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Local Educators Among Nominees for Teacher of the Year

San Diego County CA— Seven local teachers are among 43 educators who have been nominated as a Teacher of the Year candidate for the 26th annual “Cox Presents: A Salute to Teachers”.

In all, 43 nominees for Teacher of the Year were selected by their respective school districts. Of those, five will be named County Teacher of the Year. The top five teachers are selected based on student achievement, professional development and community involvement, teaching philosophy and personal style, knowledge of educational issues and trends, promotion and development of the teaching profession, accountability, and their ability to serve as ambassadors of education.

Out of 43 total nominees throughout the county, these were selected by their respective school districts, and five will be named County Teacher of the Year during the Academy Awards-style event on Saturday, Sept. 10 at the Balboa Theatre in downtown San Diego.

The County Teacher of the Year winners will go on to represent the region at the California Teacher of the Year program later this year.

Local Educators include:

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Elena Morales- a teacher of a bilingual class of students where she teaches in both English and Spanish at Mission Elementary.


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Alma Casillas- ELD, RSP and SDC teacher at Palmquist Elementary.


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Allison Slattery- 4th grade multi-subject teacher at Bonsall West Elementary (representing Bonsall Unified).


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Jenny Anderson-  STEM and broadcast journalism at Casita Center for Technology, Science and Math,Vista Unified School District. She also teaches coding to students.


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Natalie Christ- teaches 5th grade at La Costa Heights Elementary and likes to focus on her students as “learners,” as opposed to students.


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Amy Schwenke- a Kindergarten Special Education Teacher, Fallbrook Street School, Fallbrook Union Elementary School District; she determines student social and emotional levels and gears them to be productive in a non restrictive classroom for the future.


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Janet Stoddard- a 9-12th grade Independent Studies Teacher, Foothills High School, San Marcos Unified School District; she works with independent study students who are teen parents, students that are considered “at risk” and works to make coming to their counseling meetings for coursework viable with their children. She has a very personalized teaching approach for each student.

You can view a full list of 2016-17 nominees here.

The gala event is brought to you by San Diego County Credit Union and produced by Cox Communications in cooperation with the San Diego County Office of Education. The community is encouraged to attend the gala (ticket information here). The show also will air live on Channel 4 San Diego. “Cox Presents: A Salute to Teachers” has received national recognition, and has earned numerous awards, including more than 20 Emmy Awards and most recently, two Beacon Awards, for Channel 4 San Diego for excellence in programming.

Additional show sponsors include Nothing Bundt Cakes, The Super Dentists, Procopio, Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation, Entravision, iHeartMedia Inc., and KUSI.