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Teacher of the Year


2006-2007 Teachers of the Year


2006-2007 County
Teacher of the Year
photo of Patricia Carothers

Patricia Carothers

San Ramon Valley USD
Monte Vista High


2006-2007 County Teacher of the Year Finalists
photo of Patricia Carothers photo of Gloria Payette photo of Susan Yamashita

Patricia Carothers

San Ramon Valley USD
Monte Vista High

Gloria Payette

Liberty UHSD
Freedom High

Susan Yamashita

Lafayette SD
Happy Valley Elementary

2006-2007 District Teachers of the Year

Bryan Brandow
Bryan Brandow

West Contra Costa USD
Chavez Elementary School

Janice	Chrobak
Janice Chrobak

Oakley UESD
Gehringer Elementary

Sandra M. Codington
Sandra M. Codington

Mt. Diablo USD
Mt. View Elementary

Matt A. Colbert
Matt A. Colbert

Byron USD
Excelsior Middle School

Maureen Gala
Maureen Gala

Moraga SD
Donald Rheem Elementary

Maggie Gough
Maggie Gough

Mt. Diablo USD
Riverview Middle School

Marilyn Griego
Marilyn Griego

John Swett USD
Rodeo Hills Elementary School

Dr. Laurie Huffman
Dr. Laurie Huffman

Contra Costa CCD
Los Medanos College

James	Koch
James Koch

Contra Costa COE
East County Secondary Special Education Programs,
Liberty Transition

Terry	Lawson
Terry Lawson

Walnut Creek SD
Murwood Elementary

Phillip Lucido
Phillip Lucido

Pittsburg USD
Pittsburg High

Lisa Madigan
Lisa Madigan

West Contra Costa USD
Helms Middle

Nicole Matthew
Nicole Matthew

Knightsen SD
Knightsen School

Marsha Sias
Marsha Sias

Acalanes UHSD
Miramonte High

Joni Smith
Joni Smith

Brentwood USD
Garin Elementary


Juanetta White
Juanetta White

Antioch USD
Carmen Dragon Elementary

Ellen Woodard
Ellen Woodard

CSU East Bay
Concord Campus

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2005-2006 Teachers of the Year




  to make a difference
  in the life of a child.
2005-2006 County
Teacher of the Year

Deborah Berry

Oakley Union Elementary SD
Delta Vista Middle School


County Teacher of the Year Finalists

Deborah Berry

Oakley Union Elementary SD
Delta Vista Middle School

Sandra Gill

Brentwood Union SD
Edna Hill Middle School

Gay Grieger-Lods

West Contra Costa Unified
Woodrow Wilson Elementary

2005-2006 District Teachers of the Year

Larraine Anderson

Liberty Union HSD
Liberty High School

Aida Attiga

Mt Diablo Unified SD
Sequoia Elementary School

Alison Burke

Acalanes Union HSD
Miramonte High School

Karentina Canata

Mt Diablo Unified SD
Valley View Middle School

Louise Colbert

Byron Union SD
Excelsior Middle School

Carol Eklund

Pittsburg Unified SD
Heights Elementary School

Julie Ellis

Walnut Creek SD
Buena Vista Elementary School

Ronald Houston

San Ramon Valley Unified
Venture Independent Study

Dawn Lezak

Moraga SD
Joaquin Moraga Intermediate

Janet Meaden

Orinda Union SD
Wagner Ranch Elementary

Kim O'Leary

Antioch Unified SD
Antioch High School

Leanne Sarmento

Knightsen SD
Knightsen Elementary School

Jacqueline Schlemmer

John Swett Unified SD
Rodeo Hills Elementary School

Gwendolyn Shelton

Mt. McKinley School

Saveth Soun

West Contra Costa Unified
Adams Middle School

Chris Stevens

Lafayette SD
Stanley Middle School

Ted Wieden

Contra Costa Community
College District
Diablo Valley College



2004-2005 Teachers of the Year

Congratulations! 2004-2005 Teacher of the Year Beth McClelland (in red, with last year's Teacher of the Year Liane Cismowski and student). Beth teaches at Twin Creek Elementary in the San Ramon Valley USD

(Finalists bolded)

Jeff Adkins, Antioch USD (Deer Valley High)

Ambrose Amijioyi, West Contra Costa USD (Grant Elementary)

Kim Ambrosino, Oakley Union Elementary SD (Vintage Parkway Elementary)

Becky Arnott, CCC Office of Education (Marchus School)

Jessica Barry-Lindell, Byron Union SD (Timber Point Elementary)

Francisco (Kiki) Ceja, Brentwood Union SD (Bristow Middle)

Terence Elliott, CC Community College District (Contra Costa College)

Laura Filbert, Knightsen SD (Knightsen Elementary)

Heather Hayden, John Swett USD (John Swett High)

Laura Hill, Mt. Diablo USD (Valley View Middle)

Dinah Horner, Mt. Diablo USD (Sequoia Middle)

Jenny Macguire, Orinda USD (Del Rey Elementary)

Beth McClelland, San Ramon Valley USD (Twin Creek Elementary)

Byrne Sherwood, Jr., West Contra Costa USD (Richmond High)

Kari Stewart, Walnut Creek SD (Walnut Creek Intermediate)

Valorie Stillwell, Liberty Union High SD (Liberty High)

Linda Sturgis, Pittsburg USD (Heights Elementary)

Virginia Tiernan, Lafayette SD (Lafayette Elementary)

Doreen Wagner, Acalanes Union High SD (Miramonte High)

Jeanie Wieden, Moraga SD (Los Perales School)


CONGRATULATIONS To the 2003-2004 County Teacher of the Year

2003-2004 Teachers of the Year
(Finalists bolded)

Kandy Aldana, Liberty Union High SD

Janie Bradford, Pittsburg USD

Van Boschetti, CCC College District

Deborah Brown, San Ramon Valley USD

Kori Ann Carey, Lafayette SD

Liane Cismowski, Mt. Diablo USD

Susan Collins, West Contra Costa USD

Norman Dea, Acalanes Union HSD

André Epstein, Antioch USD

Tré Frane, Orinda Union SD

Rozan Gautier, Walnut Creek SD

Michelle Genosick, Oakley Union Elementary SD

Nancy Goodmiller, Martinez USD

Jeannette Grogan, West Contra Costa USD

Thomas Jones, Knightsen SD

Deborah Joseph, Byron Union SD

Kathleen Laughland, Moraga SD

Beatrice Moore, Mt. Diablo USD

Teresa Rodriguez, Brentwood SD

Barbara Walker, John Swett USD

Veronica Wood, CCCOE


About the Teachers of the Year Program

In 1972, California began recognizing outstanding teachers, establishing the Teachers of the Year Program. This program is open to all teachers in public & private schools who teacher pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade. Contra Costa County has participated in the program since its beginning, when Joseph E. Davis, Jr., of the Acalanes Union High School District, was named the county's first representative.

Since that time, four teachers from this county have been State finalists: Janet Neill, San Ramon Valley Unified (1975); David Eakin, John Swett Unified (1981); William Thomas, Mt. Diablo Unified (1982); and Janice Bergamini, Mt. Diablo Unified (1991). In addition, William Pence, San Ramon Valley Unified (1999), was selected to represent California at the National Teacher of the Year level. And, in the last two years, the County has had two other state representatives – Mary Allan, Antioch Unified (2001) and Janet Gower, Mt. Diablo Unified (2002).

With such a high caliber of teaching professionals to draw from, the county uses a three-stage selection process:

  1. Application Screening: In late April/early May, a committee of educators and business partners carefully reviews the 20-22 applicants that are submitted from the school districts. Members rate each application separately. The top five to six teachers selected then advance to the next phase.
  2. Classroom Observation: A committee observes the selected teachers interacting with students in the classroom & spends time interviewing them on their teaching philosophy and technique. The results of the two screening processes are then combined to determine the three finalists.
  3. In late August, the three finalists each give a three-minute speech at a district new-teacher orientation, which is judged by a panel of educators and business representatives. All scores are then combined to determine the County Teacher of the Year.

The County representative is announced at the Awards Dinner in September at a gala affair that honors each district's Teacher of the Year. Local business and community organizations generously donate classroom grants, services and other items to each of the district winners.

Learn more about donating to the Teacher of the Year program.


Honor Our Teachers: Donate to the Teachers of the Year Program

There are four major categories or levels for donating to the T.O.Y. Program:

  1. Visionaries: $5,000 to $10,000 range
  2. Benefactors: $1,000 to $4,999 range
  3. Sponsors: $500 to $999 range
  4. Contributors: $499 or below in amount or services

Most sponsors earmark their grants for the teachers' classrooms or schools; Contra Costa Newspapers, Inc. sponsors the dinner itself, and the cost of dinner for each of the Teachers of the Year and three of their guests.

For more information, or to donate to the Program, please e-mail Jonathan Lance at


Many thanks to our generous donors who make this program a success!


Contra Costa County
Office of Education

Contra Costa Newspapers, Inc.



Dean and Margaret Lesher Foundation

Wells Fargo Bank


Allegro Copy and Print


C. Overaa and Company

California Symphony

Center REP/Dean Lesher Regional Center for the Arts

Chapman University


Festival Opera

Fitzpatrick Chevrolet-Buick, Inc.

George Miller Youth Foundation

Kaiser Permanente

Kelling, Northcross & Nobriga

Lakeshore Learning Materials

METRO 1 Credit Union

Mt. Diablo National Bank

Shell Oil Products U.S./Martinez Refinery

Tesoro Petroleum

USS POSCO Industries


Willows Theatre Company



Broadway Plaza Shopping Center

CD Federal Credit Union

Diablo Ballet

Diablo Regional Arts Association

Dow Chemical Company

East Bay Municipal Utility District

Keenan & Associates

Longs Drug Stores

Mt. Diablo Recycling

Susan Stuart & Associates

The Mechanics Bank


Paul & Ginger Bonnar

Val and Patty Castro

Danville A.M. Toastmasters

Milton & Jackie DeGroodt

Delta Diablo Sanitation District

Diablo Vista Retired Teachers’ Association

Hilton Concord

Oakland Athletics Baseball Company

Pleasant Hill Florist

Peggy Marshburn

Ed and Gwen Regalia

Joan Sieczkowski

Trinity Media, Inc.




Teacher of the Year Contact:

Communications Specialist

Jonathan Lance


Communications FAX   925.942.3454






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