Mt. Diablo Unified School District 2019-2020 Teacher of the Year Receives Special Visit

Mt. Diablo Unified School District 2019-2020 Teacher of the Year Receives Special Visit
Posted on 05/24/2019

CLAYTON, Calif., May 23, 2019 – Recently, Contra Costa County Superintendent of Schools Lynn Mackey visited the Diablo View Middle School’s 8th grade science classroom of Shay Kornfeld. In his eighth year of teaching, Kornfeld has been serving as a science instructor and robotics club advisor at Diablo Vista since 2016. Prior, he taught at Fair Oaks Elementary, in Pleasant Hill. This past March, Kornfeld was named by the Mt. Diablo Unified School District as their Teacher of the Year (TOY), and later was selected as one of four finalists contending for one of two spots as Contra Costa County TOY. The two county TOYs will then represent Contra Costa County in the California statewide TOY program.

Throughout the school year, Superintendent Mackey makes it a point to visit each incoming TOY in their classrooms, before they are all honored at the annual Teachers of the Year Gala Dinner. This is a great way for her to meet the teachers and their students, as well as take in the day’s lesson plan.

On the evening of September 26, 2019, the 22 Contra Costa County TOYs, class of 2019-20, including Kornfeld will be introduced and honored at the renowned annual Teacher of the Year Gala, held at the Hilton Concord. 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.

“Getting students excited about the world around them and how they fit into the scheme of life can sometimes be a challenge for a typical eighth grader,” says Diablo View Principal Patti Bannister. “Shay’s scientific knowledge enhanced by his masters in science education enables him to capture the attention of his students and offer a rigorous curriculum. Shay has developed a solid curriculum based on the new Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Students in his class are not just sitting and listening to lectures, but are actively engaged conducting labs and experiments that challenge them to make predictions, collect and analyze their data. Shay’s labs are always relevant with real-life scenarios that they can apply to their own life. Students record their scientific concepts learned in phenomenal notebooks that Shay thoughtfully guides them in capturing the essential knowledge learned. He encourages them to be curious, creative, and develop a scientific mindset.”

Bannister continues, “Shay’s love of teaching and being able to make an impact in the lives of his students is evident every day. Each class period, Shay stands outside his classroom and shakes each student’s hand and makes sure they make eye contact. Watching his classes, I can see that simple gesture is something the students have come to look forward to as they enter the classroom. There is most certainly a sense of joy and anticipation with his students, a feat that is not always easy to do with a middle schooler.”

Currently, there are approximately 8,637 teachers educating nearly 178,000 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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