Special Education teacher René Delgado got a big surprise on May 8. The day, also designated as California Day of the Teacher, was when he learned he had been selected as the Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) Teacher of the Year 2014.
Colleagues and administrators bearing balloons and good news surprised the teacher with the announcement. A resident of Orangevale, Delgado teaches 7th- and 8th-grade students with emotional disturbances at Leo A. Palmiter Jr./Sr. High School. The school provides education to special needs students with the primary disability of Emotional Disturbance (ED) in grades 7–12.
Delgado says he considers teaching a team effort. "The idea of everyone being on the same team is nothing new or groundbreaking," he says. "It's the way things are supposed to be. As teachers, especially Special Education teachers, we've all had more success with students when their parents and other team members worked with us."
Delgado has been a SCOE employee since September 2011. Prior to joining SCOE, he served several years as a Special Day Class Education Specialist at Will Rogers Middle School (SJUSD) and the Gates of Learning Center, a private school located in Roseville. He additionally served at La Entrada Continuation High School in the SJUSD. Delgado earned a B.A. in Sociology from California State University, Fullerton, and his Preliminary Single Subject Teaching Credential in Physical Education from Chapman University. At Chapman, he also earned his Level I Education Specialist Instruction Credential for students with mild/moderate disabilities.
At Palmiter, he has served as California High School Exit Exam Site Coordinator and Teacher-in-Charge. He is also the coach of the school's softball team.
Para-professional educator Brenae Wilson, who nominated Mr. Delgado for the honor, heaps high praise on her coworker. "Mr. Delgado considers himself not only a teacher of ED students, but as a mentor. He is encouraging, funny, and engaging. He has the ability to mix academics with life skills."
Joining Superintendent David W. Gordon in making the announcement were Assistant Superintendent Dr. Robin Pierson, and Palmiter Principal Lauren Roth.
Delgado will be honored—along with teachers representing other individual Sacramento County school districts—at the annual Teachers of the Year Awards event, which will be held Friday, August 16, 2013. At that event, two teachers will be named as the 2014 Sacramento County Teachers of the Year and will then be eligible for the California Teachers of the Year program.
SCOE's Sacramento County Teachers of the Year Program has been presented in partnership with Maloof Sports and Entertainment, the Sacramento River Cats, Intel-Folsom, Chrysler Group, and the Sacramento Scottish Rite Bodies of Freemasonry.