Congratulations to the “Teacher of the Year” (TOY) representatives in the Mt. Diablo Unified School District, Martinez Unified School District, Walnut Creek School District and the Contra Costa County Community College District.
“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,” said Contra Costa County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Joseph A. Ovick.
2013-2014 Contra Costa County Teacher of the Year Representatives:
- Patrick Leong, Contra Costa County College District, Diablo Valley College
- Gail Robles, Walnut Creek School District, Parkmead Elementary
- Stephen Slater, Mt. Diablo Unified School District, Wren Avenue Elementary
- Brian Wheeler, Martinez Unified School District, Alhambra High
- Kathleen Young, Mt. Diablo Unified School District, Highlands Elementary
Due to the larger number of students in their district, the Mt. Diablo Unified School District is allowed to submit two TOY candidates.
The county’s TOY program is directed by the Contra Costa County Office of Education (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:
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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 TOY Dinner Celebration, held at the Concord Hilton.
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 2013-2014 Contra Costa County Teachers of the Year.