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Sacramento County Office of Education Sacramento County Office of Education

District and County Teachers of the Year Announced

Two Educators Will Represent Sacramento County at State Competition

At the annual awards dinner held September 21 at the Sacramento Hilton, the following were announced as "Teachers of the Year 2000" for Sacramento County: Pete LeBlanc, journalism teacher and student activities director at Center High School and Doreen Pendleton, kindergarten teacher at Folsom Hills Elementary. LeBlanc and Pendleton each received a commemorative Award of Merit from the Sacramento County Board of Education, and they will share possession of a perpetual trophy presented by the Sacramento Scottish Rite. The two educators now advance to the California Teachers of the Year competition in November.

LeBlanc and Pendleton were among 14 teachers recognized Tuesday evening as Teachers of the Year 2000 for their respective school districts. Each of the 14 honorees was escorted by his or superintendent and principal, and introduced by a current or former student. Serving as master of ceremonies for the evening was KFBK reporter Bret Burkhart.

Next Step: Statewide Competition​​

Sacramento Counry Teachers of the Year 2000 Pete LeBlanc and Doreen Pendleton now advance to the statewide competition, out of which five teachers will be chosen as California Teachers of the Year. The five California Teachers of the Year are responsible for representing the teaching profession in a variety of settings and assisting their teaching colleagues in numerous ways throughout the calendar year of 2000. Their names, and that of the one individual of the group to be selected as the state’s nominee to the National Teacher of the Year Program, will be announced in early November by the California Department of Education. Salvador Arriaga, Coordinator of the California Teachers of the Year Program, may be contacted for additional information at (916) 657-2926.

Sacramento Kings to Honor Teachers of the​​ Year During 1999–00 NBA Season

The Sacramento Kings will recognize all 14 Teachers of the Year 2000 at the Kings vs. Orlando Magic NBA game Thursday, January 20, 2000. The game starts at 7:30 pm at ARCO Arena in Sacramento. Each of the Teachers of the Year and a guest will be hosted by the Kings for a pre-game dinner and will view the basketball game from complimentary seats. Tickets for the game will be available to all teachers, parents and schools at a discounted price. Ticket order forms are available by contacting Carl Kuhn at the Kings, (916) 928-8117.

Selected as Sacramento County Teachers ​​of the Year 2000

Pete LeBlancPete LeBlanc, a resident of Antelope, has been a teacher for seven years. He is in his sixth year of teaching at Center High School. In addition to teaching journalism, he serves as advisor and director of award-winning publications for Center High School students and families. LeBlanc, who earned his M.A. in Education Administration from the University of LaVerne and a B.A. in journalism from California State University, Sacramento, also oversees student government and campus enrichment activities. He is the Center Unified School District Teacher of the Year 2000.

Doreen PendletonDoreen Pendleton, who lives in Folsom, has taught elementary education for 15 years, 13 of them as a teacher of kindergarten students. Selected as Folsom Hills Elementary School’s 1999 Teacher of the Year, she has served as a Mentor Teacher, as well as filling other leadership roles in the training of new and continuing teachers in her district. Pendleton has a B.A. from California State University, Sacramento. She is the Folsom Cordova Unified School District Teacher of the Year 2000.

Representing Their Districts as Teachers of ​the Year 2000


Del Paso Heights School District Teacher of the Year 2000

John McBeth

John McBeth, 3rd grade teacher at Del Paso Elementary School


Elk Grove Unified School District Teachers of the Year 2000

Daniel Newton

Daniel Newton, Student Activities Director at Elk Grove High School

Patricia Webb

Patricia Webb, 3rd grade teacher at Arthur C. Butler Elementary School


Grant Jt. Union High School District Teacher of the Year 2000

Eleanor Allen

Eleanor Allen, Economics/US History teacher at Foothill High School


Natomas Unified School District Teacher of the Year 2000

Krista Dornbush

Krista Dornbush, Social Science teacher at Natomas High School


North Sacramento School District Teacher of the Year 2000

Joan James

Joan James, 5th grade teacher at Castori Elementary School


Rio Linda Union School District Teacher of the Year 2000

Suzi Owen

Suzi Owen, 7th-8th grade teacher at Westside Charter School (K-8)


Robla School District Teacher of the Year 2000

Dee Duenas

Dee Duenas, 5th-6th grade SDC-LH teacher at Taylor Street School


Sacramento City School District Teachers of the Year 2000

Theresa Marie DeMars Luigi

Theresa Marie DeMars Luigi, Kindergarten teacher at Peter Burnett Elementary School

Robert Snider

Robert Snider, 4th grade teacher at Pacific Elementary School


Sacramento County Office of Education Teacher of the Year 2000

Alicia Zermeno

Alicia Zermeno, Orientation and Mobility Specialist serving visually impaired students at school sites throughout the county


San Juan Unified School District Teacher of the Year 2000

Cindy Suchanek

Cindy Suchanek, Biology/Environmental science teacher at Mira Loma High School


About the Teachers of the​​ Year Program

All school districts within the County of Sacramento, along with the Sacramento County Office of Education, may participate in the Sacramento County Teachers of the Year Program. Because of their size, three districts — Elk Grove, Sacramento City and San Juan Unified — are eligible to submit two entries. Each district’s Teacher of the Year completes a comprehensive application packet, which includes an extensive biography and answers to questions ranging from personal philosophy of teaching to an understanding of current educational issues. A community selection committee comprised of education professionals, including previous Teachers of the Year, meets mid-September to interview each district Teacher of the Year and select the two finalists. The Sacramento County Teachers of the Year Program is presented by the Sacramento County Office of Education in conjunction with the Sacramento County School Boards Association. Sponsors include the Sacramento Kings/Knight/Monarchs and the Sacramento Kings Community Foundation, 3-D International, and the Sacramento Scottish Rite Bodies of Freemasonry.

For more information, contact the Sacramento County Office of Education Public Information Office at (916) 228-2416, or e-mail Cathy Sapunor.

Pete LeBlanc

Pete LeBlanc, journalism teacher and student activities director at Center High School.

Doreen Pendleton

Doreen Pendleton, kindergarten teacher at Folsom Hills Elementary.