2020-2021 Teachers of the Year

2020-2021 Contra Costa County Teacher of the Year Virtual Gala

2020-2021 Contra Costa County Teachers of the Year


Sarah Clancy

San Ramon Valley Unified School District
Live Oak Elementary

Courtney Konopacky

San Ramon Valley Unified School District
Stone Valley Middle

 2020-2021 Contra Costa County Teacher of the Year Finalists


Sarah Clancy

San Ramon Valley Unified School District

Live Oak Elementary


Courtney Konopacky

San Ramon Valley Unified Union School District

Stone Valley Middle


Christina Nitsos

Lafayette School District

Lafayette Elementary


Katherine Sahm

Orinda Union School District

Del Rey Elementary


Thomas Barber

Contra Costa Community College District

Diablo Valley College

Bland Portrait

Dylan Bland

Mt. Diablo Unified
School District

College Park High School


Cesar Dante-Barragan

West Contra Costa Unified School District

Cesar Chavez 
Elementary School


Jesus Alfredo Galindo

West Contra Costa Unified School District

Lincoln Elementary School


Ellyn Hustead

Contra Costa County Office of Education

Mt. McKinley School


Kellyn M. Jew

John Swett Unified School District

Rodeo Hills
Elementary School


Jennifer Krey

Byron Union 
School District

Excelsior Middle School


Brett Lorie

Moraga School District

Joaquin Moraga Intermediate School


Amber Love-Snyder

Martinez Unified 
School District

Las Juntas 
Elementary School


Lyndsie J. Memory

Liberty Union High School District

Liberty High School


Beth Miller Bremer

Mt. Diablo Unified 
School District

Wren Avenue Elementary


Marlene Miranda

Acalanes Union
High School District

Las Lomas High School

 Neilson Portrait

Karen Neilson

Brentwood Union 
School District

Garin Elementary School


Shirley Ann Padgett

Knightsen Elementary School District

Knightsen Elementary School


Kathy Reinders

Oakley Union Elementary School District

Vintage Elementary School


Petra Sauve

Walnut Creek
School District

Elementary School


Taylor Leonna Smith

Pittsburg Unified 
School District

Rancho Medanos 
Junior High School

Robert "Bruce" Vieira

Antioch Unified 
School District

Antioch Middle School



In 1972, California began recognizing outstanding teachers, establishing the Teachers of the Year Program. This program is open to all teachers in public schools who teach pre-kindergarten through college. Contra Costa County has participated in the program since its beginning, when Joseph E. Davis, Jr., of the Acalanes Union High School District, was named the county's first representative.

Since that time, eight teachers from this county have been State finalists: Janet Neill, San Ramon Valley Unified (1975); David Eakin, John Swett Unified (1981); William Thomas, Mt. Diablo Unified (1982); Janice Bergamini, Mt. Diablo Unified (1991); Shauna Hawes, Mt. Diablo Unified (2017); and Kelly Perkins (Mt. Diablo Unified (2019). The County has had four State winners: Mary Allan, Antioch Unified (2001); Janet Gower, Mt. Diablo Unified (2002); and William Pence, San Ramon Valley Unified (1999); and Rosie Reid, Mt. Diablo Unified (2019). Both William Pence and Rosie Reid were selected to represent California at the National Teacher of the Year level.

List of past Contra Costa County Teacher of the Year Representatives from 1977 to present (PDF)

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 candidate as follows:

I Application Screening:

In April/May, a committee representing the county's education, business, and public-sector partners will meticulously review 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 phase as semifinalists.

II Classroom Observation and Interview:

In May, a committee of former County Teachers of the Year will observe the semifinalists interacting with their students. Immediately following, the committee interviews the candidates, discussing topics such as their teaching philosophy and techniques. The results of the two screening processes are then combined to determine the four finalists.

III Speech Presentation:

On July 24, 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 24, 2020, all 22 TOYs, accompanied by their families, friends, and co-workers (an audience of approximately 400) will be honored at the annual Teacher of the Year Gala Dinner, held at the Hilton Concord. Contra Costa County Superintendent of Schools Lynn Mackey, who serves as master of ceremonies, introduces the TOYs by sharing a special story that reflects her classroom visits of each teacher during the recent spring and summer months. This will be followed by the four finalists giving their three- to five-minute speeches (same speeches given in July) to the filled banquet room. The excitement-filled evening will come to a dramatic close with the announcement of the 2020-2021 Contra Costa County Teachers of the Year.

The County representatives are announced at the Awards Dinner in September at a gala affair that honors each district's Teacher of the Year. Local business and community organizations generously donate classroom grants, services and other items to each of the district winners.


There are four major categories or levels for donating to the TOY Program:
Title Sponsor -- Chevron USA ($10,000)

  1. Visionaries: $5,000 to $9,999 range (2 complimentary tickets to the Gala dinner)

  2. Benefactors: $1,000 to $4,999 range

  3. Sponsors: $500 to $999 range

  4. Contributors: $499 or below in amount or services

Most sponsors earmark their grants for the teachers' classrooms or schools; Chevron, Inc. sponsors the dinner itself, and the cost of dinner for each of the Teachers of the Year and three of their guests, in addition to $5,000 towards classroom grant distributed amongst the Teachers of the Year.

Many thanks to our generous donors who made our program a success!

Chevron, Title Sponsor 


Contra Costa County Office of Education

Dean and Margaret Lesher Foundation

Saint Mary's College of California, Kalmanovitz School of Education

Wells Fargo Bank

   cccoe     lesher          stmarys          wellsfargo


Allegro Copy and Print

Bay Area Newspaper Group

C. Overaa and Company

Center REP/Dean Lesher Regional Center for the Arts

Dannis, Woliver and Kelley Attorneys at Law

Fagen, Friedman and Fulfrost, LLP

Gillin Jacobson, Ellis, Larsen and Lucey 
Accident Attorneys

John Muir Health

Kaiser Permanente

McGraw Hill

Mechanics Bank

The Oakland Athletics

Phillips 66

Shell Martinez Refinery

Sunset Development Company

Travis Credit Union

University of California, Berkeley Intercollegiate Athletics

USS POSCO Industries



ACSA Region 6

Barrett Rodda, Short Story Films

Carlos Reyes

Denalect Alarm

Keenan & Associates

Mike and Shari Maxwell

Office Depot

Pleasant Hill Rotary Foundation


1st Northern California Credit Union

Capitol Advisors

CSAA Insurance Group, a AAA Insurer

Cole Supply Company, Inc.

Contra Costa County School Insurance Group

Hilton Concord

Lakeshore Learning

Lozano Smith

O'Conner, Runckel, and O'Malley, LLP

Packaging Options USA

Peet's Coffee, Pleasant Hill




TITLE NAME (click to email) PHONE FAX
Director, Communications and Special Events Marcus Walton (925) 942-3420 (925) 942-3454

Contra Costa County Teachers of the Year being honored at Teachers' Night Out at the Oakland A's Coliseum! 

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