San Ramon Valley Unified School District Candidates Earn Top Teacher Accolades

San Ramon Valley Unified School District Candidates Earn Top Teacher Accolades
Posted on 07/29/2020

Contra Costa County’s Teachers of the Year were announced on July 28, 2020. Fourth grade teacher Sarah Clancy from Live Oak Elementary School and middle school teacher Courtney Konopacky from Stone Valley Middle School have been named the 2020-21 Contra Costa County Teachers of the Year (TOY). The two honored teachers from the San Ramon Valley Unified School District are now eligible to apply to move on to the California State Teachers of the Year program.

With the TOY program dating back to 1973, this is only the third time that the two county TOYs came from the same school district:1979-1980 school year, when both Joseph Hipple and Ann Rowe represented the Mt. Diablo Unified School District and in 2018-19 when Kelly Perkins and California State TOY Rosie Reed also represented the Mt. Diablo Unified School District.

“Congratulations to our county’s newest Teachers of the Year!” says Contra Costa County Superintendent of Schools Lynn Mackey. “This is a unique and challenging time to be an educator and these teachers represent the great work taking place across our county. We would like to thank our 28 volunteer TOY judges who carefully reviewed and evaluated this year’s TOY applications, interviews, and speech presentations. The newest TOYs are excellent representatives of all our tremendous Contra Costa teachers. And, we wish them the best of luck as they go on and represent us in the California State TOY Program!”

After serving as a substitute 4th-grade teacher at Quail Run Elementary School, in San Ramon, Sarah Clancy, has been teaching grades 2nd, 5th, and a Teacher on Special Assignment (TSA) for Student Support since 2008 at Live Oak Elementary School, in San Ramon. Clancy decided on a career as an educator when she worked in a kindergarten classroom to complete her senior project in high school. No doubt, this early calling was the correct one.

“Mrs. Clancy is instrumental in implementing both Sanford Harmony and No Place for Hate programs at Live Oak,’ says current Live Oak PTA President Smitha Swamy. “She models what she teaches and inspires the students to be a gracious leader. Over the years that I have interacted with Mrs. Clancy, I have only heard her say positive comments, no matter how difficult the situation. She is an educator who inspires not only her students but the parents as well. Mrs. Clancy’s Leadership skills reflect a strong, positive, persevering, and kind spirit.”

Courtney Konopacky has been a positive fixture for the past 17 years at Stone Valley Middle School, in Danville. The honored educator has been a Core 8 Teacher and Site Teacher Leader for most of her career. Currently, Konopacky serves as a TSA - Social Studies Curriculum Development and Coaching. Teaching is certainly in her blood, including her family members great-grandmother Rosa and aunt Marion.

“Courtney Konopacky is an innovative educator who genuinely cares about students and families,” says Stone Valley Middle School Principal Justin White. “She digs in when students present signs of academic struggle and provides reteaching and reassessment on all essential skills. Courtney believes it is moral imperative to make sure that students have an in-depth understanding of critical skills that are needed to be successful. She continues to push her teaching design and delivery so that she can provide a top-notch educational experience for all students.”

Clancy and Konopacky will now participate with all the other California county representatives in the California State TOY competition. The California State Teachers of the Year are expected to be announced by mid-October. The county TOY program is coordinated by the Contra Costa County Office of Education (CCCOE).

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the CCCOE will be announcing details of a virtual celebration to honor Contra Costa County’s newest 22 TOYS – instead of the traditional Gala Dinner held at the Hilton Concord – in the near future. Along with their accolades, the teachers will also receive gifts and classroom-grant funding from the community’s business sector, as well as a number of proclamations presented by the local government representatives.

For additional info and a complete list of this year’s TOYS, visit the CCCOE’s Teacher of the Year Web page.

Related 2020-21 TOY news releases:

Contra Costa County’s school districts announce their 2020-2021 Teachers of the Year

2020-2021 Contra Costa County Teachers of the Year Finalists Named

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