramon Valley USD are allowed to submit two TOY candidates


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