Contra Costa County Office of Education 2019-20 Teacher of the Year Receives Special Visit

Contra Costa County Office of Education 2019-20 Teacher of the Year Receives Special Visit
Posted on 05/21/2019

MARTINEZ, Calif., May 15, 2019 – Recently, Contra Costa County Superintendent of Schools Lynn Mackey visited the classroom of Kevin McKibben, at Mt. McKinley High School, which is located inside Juvenile Hall Complex, in Martinez. (There is another Mt. McKinley HS, located inside the Orin Allen Youth Rehabilitation Facility​, in Byron. McKibben also teaches at this location.) The retired 34-year Intel employee has been teaching computer applications for the past three years at Mt. McKinley. This past March, McKibben was named by the Contra Costa County Office of Education (CCCOE) as their Teacher of the Year (TOY).

Throughout the school year, Superintendent Mackey makes it a point to visit each incoming TOY in their classrooms, before they are all honored at the renowned annual Contra Costa County Teachers of the Year Gala Dinner. This is a great way for her to meet the teachers and their students, as well as take in the day’s lesson plan.


On the evening of September 26, 2019, the 22 Contra Costa County TOYs, class of 2019-20, including McKibben, will be introduced and honored at the annual Teacher of the Year Gala Dinner, held at the Hilton Concord. The 22 TOYs will be accompanied by their families, friends, and co-workers. The expected crowd of close to 500 will also include numerous other supporters of the program. For more information about this year’s CCCOE TOY Program, please review this earlier-sent news release.

I first met Kevin through a year-long computer science training cohort that I facilitated,” recalls CCCOE Instructional Technology Coordinator Nicholas Zefeldt. “He was interested in learning how to bring the AP computer science principles curriculum to the incarcerated youth that he teaches. Throughout the year that we worked together, I watched Kevin learn how to take complex concepts and scaffold them for a classroom full of students who largely have never found success in the educational system. It was clear from the beginning that Kevin was not only trying to teach computer science concepts, but also that, if they wanted to, each of his students could one day become a computer programmer, a web designer, or a hardware engineer. He was trying to open doors for students who increasingly are faced with doors long since closed.

“Spending time in his classroom, it is clear that Kevin has high expectations for his students,” Zefeldt adds.

Students learn vocabulary and have opportunities to practice concepts in a group and individually. They are able to move through the curriculum at their own speed and, when students need extra support, Kevin coaches them through their struggles. When his students come to his classroom in a state not conducive to learning due to something happening in their unit, Kevin is able to focus them and get them to channel that energy into their learning. In short, one of the most powerful things about Kevin’s classroom is that he tries to show his students they are capable of much more than they sometimes give themselves credit for.” 

Currently, there are approximately 8,637 teachers educating nearly 178,000 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 named their TOY representatives in mid-March.

The incoming 22 TOYs represent 17 Contra Costa County school districts, the Contra Costa Community College District, and the Contra Costa County Office of Education (CCCOE). Most of these representatives, those who teach grades TK-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.

Note regarding eligible participants:

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.) This year is Contra Costa College’s turn.

Due to the larger number of students and teachers in their districts, West Contra Costa USD, Mt. Diablo USD, and San Ramon Valley USD are allowed to submit two TOY candidates.

Follow Contra Costa County’s Teacher of the Year program on Twitter and Instagram: #cocotoy

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