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

Brentwood Union School District 2018-19 Teacher of the Year Receives Special Visit
Posted on 06/15/2018

BRENTWOOD, Calif., June 13, 2018 – Recently, Contra Costa County Superintendent of Schools Karen Sakata visited Speech-Language Pathologist Katie Halberg in teacher Lisa Karleskind’s classroom, at Mary Casey Black Elementary School, in Brentwood. The 15-year educator was honored earlier this year by being named Brentwood Union School District’s Teacher of the Year (TOY). Along with her work as a speech-language pathologist for grades TK-5th, Katie also taught general subjects at Garin Elementary School, also in Brentwood.

“I have worked with Katie Halberg in the Brentwood Union School District for more than nine years,” says Mary Casey Black Elementary Principal Liz Ybarra. “Beginning when she served as a first- and third-grade teacher at Garin Elementary and now as our school’s speech-language pathologist. Within this time, I have been amazed and humbled to work with an educator who serves students with high quality best practices, advocates for the diverse needs of underrepresent students, and does not hesitate to take on new challenges and technology to provide her students all that they need to succeed.”

“Katie’s approach to serving her speech and language students is amazing,” continues Ybarra. “She first builds a positive rapport and then creates trust with the students and their families. She’s diligent about establishing present levels and designing goals that will address student needs and increase access to core instruction. She groups students with similar needs and builds a safe, supportive environment where students can take risks and on their language skills.”

On the evening of September 27, 2018, the 22 Contra Costa County TOYs, class of 2018-19, including Katie Halberg, 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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