Teachers of the Year

Teacher of the Year logo
The Contra Costa County Teachers of the Year program is supported primarily by community members,
organizations and business leaders in the county through donations. If you would like to make a donation,
click on the Donate button above or visit the donation page.
Tickets will go on sale for the Annual Contra Costa County Teacher of the Year celebration in April 2023.
The event will take place on Thursday, September 21, 2023 at Lesher Center in Walnut Creek.
• View our Sponsor Levels Benefits page.


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 March, 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 finalists.

II Classroom Observation/Interview:

In April/May, a committee of educators will observe the finalists interacting with their students. Immediately following, the committee interviews the candidates, discussing topics such as their teaching philosophy and techniques. 

III Speech Presentation and Reception:

In June, the four TOY finalists will each give a three- to five-minute speech to another panel of educators, business, and public-sector representatives who will judge the finalists on their speech and presentation skills. An informal reception will follow.

On the evening of September 21, 2023, all TOYs will be honored at the annual Teacher of the Year Gala, this year being broadcast virtually on the CCCOE website, on YouTube and on edTV (Comcast Channel 32). This will be followed by the four finalists giving their three- to five-minute speeches (same speeches given in June). The excitement-filled evening will come to a dramatic close with the announcement of the 2023-2024 Contra Costa County Teachers of the Year.


There are four major categories or levels for donating to the TOY Program:

  1. Title Sponsor: $15,000+

  2. Corporate: $14,999-$10,000

  3. Visionaries: $5,000 to $9,999 range

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

  5. Sponsors: $251 to $999 range

  6. Contributors: $250 or below in amount or services

For more information about donating or becoming a sponsor, visit the donor and sponsor information page or contact the Communications Office at [email protected].

Below is a list of generous donors and sponsors who have helped to make this event a success in the past.

  Visionaire Sponsors Chevron, Martinez Refinery, Lesher Foundation

Allegro Copy & Print
Alten Construction
Bay Cities Paving & Grading
Denalect Alarm
Fagen, Friedman & Fulfrost, LLP
John Muir Health
Kaiser Permanente
Mechanics Bank

1st Northern California Credit Union
ACSA Region 6
Danis, Woliver, Kelley Attorneys at Law
Thirty-Second District PTA
Trustee Mike and Shari Maxwell
Rotary Club of Pleasant Hill

Albert Chavez, UWL Mortgage
Lara Delaney
Wei-Tai Kwok
Lakeshore Learning
Lozano Smith Attorneys at Law
Mercedes Benz of Walnut Creek
Oakland Zoo
Alis Reasoner
Southwest School & Office Supply
Trader Joe's Concord


TITLE NAME (click to email) PHONE FAX
Communications [email protected] (925) 942-3425 (925) 942-3454

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