Two high school English teachers, one from the San Juan Unified School District and one from the River Delta Unified School District, are the Sacramento County Teachers of the Year 2015. The Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) made the announcement at a countywide teacher recognition dinner on August 15.
Michelle Bebout teaches a 9th through 11th grade English at Casa Roble High School in the San Juan Unified School District. Jennifer Walker teaches English and AP English at both Clarksburg Middle School and Delta High School in the River Delta Unified School District.
Both teachers are also AVID certified instructors. AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) is an elective and school-wide system which promotes increased college eligibility and access to rigorous curriculum offering students a clear-cut path to college, beginning in their middle school years.
A committee of education professionals, including previous Teachers of the Year, interviewed the district Teachers of the Year and selected the two finalists. All 16 Sacramento-area teachers will be honored during special Teacher Appreciation Nights hosted by both the
Sacramento Kings and the
Sacramento River Cats. Dates and times to be announced.
All of the school districts within the County of Sacramento, along with local charter schools and SCOE, are invited to participate each year in the Sacramento County Teachers of the Year program. Larger districts are eligible to submit two entries. Twelve local districts, including SCOE, participated this year. Each district's Teacher of the Year completed a comprehensive application packet, which included an extensive biography and answered questions ranging from personal philosophy of teaching to an understanding of current education issues.
During the awards ceremony, each district Teacher of the Year was introduced by a current or former student, or a student's parent. David W. Gordon,
Sacramento County Superintendent of Schools, and trustees from the
Sacramento County Board of Education, presented each of the Teachers of the Year with an award.
Teachers of the Year 2014 Deanna Victor (San Juan Unified) and Tim Smith (Elk Grove Unified) announced the names of the honorees. Sacramento County Board of Education President Brian Rivas presented the winners with the Elinor Lincoln Hickey Award of Merit, the highest honor bestowed by the County Board of Education. Russell Godt, representing the Sacramento Scottish Rite Bodies of Freemasonry, awarded a perpetual trophy to the County Teachers of the Year.
Michelle Bebout and Jennifer Walker are now eligible to advance to the statewide competition, out of which five teachers will be chosen as California Teachers of the Year. Last year, Elk Grove Unified's Tim Smith was chosen as the California Teacher of the Year to represent the state in the national competition.
California Teachers of the Year are responsible for representing the teaching profession in a variety of settings and assisting their teaching colleagues in numerous ways throughout 2015. Their names, and that of the individual selected as the state's nominee to the
National Teacher of the Year program, will be announced later in the fall by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson.
The Sacramento County Teachers of the Year Program is presented by the Sacramento County Office of Education in partnership with the
Sacramento Kings, the
Sacramento River Cats,
Intel Corporation Folsom,
SAFE Credit Union, and
Sacramento Scottish Rite Bodies of Freemasonry.