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Sacramento County Office of Education Sacramento County Office of Education

SCOE Teacher of the Year Program


Primary Contact​

Charlene VanAllen, Manager, Communications
(916) 228-2416

SCOE teachers work in unique and specialized situations, educating students in community schools, special education, job training programs, and those who are incarcerated. Teachers work tirelessly with their students (and often the students’ families) in these diverse and frequently challenging assignments.

Since 1988, SCOE has celebrated its teachers and the important work they do by participating in the statewide Teacher of the Year competition, facilitated by the California Department of Education (CDE). SCOE teachers are nominated to compete by parents, staff, management, or their peers. The nominees go through a selection process, answering written questions and being interviewed by a selection committee. Teachers report that this process helps them see their many accomplishments. They come away with a renewed sense of dedication and a reminder of why they entered the teaching profession.

One of the SCOE teacher nominees is selected to move on to the countywide Teacher of the Year competition where two teachers from Sacramento County are selected to compete at the state level. Five California Teachers of the Year are selected—one of whom goes on to compete at the national level.

​Previous SCOE Teachers of the Year​​

Historical listing of the certificated staff members selected to represent SCOE at the county level.

School Year SCOE Teacher​ Photo
(TOY 2019)
Cynthia Guzman, 7th and 8th Grades
(Leo A. Palmiter Jr./Sr. High School)
Cynthia Guzman portrait
(TOY 2018)
[News Article]
Jeff Zahniser, Special Education (Leo A. Palmiter Jr./Sr. High School)—also selected as one of two Sacramento County Teachers of the YearJeff Zahniser portrait
(TOY 2017)
Patti Buckholz, Language, Speech and Hearing Specialist (Infant Development Program) Pati Buckholz portrait

(TOY 2016)
[News Article]​

Marsha Cornwell, Special Education/SH
(Wilson C. Riles Middle School)

Marsha Cornwell portrait


(TOY 2015)
[News Article]

Oluchi Okemiri, Special Education/SH
(Prairie Elementary/West)

Oluchi Okemiri portrait


(TOY 2014)
[News Article]

René Delgado, Special Education/SH
(Elinor Lincoln Hickey Jr./Sr. H.S.)

René Delgado portrait


(TOY 2013)
[News Article]

Terri Edinburgh, Special Education/SH
(Prairie Elementary/West)

Terri Edinburgh portrait


(TOY 2012)
[News Article]

Ben Diaz, Special Education/ED
(Bannon Creek Elementary School)

Ben Diaz portrait


(TOY 2011)
[News Article]

Barbara Modlin, Community Schools
(Elinor Lincoln Hickey Jr./Sr. H.S.)

Barbara Modlin portrait


(TOY 2010)
[News Article]

Lisa Alcalá, Community Schools
(Elinor Lincoln Hickey Jr./Sr. H.S.)

Lisa Alcalá portrait


(TOY 2009)
[News Article]

Daniel Watts, ROP/Juvenile Court Schools (Carson Creek Jr./Sr. H.S.)

Daniel Watts portrait


(TOY 2008)
[News Article]

Jan Valine, Juvenile Court Schools
(Bowling DRC)

Jan Valine portrait


(TOY 2007)

Sharon Botkin, Special Education/SH Preschool
(Northview Preschool & Sharon Neese Learning Center)

Sharon Botkin portrait


(TOY 2006)

Cathy Goodrich, Special Education/Young Adult Transition Class (Galt H.S.)

Cathy Goodrich portrait


(TOY 2005)

Joy Bonds-Baird, Special Education/Infant Development Program

Joy Bonds-Baird portrait


(TOY 2004)

Carol Johnston, ROP/Dental Careers

Carol Johnston portrait


(TOY 2003)

Jim Davis, ROP/Retail Sales Careers

Jim Davis portrait


(TOY 2002)

Michael Bernardis, Special Education/Infant Development Program

Michael Bernardis portrait


(TOY 2001)

Michael Laharty, Special Education/WorkAbility (Leo A. Palmiter Jr./Sr. H.S.)—also selected as one of two Sacramento County Teachers of the Year

Michael Laharty portrait


(TOY 2000)

Alicia Zermeno, Special Education/Vision

Alicia Zermeno portrait


(TOY 1999)

Frank Lopez, ROP/Automotive Technology

Frank Lopez portrait


(TOY 1998)

Nancy Blackburn, Juvenile Court Schools (Esperanza Jr./Sr. High School)

Nancy Blackburn portrait


(TOY 1997)

Stephen "Hoppy" Hopkins, Sly Park

Hoppy Hopkins portrait


(TOY 1996)

Daniel Bridges, Special Education
(Dry Creek West Elementary School)


(TOY 1995)

Kara Lynn Pomykala, Special Education/SH
(Dry Creek West Elementary School)


(TOY 1994)

Tim Taylor, Juvenile Court Schools
(El Centro Jr./Sr. High School)

Tim Taylor portrait


(TOY 1993)

Jeanne Baldwin, ROP/Health and Hospital Careers (HATS)

Jeanne Baldwin portrait


(TOY 1992)

Mary Bell, Juvenile Court Schools (Morgan)

Mary Bell portrait


(TOY 1991)

Phil Avram, Juvenile Court Schools


(TOY 1990)

Darryl McRorie, ROP/Office & Computer Careers

Darryl McRorie portrait


(TOY 1989)

Linda Mitchell, Sly Park

Linda Mitchell portrait


(TOY 1988)

Rudy Worthington, ROP/Automotive Technology

Rudy Worthington portrait

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Last Modified: 5/10/2019 11:18 AM