Two educators have been selected to represent Sacramento County teachers in the statewide Teachers of the Year 2004 competition.
At the annual county-wide awards dinner held September 10 at the Sacramento Hilton, the following were announced as "Teachers of the Year 2004" for Sacramento County: Chris Hoover, a teacher at Taylor Street School (Robla School District) and Denise Phillips, who teaches at Joseph Sims Elementary School (Elk Grove Unified School District).
At the dinner, Sacramento County Board of Education Trustee Elinor L. Hickey presented Ms. Hoover and Ms. Phillips each with the County Board of Education Award of Merit, and the two teachers were awarded a shared perpetual trophy presented by Jim Stephens of the Sacramento Scottish Rite. Ms. Hoover and Ms. Phillips now advance to the California Teachers of the Year competition. Names of the five individuals selected as California Teachers of the Year will be announced mid-October by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction. One California Teacher of the Year will be chosen to represent all teachers in the state at the national level.
Chris Hoover and Denise Phillips were among 15 teachers recognized Wednesday evening as "Teachers of the Year 2004" for their respective school districts. Among those present at the dinner were the honorees' superintendents and principals. Each district Teacher of the Year was introduced by a current or former student. Dr. David P. Meaney, County Superintendent of Schools, presented each of the Teachers of the Year with an inscribed apple award. Serving as masters of ceremonies for the evening were Sacramento County Teachers of the Year 2003 Virginia Avila (Grant Joint Union High School District) and Jim Jordan (San Juan Unified School District). Jim Jordan and Virginia Avila were both named California Teachers of the Year 2003, with Ms. Avila being chosen to represent California in the National Teachers of the Year program.
Chris Hoover, a resident of West Sacramento, has been a teacher for 18 years. Since 2000, she has taught primary grades in the Robla School District. Prior to 2000, she served as an elementary classroom teacher in Washington Unified School District (West Sacramento) and Marysville Joint Unified School District, where she was named a Mentor Teacher. She currently teaches a fifth-sixth grade combination class at Taylor Street School. She has a B.A. degree in German/Russian from the University of California, Davis (UCD), as well as a Master of Arts degree from UCD in History and Philosophy of Education. She received her California Multiple Subject Credential from National University. In her Teacher of the Year application, she states, "An effective teacher must believe that every student can learn."
Denise Phillips, an Elk Grove resident, has taught for 17 years—all of those years in the Elk Grove Unified School District, where she has served as a Mentor Teacher. She received her California Multiple Subjects Credential and a B.A. degree in Liberal Studies from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. She earned her Master of Arts degree in Curriculum and Instruction from California State University, Sacramento (CSUS), as well as a Supplemental Authorization Credential for Computers in the Classroom. Ms. Phillips currently teaches fourth grade at Joseph Sims Elementary School and plays an instrumental role in training educators in the use of computer technology in the classroom. She states in her Teacher of the Year application, "Teaching is joyful because each day is new and different."
About the Competition
All of the school districts within the County of Sacramento, along with the Sacramento County Office of Education, are invited each year to participate in the Sacramento County Teachers of the Year Program. Larger districts 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 in the fall to interview each district Teacher of the Year and select the two finalists. The names of 15 teachers representing 12 school districts and the Sacramento County Office of Education were entered in the Teachers of the Year 2004 Program in Sacramento County. The name of a recently deceased teacher—Denise Stratmann-Binder—was entered for posthumous recognition by the Natomas Unified School District. Ms. Stratmann-Binder taught fifth grade at Natomas Park Elementary School. She was represented at the banquet by her parents and school principal.
Chris Hoover and Denise Phillips 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 2004. Their names, and that of the one individual of the group selected as the state's nominee to the National Teacher of the Year Program will be announced in the fall by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction.
Sacramento school district Teachers of the Year will be honored individually by their districts throughout the calendar year and by the Sacramento Kings during halftime of a game during the 2003–04 NBA season. The two County Teachers of the Year will each receive visits to their classroom by a Sacramento Kings player. All of the district Teachers of the Year will be featured in public service radio messages during Kings game broadcasts.
The Sacramento County Teachers of the Year Program is presented by the Sacramento County Office of Education in partnership with Maloof Sports & Entertainment, Sacramento Kings, and the Sacramento Scottish Rite Bodies of Freemasonry.