Posted May 8, 2019
For Immediate Release: May 7, 2019
Contacts: Cynthia Fenech, Communications Coordinator, 238-1704, Judy Boring, Communications Coordinator, 238-1709
The Modesto Rotary Club and the Stanislaus County Office of Education (SCOE) announced the selection of four local educators as 2019 Stanislaus County Teachers of the Year at a Rotary luncheon on May 7. In addition, a Jane Johnston Civility Award was presented to one of the 12 finalists for exemplifying the principles of civility.
Teachers were nominated by their principals and finalists were selected from 69 nominees representing 15 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 2019 Teachers of the Year are: Gaylyn Barker from Patricia Kay Beaver Elementary School in the Ceres Unified School District – TK-3 division; Debbie Persons from Sherwood Elementary School in the Sylvan Union Elementary School District – 4-6 division; Crystal Case from Emilie J. Ross Middle School in the Hughson Unified School District – junior high division; and Jared Jeffries from Turlock High School in the Turlock Unified School District – high school division.
The four selected as Teachers of the Year each received a $1,000 cash award from the Modesto Rotary Club Foundation and a $650 Nasco gift card. Mocse Credit Union also sponsored the event and provided funding for the awards, decorations and lunch for the student entertainers.
The 2019 Teachers of the Year Finalists included:
Elementary (TK-3) Level School District
Gaylyn Barker Patricia Kay Beaver Elem. Ceres Unified
Suzana Manriquez Von Renner Elementary Newman-Crows Landing Unified
Marlo Smith Magnolia Elementary Oakdale Joint Unified
Elementary (4-6) Level School District
Ilaen Marron La Rosa Elementary Ceres Unified
Debbie Persons Sherwood Elementary Sylvan Union
Rosario Vallejo Northmead Elementary Patterson Joint Unified
Junior High Level SCHOOL DISTRICT
Crystal Case Emilie J. Ross Middle Hughson Unified
Lindsey McCloskey Cesar Chavez Jr. High Ceres Unified
Laura McNelis Mae Hensley Jr. High Ceres Unified
High School Level SCHOOL DISTRICT
James Hensley Del Puerto High Patterson Joint Unified
Jared Jeffries Turlock High Turlock Unified
Veronica Moreno Central Valley High Ceres Unified
The Jane Johnston Civility Award was presented to Ilaen Marron from La Rosa Elementary School in the Ceres Unified School District. The Civility Award is 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 Club, co-chaired the Teacher of the Year Program, and was active with the Education Foundation of Stanislaus County. The Education Foundation once again honored her memory with this award.
This is the 21st 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.
“It’s an honor to partner with Rotary to recognize these outstanding teachers – each who helps inspire and shape the lives of students in our county each and every day,” said County Superintendent of Schools Scott Kuykendall.
Sponsors of the Stanislaus County Teacher of the Year program include the Modesto Rotary Club Foundation, Stanislaus County Office of Education, Nasco and Mocse Credit Union.