SAN DIEGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Five local educators were named San Diego County Teachers of the Year during the 21st annual “Cox Presents: A Salute to Teachers brought to you by Ashford University” in cooperation with the San Diego County Office of Education. The sold-out annual event honored San Diego County’s public school teachers and was televised live on Channel 4 San Diego from the Balboa Theater in downtown San Diego.
The 2011-12 San Diego County Teachers of the Year are:
- Mark Alcorn, Robert E. Lee Elementary School (San Diego Unified School District)
- Yolanda Sherard, Rancho del Rey Middle School (Sweetwater Union High School District)
- Alicia McBride Reflections, Juvenile Court and Community Schools (San Diego County Office of Education)
- Mark Burroughs, San Pasqual Union School (San Pasqual Union School District)
- Jo-Ann Fox, Reidy Creek School (Escondido Union School District)
The five teachers of the year will go on to represent San Diego County in the California Teacher of the Year program, which will be announced later this year. Nominees for San Diego County Teacher of the Year were selected by their school districts based on student achievement, teaching philosophy, familiarity with current issues in education and community involvement.
As a fifth-grade teacher, Mark Alcorn makes connections with his students that will enable them to access grade level material in ways that build confidence. One of Alcorn’s methods includes students in leveled reading groups engaging in discussion and debate about the same text. Alcorn’s “book clubs” allow students reading below grade level to access grade level standards while reading a book at their level. This differentiation maintains the same high standards of discourse during the book discussions, but the leveled book allows struggling readers access to concepts such as theme, figurative language and symbolism. Students reading above grade level are challenged by more advanced texts. The result is that all groups are more active in their learning. Alcorn has been a teacher at Robert E. Lee Elementary School for 3 years. He has been an educator for 21 years.
Yolanda Sherard enjoys the challenges that keep her on her toes – the ones requiring appropriate transitions, specific directions, immediate feedback and lots of positive energy. She guides the eighth-grade students in her U.S. History class toward their fullest potential by recognizing and rewarding both large and small accomplishments in an interactive and student-center classroom. As a teacher leader at Rancho del Rey Middle School, Sherard is implementing “We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution,” a district-wide, nationally recognized civic education program. She incorporates extension activities for her students to write and defend their positions on a variety of issues relating to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. She has been an educator for 15 years.
For the past four years, Alicia McBride has been an educator at Reflections (Juvenile Court and Community Schools) in La Mesa. She teaches seventh- through 12th-grade students about language arts, history and personal development from inside a probation department-run day treatment center. Students who attend this school are on probation, in crisis, and have an Axis 1 mental health diagnosis. McBride’s students suffer from schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or clinical depression. She strives to make her classroom a place where students can escape the stress of their current situation, feel a sense of pride in their academic accomplishments, and have hope in their future. She has taught for 14 years.
Fifth-grade teacher Mark Burroughs refers to the doorway of his classroom as the Learning Line. A typical day begins by reviewing and correcting the previous day’s work. Burroughs uses a combination of technologies to create interactive and informative lessons. Through PowerPoint presentations – coupled with handheld student responders – his class simultaneously learns and practices. The responders ensure every student is actively participating. By analyzing the responder results in real-time throughout the lesson, Burroughs can instantly assess their progress of the standards-based objectives. He knows immediately which students have mastered the concept and which ones may need additional practice. He has taught for seven years at San Pasqual Union School.
The second graders in Jo-Ann Fox’s class are no strangers to a movie camera. Her class is part of Project Live, a program that promotes project-based learning through media, and teaches students the art of filmmaking. Her class at Reidy Creek School is equipped with a video camera, tripod, microphone and laptop. Fox uses the steps in the filmmaking process (brainstorming, storyboarding, script writing, filming and editing) to reinforce the six traits of writing. Her students gain a deeper understanding of the writing process and practice skills needed in the 21st century. She has been a teacher for 11 years.
Rounding out the top 10 finalists were: Erica Cox, Palmquist Elementary School (Oceanside Unified School District); Brad Fox, Potter Junior High (Fallbrook Union School District); Darci Kimball, Castle Park High (Sweetwater Union High School District); Maria Rodriguez, Willow Elementary (San Ysidro School District); Julie Harris, Willow Grove Elementary (Poway Unified School District).
“Cox Presents: A Salute to Teachers” will replay on Channel 4 San Diego on Sun., Oct. 2 at 7 p.m.; Fri. Oct. 7 at 7 p.m.; and Sat., Oct. 15 at 8 p.m.