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2012 – 2013 Teacher of the Year

Tree with educational items

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2012-2013 Contra Costa County
District Teacher of the Year Representatives

2012-2013 County
Teacher of the Year

Deborah Bordeau

Dr. Rona Zollinger
Martinez Unified School District
Vicente Martinez High


2012-2013 County Teacher of the Year Finalists

Deborah Bordeau

Mona Keeler
San Ramon Valley USD
Iron Horse Middle

Donna Kenyon

Terryl Miller
Moraga SD
Los Perales Elementary

Sue Noce

Dr. Rona Zollinger
Martinez USD
Vicente Martinez High

Donna Aspell

Vanesa Arreola-Navarro
Pittsburg USD
Foothill Elementary

Deborah Bordeau

Dan Auza
John Swett USD
Carquinez Middle

Nanci Buckingham

Michael Buchel
Acalanes UHSD
Acalanes High

Steve Coccimigilio

Kim Burris
Orinda USD
all five OUSD Schools

Diane Dias

Erin Carson
Walnut Creek SD
Indian Valley Elementary

Emma Flores

Marina Chinchilla
Knightsen ESD
Knightsen Elementary

Marie Graham-Tyler

Kathy DeRenzi
San Ramon Valley USD
Quail Run Elementary

Thomas Gravert

Rochelle Gardiner
Oakley Union Elementary SD
Vintage Parkway Elementary

Nicole Hackett

Heather Harper
Liberty UHSD
Freedom High

Donna Kenyon

Joshua Hastings
West Contra Costa USD
Richmond High

No Image Available

William Hyres
Golden Gate Community School Rodeo

Carroll Martin

Mona Keeler
San Ramon Valley USD
Iron Horse Middle

2012-2013 District Teachers of the Year

Sue Noce

Kevin Lindell
Byron USD
Excelsior Middle

Kristin Ortega

Cynthia McGrath
Los Medanos College
Contra Costa Community College District

Carol Scott

Terryl Miller
Moraga SD
Los Perales Elementary

Patsy Templeton

Naomi Phillips
Brentwood USD
Edna Hill Middle

Gina Terry

Mona Lisa Ricard
Mt. Diablo USD
Sequoia Elementary

Renee Travis

Tracey Singh-Poole
West Contra Costa USD
DeAnza High

Jeremy Umland, Rodeo Hills Elementary

Mette Thallaug
Lafayette SD
Burton Valley Elementary

Michael Wood

Stacey Wickware
Antioch USD
Dozier-Libbey Medical High

Michael Wood

Dr. Rona Zollinger
Martinez USD
Vicente Martinez High

Note regarding eligible participants:

  • Seventeen of the eighteen Contra Costa County school districts represented (plus the 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 his/her outstanding body of work with their designated college. The colleges rotate each year between Diablo Valley, Los Medanos, and Contra Costa. This year, it is Los Mendanos College's turn. (These instructors do not compete in the State Teacher of the Year competition.)
  • Due to the larger number of students in their districts, West Contra Costa USD, Mt. Diablo USD, and San Ramon Valley USD are allowed to select two TOY candidates. (This year, Mt. Diablo USD only submitted one District TOY.)

CCTV will broadcast the Awards Dinner on the following dates:

  • Tuesday, October 9 at 7 p.m.
  • Wednesday, October 10 at 10 a.m.
  • Thursday, October 11 at 4 p.m.
  • Wednesday, October 24 at 1 p.m.
  • Thursday, November 1 at 6 p.m.

CCTV is Comcast channel 27, Astound channel 32 and AT&T U-verse channel 99
More broadcast information can be found at

Teacher of the Year Awards Dinner VideoyouTube logo


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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.

The county's TOY program is directed by the CCCOE. With such a high caliber of teaching professionals to draw from, the CCCOE’s TOY program uses a three-stage selection process, with a point and percentage system to determine the final candidate as follows:

I Application Screening:

On April 13, a committee of 13, representing the county’s education, business, and public-sector partners meticulously reviewed the applications submitted by the school districts. This committee independently rated each application. After the application screening and scoring were completed, five teachers were selected to advance to the next phase as semifinalists.

II Classroom Observation and Interview:

During the upcoming weeks of late April and early May, a small committee of education specialists and business partners will observe the semifinalists interacting with their students. Immediately following, the committee interviews the candidates, discussing topics such as their teaching philosophy and techniques. The results of the two screening processes are then combined to determine the three finalists. (The three finalists will be announced in late May.)

III Speech Presentation:

This coming August, the three TOY finalists will each give a three- to five-minute speech to another panel of a dozen educators, business, and public-sector representatives who will judge the finalists on their speech and presentation skills.

On the evening of September 20, 2012, all 21 TOYs, accompanied by their families, friends, and co-workers (an audience of approximately 400) will be honored at the annual Teacher of the Year Dinner Celebration, held at the Hilton Concord. Contra Costa County Superintendent of Schools Joseph A. Ovick, Ed.D., who serves as master of ceremonies, introduces the TOYs by sharing a special story that reflects his classroom visits of each teacher during the recent spring and summer months. This will be followed by the three finalists giving their three- to five-minute speeches (same speeches given in August) to the filled banquet room. The excitement-filled evening will come to a dramatic close with the announcement of the 2012-2013 Contra Costa 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 Newspapers, Inc.

Dean and Margaret Lesher Foundation

Wells Fargo Foundation



Allegro Copy and Print

Brandman University

C. Overaa and Company

California Symphony

Center REP/Dean Lesher Regional Center for the Arts

George Miller Youth Foundation

Kaiser Permanente

KNN Public Finance

Phillips 66

Shell Oil Products U.S./Martinez Refinery

Travis Credit Union

USS POSCO Industries


ACSA Region 6

Broadway Plaza Shopping Center

Dow Chemical Company

Keenan & Associates

Mechanics Bank

Mt. Diablo Recyclying



Richard Asadoorian and Barbara Cowen

Val and Patty Castro

Chabot Space and Science Center

Diablo Vista Retired Teachers’ Association

Hilton Concord

Office Depot

Pleasant Hill Florist

Susan Stuart & Associates

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