The Sacramento Kings honored Sacramento County's 15 district Teachers of the Year 2004 on February 3, 2004 during halftime of the Sacramento Kings vs. Seattle SuperSonics game at ARCO Arena. Officials from Maloof Sports and Entertainment and Kings Teacher Appreciation Night sponsors NECA-IBEW and Health Net joined Dr. David P. Meaney, Sacramento County Superintendent of Schools, in greeting Teachers of the Year on the basketball court. Assisting in the presentation was California Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell.
Prior to the game, the Teachers of the Year were guests at a special reception hosted by the Sacramento Kings, NECA-IBEW and Health Net. Sacramento City Unified School District Teacher of the Year Pauline Cazanis then performed the pre-game National Anthem before a capacity crowd. During the halftime ceremony, the Teachers of the Year were cheered by more than 17,000 enthusiastic fans. Special recognition was given to Chris Hoover (Robla School District) and Denise Phillips (Elk Grove Unified School District) who were selected to represent Sacramento County in the statewide Teachers of the Year Program. Denise Phillips was named a California Teacher of the Year semi-finalist. Dawn Imamoto, who represented neighboring Yolo County in the statewide program, was named as one of California's five Teachers of the Year. Ms. Imamoto was featured during the game in a special interview.
For nearly 15 years, the Sacramento Kings organization has supported recognition of the area's top teachers. The 2003–04 Kings season marks the third 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 Doug Christie visited Chris Hoover's class on December 2, 2003 and will be visiting the classroom of Denise Phillips in March.
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.