Sacramento County's 16 district Teachers of the Year 2003, including Sacramento County Teachers of the Year Virginia Avila and Jim Jordan, were honored at ARCO Arena Tuesday, January 28, 2003, during halftime of the Sacramento Kings vs. Utah Jazz game. Prior to the ceremony, the honorees and their guests were treated to a reception and "chalk talk" with Kings Assistant Coach John Wetzel. Sacramento County Office of Education representative Marvin Cobb, who serves as Executive Director of the California Academic Decathlon, performed the pre-game National Anthem before the Kings capacity crowd of 17,317.
The Teachers of the Year 2003 were featured in a special halftime ceremony witnessed by thousands of cheering fans. Officials from Maloof Sports and Entertainment, along with Teacher Appreciation Night sponsor NECA-IBEW, joined Sacramento County Superintendent of Schools Dr. David P. Meaney in greeting Teachers of the Year on the basketball court. They presented each teacher with a certificate of achievement and a Sacramento Kings binder. Assisting in this year's presentation was special guest California Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell. For only the second time since the inception of the Teachers of the Year Program, a Sacramento County Teacher of the Year — Virginia Avila — was selected as California's Teacher of the Year. California Teacher of the Year 1986 was Bob Mange from Folsom Cordova Unified School District. Jim Jordan was selected as Alternate California Teacher of the Year.
For more than a decade, the Sacramento Kings organization has supported recognition of the area's top teachers. The 2002-2003 Kings season marks the second year of NECA-IBEW's Teacher Appreciation sponsorship, which has made possible a financial contribution to each Teacher of the Year's classroom and a Kings player visit to classrooms of the two Sacramento County Teachers of the Year. Health Net is also a partner helping make possible the Teacher Appreciation Program. Kings player Bobby Jackson visited Virginia Avila's class on December 12, 2002, and will be visiting Jim Jordan's class in February.
Information about the Sacramento County Teachers of the Year Program is available online or by phoning the Sacramento County Office of Education at (916) 228-2222.