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2007 – 2008 Teacher of the Year

Tree with educational items

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2007-2008 Contra Costa County
District Teacher of the Year Representatives

2007-2008 County
Teacher of the Year

photo of Kathy Tickner

Kathy Tickner
Byron School District
Excelsior Middle School


2007-2008 County Teacher of the Year Finalists

photo of Sandy Johnson-Shaw

Sandy Johnson-Shaw
Mt. Diablo USD
Mt. Diablo High School

photo of Kathleen Moore

Kathleen Moore
San Ramon Valley USD
Del Amigo High School

photo of Kathy Tickner

Kathy Tickner
Byron School District
Excelsior Middle School

photo of Yvonne Anast

Yvonne Anast
Orinda Union SD
Orinda Intermediate

photo of Tobi Benz

Tobi Benz
Oakley Union Elementary SD
Laurel Elementary

photo of Nancy Carlson

Nancy Carlson
Brentwood USD
Ron Nunn Elementary

photo of Paul DeBolt

Paul DeBolt
Contra Costa Community College District – Contra Costa College

photo of Richard Gorton

Richard Gorton
Walnut Creek SD
Indian Valley Elementary

photo of Gina Graziano

Gina Graziano
Martinez Unified SD
John Muir Elementary

photo of Shauna Hawes

Shauna Hawes
Mt. Diablo Unified SD
Hidden Valley Elementary

photo of Molly Henrikson

Molly Henrikson
Acalanes Union SD
Campolindo High

photo of Tricia Isayi

Tricia Isayi
John Swett Unified SD
Rodeo Hills Elementary

photo of William Leach

William Leach
Antioch Unified SD
Deer Valley High

photo of Mary Luersen

Mary Luersen
West Contra Costa Unified SD
De Anza High

photo of Patrick McGee

Patrick McGee
Knightsen SD
Knightsen Elementary

2007-2008 District Teachers of the Year

photo of Cheryl Noland

Cheryl Noland
West Contra Costa Unified SD Ellerhorst Elementary

photo of Leann Pfeiffer-Nixdorff

Leann Pfeiffer-Nixdorff
Moraga SD
Camino Pablo Elementary

photo of Robert Phelps

Robert Phelps
California State University, East Bay

photo of Michael Rogers

Michael Rogers
CCC Office of Education
Contra Costa Adult School

photo of Scott Turner

Scott Turner
Lafayette School District
Burton Valley Elementary

photo of Anne-Marie Valdivia

Anne-Marie Valdivia
Liberty Union HSD
Liberty High

photo of Myrna Young

Myrna Young
Pittsburg Unified SD
Los Medanos Elementary



Note regarding eligible participants:

  • 17 of the 19 Contra Costa County school districts represented
  • Due to the large student and teacher population, the West Contra Costa Unified School District and the Mt. Diablo Unified School District each present two TOY candidates
  • 1 community college (which does not compete in the State Teacher of the Year competition)

CCTV will broadcast the Awards Dinner.. More broadcast information can be found at

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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). For a list of all of the Contra Costa County Teacher of the Year Representatives please click here.

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, a committee of educators and business partners carefully reviews the 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 mid 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.

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

There are four major categories or levels for donating to the TOY 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

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


Contra Costa County
Office of Education

Contra Costa Times



Dean and Margaret Lesher Foundation

Sports Basement

Wells Fargo Foundation

Tesoro Petroleum


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 Hummer

George Miller Youth Foundation

Kaiser Permanente

Kelling, Northcross & Nobriga

Lakeshore Learning Materials

METRO 1 Credit Union

Shell Oil Products U.S./Martinez Refinery

USS POSCO Industries

Wahington Mutual

Willows Theatre Company


ACSA Region 6

Broadway Plaza Shopping Center

CD Federal Credit Union

Diablo Regional Arts Association

Dow Chemical Company

East Bay Municipal Utility District

Keenan & Associates

Lakeshore Learning Materials

Longs Drug Stores

Mechanics Bank

Mt. Diablo Recycling

Susan Stuart & Associates


Paul & Ginger Bonnar

Val and Patty Castro

Judith Collier

Milton and Jackie DeGroodt

Delta Diablo Sanitation District

Diablo Vista Retired Teachers’ Association

Hilton Concord

Pleasant Hill Florist

Ed and Gwen Regalia

Office Depot

Chris Rizzoli and Heather Haugen Rizzoli

Trinity Media, Inc.


Teacher of the Year Contact
Communications Specialist/Teacher of the Year/Media Relations 925.942.3429
FAX, Communications   925.942.3454

Page updated on: December 20, 2017

Rev: 0.4-010514-BETA4