Acalanes Union High School District 2018-19 Teacher of the Year Receives Special Visit

Acalanes Union High School District 2018-19 Teacher of the Year Receives Special Visit
Posted on 06/18/2018
Contra Costa County Superintendent of Schools Karen Sakata and Acalanes High Union High School District’s Teacher of the Year Katherine Walton.

LAFAYETTE, Calif., June 18, 2018 – Recently, Contra Costa County Superintendent of Schools Karen Sakata visited teacher Katherine Walton’s classroom, at Acalanes High School, in Lafayette. The nine-year teacher has been serving as an instructional support provider and leadership advisor at Acalanes since 2013. Prior, Walton had been a special day class instructor at East Oakland School of Arts and a resource specialist at Castlemont High School, both located in Oakland. Earlier this year, she was honored by being named Acalanes Union High School District’s Teacher of the Year (TOY).

Acalanes High School Principal Travis Bell says, “Watching Mrs. Walton in the classroom is a reminder of why anyone gets into teaching in the first place! Mrs. Walton is creative and engaging, she is able to balance the demands of classroom management, differentiate instruction, inspire a passion for learning, and provide individual support all with finesse and joy. As a special education teacher, she has a strong understanding of how to navigate supporting students’ progress on goals, provide quality instruction, and effectively collaborate with colleagues she co-teaches with. She does all of this while keeping students at the center. She has a passion to see all students have access to high-quality education.”

“I have been continually impressed by Mrs. Walton in her role as a special education teacher, leadership class advisor, and also serving as and instructional coach this year. She works tirelessly to foster a culture of support for students and teachers, always thinking of ways to better the whole school community and each student’s individual experience She has built a strong rapport with the Acalanes community and is a natural team builder.”

On the evening of September 27, 2018, the 22 Contra Costa County TOYs, class of 2018-19, including Katherine Walton, will be introduced and honored at the annual Teacher of the Year Gala, held at the Concord Hilton. 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.

Throughout the school year, Superintendent Sakata makes it a point to visit each incoming TOY in their classrooms, prior to the Dinner Gala. This is a great way for her to meet the teachers and their students, as well as take in the day’s lesson plan. When individually introducing the TOYs at the Dinner Gala, a short video presentation (recorded at each TOY classroom visit) will feature a quote from students about their revered teacher.

Currently, there are approximately 8,400 teachers educating more than 177,000 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.

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