Joseph Sims Elementary School teacher Denise Phillips welcomed a special guest to her classroom on March 10. Phillips and her fourth-grade students were treated to a visit by Sacramento Kings guard Doug Christie. Christie, accompanied by his wife, Jackie, made an appearance at the campus to honor Denise Phillips, who was named Sacramento County Teacher of the Year 2004.
Phillips, also named as one of Elk Grove Unified School District's Teachers of the Year 2004, introduced several students who had prepared questions for Doug Christie. The 6'6" Christie answered questions on a multitude of subjects. When asked what makes a good coach, he replied that he believes good coaches are like good teachers: "understanding," caring, and "relaxed" in manner. Christie told the children how fortunate they are to have Ms. Phillips as their teacher, and that they should focus on learning all they can. He affirmed that hard work and dedication are necessary to succeed. "Practice, practice, practice," he advised. "Whatever you do, do it with your whole heart."
Before signing autographs and posing for pictures, Christie thanked the Sacramento County Office of Education and Teacher Appreciation Program partners: NECA-IBEW (National Electrical Contractors Association & the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers) and Health Net for supporting the program.
Sacramento County's other Teacher of the Year 2004, Chris Hoover of Robla School District, was visited by Doug Christie in December.
For 15 years, the Sacramento Kings have helped recognize district and county Teachers of the Year. District and County Teachers of the Year 2004 in Sacramento County were honored during halftime at the Sacramento Kings vs. Seattle SuperSonics NBA game on February 3 at ARCO Arena.