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2025 Teacher of the Year Announced for SCOE’s Schools

Heather Morehouse Jack Is a Deaf and Hard of Hearing Specialist

Heather Morehouse Jack holding a plant

Heather Morehouse Jack has been selected as SCOE’s 2025 Teacher of the Year. She will now compete at the county level alongside teachers from local school districts. She will now get to participate in the county competition.

Heather Morehouse Jack expected to be attending a routine meeting this morning, but when Sacramento County Superintendent of Schools David W. Gordon entered the room—accompanied by an enthusiastic crowd of administrators and colleagues using American Sign Language to say “congratulations” and “thank you”—she knew something special was happening. She quickly learned that she’d been selected as SCOE’s 2025 Teacher of the Year.

Morehouse Jack, a Deaf and Hard of Hearing Specialist, has worked in the Infant Development Program at the Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) since 2011. Her role is critical as she helps provide specialized instruction and support to children with hearing differences. The teacher’s approach is deeply personal and informed by her own journey as a deaf individual.

Growing up, Morehouse Jack experienced both challenges and triumphs as she navigated the hearing-focused world around her. By learning American Sign Language and working to find successful deaf adults to serve as examples of determination and acceptance, Heather’s mother unknowingly drew up a blueprint for a career as a trusted advocate for children and their families.

In concert with the rest of the Infant Development team, SCOE’s 2025 Teacher of the Year provides vital resources and support to families with young children (birth to three years old) who are identified as deaf or hard of hearing. She collaborates closely with families during home visits, helping identify strengths and opportunities for their children’s development and integrating play-based interventions and individualized family education sessions. She also understands the fundamental importance of early language acquisition, and is dedicated to ensuring the children in her program have the best possible start in life.

SCOE’s top teacher will be honored—along with teachers selected by other Sacramento County school districts—during a celebration event this August. Two teachers will be revealed as the Sacramento County Teachers of the Year for 2025, going on to compete in the California Teachers of the Year Program.

Infant Development Program

SCOE’s Infant Development Program, part of the Special Education Department, has served families since 1976. The respected program provides services to eligible children, from birth through 36 months of age, who have delays in one or more areas of development. Educational opportunities are provided for free, at home and in the community, and the program provides helpful support services that connect children and their families with others. More Infant Development Program information is available online, including family resources and eligibility/referral information. Families may also sign up for a free monthly newsletter.

Teacher of the Year Program for SCOE Schools

Since 1988, SCOE has celebrated its own teachers and the important work they do by selecting a SCOE Teacher of the Year. SCOE teachers are nominated by parents, staff, management, or peers. The nominees go through a selection process, answering written questions and being formally interviewed. Teachers report that this process helps them recognize their many accomplishments, coming away with a renewed sense of dedication and a reminder about why they entered the teaching profession. The SCOE winner is eligible to compete at the county level.

Heather Morehouse Jack, Dave Gordon, and Nancy Herota

Superintendent Gordon (center) and Deputy Superintendent Nancy Herota (right) surprised the teacher, bringing a card, balloons, and a plant that was grown by students at Palmiter Jr./Sr. High School.

Heather Morehouse Jack posing with co-workers

A staff meeting turned into a surprise opportunity for Heather Morehouse Jack to receive plenty of applause from her co-workers, who were thrilled to see their colleague be recognized as the SCOE Teacher of the Year.