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Stanislaus County Office of Education
2024 Stanislaus County Teacher of the Year Finalists Announced

The Modesto Rotary Club and the Stanislaus County Office of Education (SCOE) will honor the 12 Stanislaus County Teacher of the Year Finalists and announce the selection of four as 2024 Stanislaus County Teachers of the Year at a Rotary luncheon on May 7. The four selected as Teachers of the Year will each receive a $1,000 cash award from the Modesto Rotary Club Foundation. Mocse Credit Union also sponsors the event and provides funding for the awards and decorations.

Teachers were nominated by their principals and finalists were selected from 68 nominees representing 13 school districts in Stanislaus County. A selection committee, composed of local Rotarians and educators, narrowed the nominations through a paper screening process and then visited the classrooms of 24 semi-finalists before narrowing it down to the 12 finalists.

The 2024 Teachers of the Year Finalists are:

Elementary (TK-3) Level                     School                                                District

  • Kelly Armstrong                     Martone Elementary                           Modesto City Schools
  • Megan Goncalves                  Virgnia Parks Elementary                  Ceres Unified 
  • Raman Kang                           La Rosa Elementary                           Ceres Unified

Elementary (4-6) Level         

  • Nancy Barajas                         Fairview Elementary                           Modesto City Schools
  • Kiley Brockfield                      California Avenue Elementary           Riverbank Unified                  
  • Jessica Fisher                         Fair Oaks Elementary                        Oakdale Jt. Unified 

Junior High Level          

  • Christopher Long                   Dan Savage Middle                             Sylvan Union
  • Danelle McMillen                    Mae Hensley Jr. High                          Ceres Unified
  • Aaron Salazar                         Ustach Middle                                      Sylvan Union

High School Level           

  • Eva Lear                                 Pitman High                                         Turlock Unified
  • Richard Mickelson                Central Valley High                              Ceres Unified
  • Dave Zylstra                           Hughson High                                      Hughson Unified

The Jane Johnston Civility Award will be presented in honor of former SCOE Assistant Superintendent Jane Johnston, who helped launch the county-wide Choose Civility Initiative in 2010 and passed away unexpectedly in April 2012. Johnston was a member of the Modesto Rotary, co-chaired the Teacher of the Year Program, and was active with the Education Foundation of Stanislaus County. The Education Foundation will honor her memory by presenting a $1,000 check and a Jane Johnston Civility Award to one of the 12 finalists who best exemplifies the principles of civility.

This is the 25th year that Modesto Rotary and SCOE have joined efforts to honor teachers in Stanislaus County. The program not only honors local teachers and celebrates excellence in education, but also provides an opportunity for teachers to receive state and national recognition. Two of the four Teachers of the Year will be selected, through an interview process, to represent Stanislaus County in the State Teacher of the Year Program. One state winner then proceeds to the national level.

“Partnering with Modesto Rotary to celebrate the dedication and achievements of Stanislaus County's educators is profoundly rewarding,” said County Superintendent of Schools Scott Kuykendall. “The teachers honored are not just instructing young minds, but inspiring students futures. Their daily commitment to excellence elevating the standard of education throughout our community."

Sponsors of the Stanislaus County Teacher of the Year program include the Modesto Rotary Club Foundation, Stanislaus County Office of Education, and Mocse Credit Union.

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