School Districts Name Top Educators for 2023-2024

Contra Costa County School Districts Name Top Educators for 2023-2024
Posted on 04/12/2023
PLEASANT HILL, Calif. - Twenty-one educators in Contra Costa County have been named their school district’s teacher of the year. With that distinction, the educators represent more than 8,000 teachers in Contra Costa County public schools and community colleges.

The teachers are from 18 county school districts, the Contra Costa Community College District, and the Contra Costa County Office of Education.

To compete in the county’s Teachers of the Year competition, a teacher must be a Kindergarten through 12th-grade teacher and have at least eight years of experience. Eligible teachers have submitted their applications to be considered for the 2023-2024 Contra Costa County Teachers of the Year, which is organized by the Contra Costa County Office of Education (CCCOE). This year marks the 51st year of the Contra Costa County Teachers of the Year Program and the year’s theme is “Your Time to Shine.”

“Please join me in celebrating these top educators,” Contra Costa County Superintendent of Schools Lynn Mackey said. “You all are remarkable at what you do in the classroom and leave an unforgettable impression on your students. Thank you for your dedication to the education profession and for making a difference in our children’s lives. You are all prime examples of public education at its finest in Contra Costa County.”

Four finalists will be selected from the pool of 18 district teachers of the year that have submitted applications. An announcement naming the finalists will happen during the month of April. Of the final four, two county winners will be announced at the 51st Annual Contra Costa County Teachers of the Year celebration on Thursday, September 21 at Lesher Center in Walnut Creek. To purchase tickets to the presentation or to donate to the program, visit

Those two teachers then move on to the State of California’s Teacher of the Year competition.

Coordinated by CCCOE, judging in the county competition combines a four-stage selection process with a point and percentage system to determine the final candidates. The first stage is a careful screening process of all applications submitted by the teachers of the year of each school district of which four finalists are selected. The four finalists are then evaluated in their classrooms by a team of educational professionals and interviewed separately. Each final candidate will present a three- to five-minute speech in person to a panel of judges. Topics covered in all three stages are teaching philosophies, techniques, and personal background. The finalists are also judged on their speech and presentation skills. The judging panels represent the county’s education professionals, businesses, and public-sector partners.

2023-2024 Contra Costa County Teacher of the Year Nominees:
Evan Sebree, Acalanes Union High School District, Acalanes Center for Independent Study
Pam Swicegood, Antioch High School, Antioch Unified School District
Elizabeth McGinn, Brentwood Union School District, Garwin Elementary School
Chelsea Toon, Byron Union School District, Discovery Bay Elementary School
Jacqui Mosqueira, Contra Costa County Office of Education, Deaf/HH Education Specialist
Alissa Persky, John Swett Unified School District, Rodeo Hills Elementary School
Cathy Templeton, Knightsen Elementary School District, Old River Elementary School
Abigail Ehrhorn, Lafayette School District, Burton Valley Elementary School
Annalouisa Gonzalez-Ortega, Liberty Union High School District, Freedom High School
Paula Parker, Martinez Unified School District, John Muir Elementary School
Michael Adler, Moraga School District, Camino Pablo Elementary School
Joseph Alvarico, Mt. Diablo Unified School District, Ygnacio Valley High School
Danya Townsend, Mt. Diablo Unified School District, Olympic High School
Lee Ann Dike, Oakley Union Elementary School District, Vintage Park Elementary School
Beth Traub, Pittsburg Unified School District, Pittsburg High School
Ashley Fabro, San Ramon Valley Unified School District, Golden View Elementary
Chris Connor, San Ramon Valley Unified School District, Monte Vista High School
Barbara Albaugh, Walnut Creek School District, Walnut Creek Intermediate
Patricia Ogura, West Contra Costa Unified School District, Hercules Middle/High School
Maria Dizon, West Contra Costa Unified School District, Michelle Obama Elementary School
Robert Hawkins, Contra Costa County Community College District, Diablo Valley College

Notes regarding eligible participants:
• 18 of the 21 Contra Costa County school districts represented, and CCCOE are participating in this year’s TOY program.
• Each year, one instructor from Contra Costa Community College District is submitted to the TOY program for their 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 but will be recognized at the Contra Costa County Teacher or the Year Celebration.
• Due to the larger number of students and teachers in their districts, Mt. Diablo USD, San Ramon Valley USD, and West Contra Costa USD are allowed to submit two TOY candidates.

For more information on the Contra Costa County Teacher of the Year program or to donate, visit Follow CCCOE on social media at @cocoschools.


About Contra Costa County Office of Education
One of 58 counties in California, Contra Costa County has the 9th largest public-school student population in the state (approximately 158,401 students). Officially established in 1932, CCCOE has a long history of providing direct services to some of our county's most vulnerable students, including young people who are incarcerated, homeless, or in foster care, as well as students who have severe physical or emotional challenges.

CCCOE also provides support services to schools and school districts in Contra Costa County; services that can be handled most effectively and economically on a regional basis rather than by each of the county's 285 schools or 18 school districts. These services range from budget approval and fiscal support to technology infrastructure, communication support, and high-level professional development opportunities for educators. CCCOE maintains a website at
Website by SchoolMessenger Presence. © 2024 SchoolMessenger Corporation. All rights reserved.