Seven local teachers have made the list of 20 nominated for the title Teacher of the Year in Contra Costa County. They include Steven Ernest, Liberty Union High School District (Heritage High School); Stacie Maslen, Byron Union School District (Excelsior Middle School); Janet Murirragui, Antioch Unified School District (Deer Valley High School); Frances Prochaska, Brentwood Union School District (Edna Hill Middle School); Julie Swan, Oakley Union School District (Vintage Parkway Elementary School); and Angel Taylor, Knightsen School District (Knightsen Elementary School).
There are close to 8,600 teachers educating more than 166,000 students in Contra Costa County. To recognize their efforts and bring much-deserved honor to the teaching profession, the participating school districts in the county recently named their Teacher of the Year (TOY) representatives (see entire list below). This year’s 20 TOY nominees represent 17 Contra Costa County school districts and the Contra Costa Community College District. Eighteen of these representatives, those who teach grades K-12, are eligible to compete in the Contra Costa County TOY competition. The winner of the county TOY program will represent Contra Costa County in the California State TOY Program this coming fall.
“Once again, we have an outstanding selected group of educators that represent their districts, as well as all the teachers of Contra Costa County schools, in stellar fashion,” says Contra Costa County Superintendent of Schools Joseph A. Ovick, Ed.D.
For additional TOY information, visit www.cccoe.k12.ca.us/supe/toy.html#about.
The county’s TOY program is directed by the Contra Costa County Office of Education (CCCOE). With such a high caliber of teaching professionals to draw from, the CCCOE uses a three-stage selection process, with a point system to determine the final candidate:
I. Application Screening:
In mid-April, a committee of 12 educators and business and public-sector partners will carefully review the applications submitted by the school districts. This committee independently rates each application. After the application screening, between four and six teachers will be selected to advance to the next phase as semi-finalists.
II. Classroom Observation and Interview:
During early May, a small committee of education specialists and business partners will observe the selected teachers interacting with their students. Immediately following, the committee interviews the candidates on 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 early June.)
III. Speech Competition:
This coming August, the three finalists each give a three- to five-minute speech at the Mt. Diablo Unified School District’s new-teacher orientation, where another panel of educators and business and public-sector representatives will judge them.
On the evening of Sept. 24, all 20 TOYs, accompanied by their families, friends and co-workers (an audience of approximately 500), will be honored at the Teacher of the Year Dinner Celebration at the Hilton Concord. Dr. Ovick, as master of ceremonies, will introduce the TOYs by sharing a special story from his classroom visits of each teacher. Finally, the night comes to a dramatic close with the announcement of the 2009-10 Contra Costa County Teacher of the Year.
2009-10 Contra Costa County Teacher of the Year Representatives.