Education took center court before thousands of cheering and supportive fans as Sacramento County's Teachers of the Year 2011 were honored at ARCO Arena on Friday, February 4, during the Sacramento Kings/San Antonio Spurs game.
The two reigning Sacramento County Teachers of the Year, Shannan Brown, a 5th-grade teacher at Thomas Edison Elementary School in the San Juan Unified School District, and Kadhir Rajagopal, a mathematics teacher at Grant Union High School in Twin Rivers Unified School District, were among the fourteen honorees at center court.
Brown and Rajagopal were also named two of the five 2011 California Teachers of the Year.
All of 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, Tammy Cyphert, Vice President of Sales and Marketing and Director of Global Operations and Productivity for Intel Corporation, 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 children.
"Congratulations to you and thank you for all that you do for the children of Sacramento County," Superintendent Gordon said.
During the reception, Kings Assistant Coach Pete Carril talked about his 57-year career as a coach, and his time as a classroom teacher.
"I think what you get out of teaching is tremendous satisfaction," Carril said. "You are instrumental in helping students to understand."
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 children.
"If you can get just one quality, high energy teacher, you can impact a generation of students," Tripette said.
Kings player Tyreke Evans 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-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.