On February 3, Tim Smith was honored as California's nominee for the National Teacher of the Year. Smith is one of five Teachers of the Year for the State of California, and teaches Math (Algebra 1 and AP Statistics) at Florin High School in the Elk Grove Unified School District. Tom Torlakson, State Superintendent of Public Instruction, choose Smith from five State Teachers of the Year to represent California at the National competition. Smith was honored in August as one of two Sacramento County Teacher of the Year for 2014.
During the February 3 State ceremony, each of the five California Teachers of the Year were introduced with a video presentation about their work with students. Smith addressed the gathering and modestly commented that he was not necessarily the best teacher in California, his district, or his school, but was proud to act as the voice for all of those outstanding, dedicated teachers.
According to Smith, "When I see students walk in the door or sitting down as class begins, I see the future. I owe it to them to prepare them the very best I can for that future. Maybe what sets me apart is that I really see that every single day. I never lose sight of what I am holding in my hands."
Smith was presented with several trophies and gifts, as well as a California State Assembly Resolution. In late April 2014, Smith will travel to Washington, D.C. to meet President Obama, along with the other 53 Teachers of the Year representing the other states and some Territories of the United States. During that trip, the National Teacher of the Year will be announced.
The National Teacher of the Year Program, sponsored by the Council of Chief State School Officers and Scholastic, Inc, has been conducted annually since 1952. Virginia Avila, a Grant High School teacher and Sacramento County Teacher of the Year 2003, was also selected as one of five California Teachers of the Year, and was also California's nominee to the National Teacher of the Year competition.
California State Teachers of the Year 2014
- Tim Smith, Florin High School, Elk Grove Unified District, Sacramento County
(California nominee for National Teacher of the Year)
- Angelo "Ang" Bracco, Vallejo City Unified School District, Solano County
- Michael Hayden, Manhattan Beach Unified School District, Los Angeles County
- Linda Horist, Orange Unified School District, Orange County
- Jessica Pack, Palm Springs Unified School District, Riverside County