By Jonathan Lance:
Representing all corners and in between Contra Costa County, the 22 Class of 2014-2015 Teachers of the Year (TOY) were able to meet each other for the first time at the annual Teacher of the Year Reception -- held at the Contra Costa County Office of Education on the afternoon of May 27.The relaxed and festive event is for the TOYs to meet each other, learn more about the TOY Program, receive details about the upcoming TOY Dinner Celebration, and to have their portraits taken.
Many of the TOYs were accompanied by their school principals and school district superintendents.
The program kicked-off with Contra Costa County Superintendent of Schools Joseph A. Ovick, Ed.D., welcoming and congratulating the honored TOYs.
“We are so proud of you all; you are tremendous representatives of the educators in Contra Costa County,” Dr. Ovick said. “Currently there are a little more than 8,100 K-12 public school educators, teaching approximately 173,020 students in our county. There are nine states in our nation that have less students attending public schools than Contra Costa County.”
Following Dr. Ovick, the TOYs each individually introduced themselves, as their brethren and the rest of the audience listened intently. In addition, the four TOY Finalists were introduced.
This year’s finalists are:
- Michael Kleiman, Liberty Union High School District, Freedom High;
- Elizabeth Lanfranki, Pittsburg Unified School District, Martin Luther King, Jr. Junior High;
- Brian Wheeler, Martinez Unified School District, Alhambra High;
- Karen Young, San Ramon Valley Unified School District, Coyote Creek Elementary.
The two current Teachers of the Year, Cindy Egan of San Ramon Valley Unified School District and Beth Levine of West Contra Costa County Unified School District, spoke to the TOYs about their experience representing the county with numerous appearances and speaking opportunities.The joyous occasion concluded with the traditional toast to the incoming TOYs (sparkling apple juice in plastic champagne glasses), followed by plenty of networking.
On the evening of September 11, 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.
The evening 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 District, Knightsen Elementary
Keith Johnson, West Contra Costa USD, El Cerrito High
Kevin Jones, Antioch Unified School District, Antioch High
Jane Kelson, Acalanes Union High School District, Campolindo High
Michael Kleiman, Liberty Union High School District, Freedom High
Elizabeth Lanfranki, Pittsburg Unified School District, Martin Luther King, Jr. Junior High
Patrick Leong, Contra Costa County College District, Diablo Valley College
Dorinda Mas, Byron Union School District, Discovery Bay Elementary
Bruce McCormick, West Contra Costa Unified School District, Portola Middle
CiCi Migay, Brentwood Union School District, Brentwood Elementary
Tricia Newhart, Orinda Union School District, Del Ray Elementary
Catherine Patterson, John Swett Unified School District, Rodeo Hills Elementary
Ann Ralph, Moraga School District, Donald Rheem Elementary
Gail Robles, Walnut Creek School District, Parkmead Elementary
Joann Rossi, Contra Costa County Office of Education, Early Start Program @ Marchus School
Stephen Slater, Mt. Diablo Unified School District, Wren Avenue Elementary
Kara Teach, San Ramon Valley Unified School District, Charlotte Wood Middle
Olivia Vann, Lafayette School District, Springhill Elementary
Brian Wheeler, Martinez Unified School District, Alhambra High
Karen Young, San Ramon Valley Unified School District, Coyote Creek Elementary
Kathleen Young, Mt. Diablo Unified School District, Highlands Elementary
For more info about the Contra Costa County Teacher of the Year Program, please visit our Web page.