Thursday, October 10, 2013

District educators shine at annual Salute to Teachers

Cox Communications, in cooperation with the San Diego Office of Education and Ashford University, hosted the 40th Annual San Diego County Teacher of the Year Awards on Oct. 5.

Among the honorees were our district 2013 Teachers of the Year and Runners-up along with two district teachers who received special recognition for their expertise in environmental education and science and technology.

salute to teachers
Left to Right: Lara Dickens, Patrick Trotter, Kyra Phillips, Ken Hughes, Cindy Marten, Angela Wolde.
San Diego Unified had six outstanding candidates vying for the title of County Teacher of the Year. They included Kenneth Hughes from Lewis Middle, Jessica Graham from Kearny High Science Connections & Technology, Lauren Robinson-Hunt from CPMA, Amy Sanders from Nye Elementary, Angela Wolde from Euclid Elementary and David Weber from Preuss UCSD, who was named a finalist. Although none were selected County Teachers of the Year, their dedication and commitment to our students is immeasurable. Learn more about the teachers.

Two San Diego Unified teachers received special awards at the event. Lara Dickens teaches AP Environmental Science and Physics at Henry High School. She was named the Sycuan 2013 Environmental Educator. Last year, as part of her class, students performed an energy audit and initiated a plan with the district to reduce energy consumption on campus by removing excessive lighting and taking advantage of natural light.

As faculty advisor for the Henry High School Environmental Club, students focus on themes they feel strongly about such as the environmental benefits of being a vegetarian, recycling, litter removal and growing your own food. Dickens' goal is to provide opportunities for students to be "green leaders' and hopes her students realize they can make a difference, right now.

Patrick Trotter from Bethune K-8 was named the Procopio 2013 Science and Technology Educator. He teaches the Gateway to Technology program, a hands-on, project-based program, which covers various topics, including Design & Modeling, Automation &Robotics, Energy & the Environment and Flight& Space. Trotter's mission is to get his students hooked on engineering. He knows the knowledge and skills his students gain will create a strong foundation, and a career in the engineering field is a win for them and a win for the nation.

San Diego Unified students were spotlighted as three of the student entertainment acts during the event. The Mission Bay High School Preservationists, one of the nation's premier traditional youth jazz bands; Chamber Bravura, nationally ranked a cappella group comprised of middle school and high school students from Scripps Ranch, under the direction of Katherine Girvin from Marshall Middle School; and sisters and vocalists, Nicole and Natalie de Kozan, students at Marshall Middle School and Scripps Ranch High School respectively, all performed to the delight of the crowd.

Supt. Cindy Marten was on hand to join the celebration, which was co-hosted by long-time San Diego broadcast journalist Dennis Morgigno and Headline News anchor Kyra Phillips. Phillips is a childhood friend of Supt. Marten.

The annual event is dedicated to the 26,000 teachers in San Diego County who not only educate, but also inspire and motivate their students every day.

Repeats of the show are being aired on CoxSan Diego Channel 4 and iTV Channel 16. Air times are listed on