Brentwood Union School District 2019-20 Teacher of the Year Receives Special Visit

Brentwood Union School District 2019-20 Teacher of the Year Receives Special Visit
Posted on 05/21/2019

BRENTWOOD, Calif., April 30, 2019 – Recently, Contra Costa County Superintendent of Schools Lynn Mackey visited one of two classrooms of counselor Ezra Smith. For the past two school years, Smith has been counseling grades K-5 at Pioneer Elementary and Loma Vista Elementary schools in Brentwood. With 10 years of elementary-school counseling experience, Smith has served California schools in Santa Rosa, Redding, and Bellflower. Earlier this past March, Smith was named by the Brentwood Union School District as their Teacher of the Year (TOY).

On the evening of September 26, 2019, the 22 Contra Costa County TOYs, class of 2019-20, including Smith 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.

“Ezra Smith has such a unique and uncanny way of relating to people, and not limited to the children he works with,” says Pioneer Elementary Principal Case McClure. “In his role as our school counselor, Mr. Smith has made some of the most challenging situations imaginable. He also makes personal connections to students who are not in crisis. Everyone is treated the same level of respect, and through that he has earned unwavering trust.”

McClure continues, “In partnership with Ezra, we have created a bridge for students between the classroom and their home life, while helping them to avoid the pitfalls and disciplinary consequences that can result from their struggles. The success of this partnership is a credit to the fact that Ezra approaches his work with and open heart, a sincere smile, and an exemplary level of professionalism.”

Throughout the school year, Superintendent Mackey 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.

Currently, there are approximately 8,637 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.

Note regarding eligible participants:

Each year, one instructor from Contra Costa Community College District is submitted to the TOY program for his/her outstanding body of work with their designated college. The colleges rotate each year between Diablo Valley, Los Medanos, and Contra Costa. (These instructors do not compete in the State Teacher of the Year competition.) This year is Contra Costa College’s turn.

Due to the larger number of students and teachers in their districts, West Contra Costa USD, Mt. Diablo USD, and San Ramon Valley USD are allowed to submit two TOY candidates.

Follow Contra Costa County’s Teacher of the Year program on Twitter and Instagram: #cocotoy

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