Before thousands of cheering and supportive fans, Sacramento County's 15 district Teachers of the Year 2010 were honored on the court at ARCO Arena on Friday, February 5, during the Sacramento Kings/Phoenix Suns game.
The two reigning Sacramento County Teachers of the Year, JoEllen Shanks, from Stone Lake Elementary School in the Elk Grove Unified School District, and Deb House, from Kingswood Elementary School in the San Juan Unified School District, were among the honorees at center court.
The Teachers of the Year were featured during a special halftime ceremony witnessed by the crowd at ARCO Arena. Ivette Gonzalez, Director of Community Service for Maloof Sports and Entertainment and Intel Education Manager Leroy Tripette joined Sacramento County Superintendent of Schools David W. Gordon in greeting Teachers of the Year on the basketball court and presenting them with awards.
Prior to the ceremony, the Kings hosted honorees and their guests at a pre-game reception and dinner in which Superintendent Gordon thanked the award winning teachers for all of the work that they do for students. "We are all here to honor you and thank you for all of the hard work that you do in the classroom every day," Superintendent Gordon said.
During the reception, Kings Assistant Coach Mario Ellie talked about his career, discussed basketball strategy and even shared with the gathering the fact that his fourth grade teacher is still a part of his life.
"He was a real big influence in my life," Ellie said. "Still to this day I text him to stay in touch to see how he's doing."
Intel's Leroy Tripette also addressed the group, presented each teacher with a gift bag, which included a $100 Visa gift card, and shared with the teachers his admiration for their devotion and dedication to helping students.
"I know that sometimes you feel as if you have a thankless job, but we want you to know that we truly appreciate what you do," Tripette said.
Kings player Kevin Martin also greeted the teachers during the pre-game event and posed for pictures with attendees.
The Sacramento County Teachers of the Year program is coordinated annually by the Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) to recognize the achievements of local educators and to raise awareness of the valuable role that teachers play in the lives of their students and in the community. The program is presented by SCOE in partnership with Maloof Sports and Entertainment, Intel Corporation Folsom and the Sacramento Scottish Rite Bodies of Freemasonry.
Information about the Sacramento County Teachers of the Year Program is available online or by phoning the Sacramento County Office of Education at (916) 228-2417.