2013 Teachers of the Year


Day of the Teacher 2012
WinnersRunners-Up
Angela Wolde
Angela Wolde
Amy Sanders
Amy Sanders
Kenneth Hughes
Kenneth Hughes
Lauren Robinson-Hunt
Lauren Robinson-Hunt
Jessica Graham
Jessica Graham
David Weber
David Weber
News Coverage
More than 300 teachers, staff, administrators and guests celebrated San Diego Unified’s Teachers of the Year and San Diego Education Fund Scholars at the annual Day of the Teacher event held May 7 at Kearny High School.

The 2013 District Teachers of the Year and runners-up, along with the more than 140 Site Teachers of the Year, were honored for their contributions to the teaching profession.

District Teacher of the Year honorees included Angela Wolde, first-grade teacher at Euclid Elementary, eighth-grade history teacher Kenneth Hughes from Lewis Middle and English teacher Jessica Graham from Kearny High, Science Connections & Technology. Runner-up honors went to Amy Sanders from Nye Elementary, Lauren Robinson-Hunt from CPMA and David Weber from Preuss UCSD. All six teachers are candidates for the San Diego County Teacher of the Year Award, which will be announced October 5.

Each of the honorees was recognized on stage, and received awards and gifts donated by event sponsors California Coast Credit Union, Mission Federal Credit Union and VEBA. A short tribute video about each of the winners was also played for audience.

All Site Teachers of the Years were invited onstage to say their name, school site and grade level. Each received a certificate, a pair of game tickets from the San Diego Padres and a flower, compliments of Pro Flowers.

In addition to district teachers, the event recognized outstanding student achievement as well. The San Diego Education Fund oversees two programs: the Future Educator Scholars and the STEM scholarship program, which is funded by an endowment from retired teachers Jack and Virginia Mashin. These honorees included:

2013 Future Educator Scholars

Anderson Tablas, Hoover High School
Kwincy Smith, The Preuss School

2013 STEM Scholars

Tung Nguyen, Patrick Henry High School
Kevin Gaines, Abraham Lincoln High School
Janet Perez, Hoover High School
Magloire Pungi, San Diego High School of Science and Technology

The formal ceremony was preceded by a reception catered by CCTE culinary students from Garfield and Scripps Ranch high schools, with entertainment provided by the Creative, Performing and Media Arts Middle School Jazz Band.

Each year, district schools nominate one teacher as their Site Teacher of the Year. All candidates are invited to apply for District Teacher of the Year honors. A selection committee, made up of past Teachers of the Year, has the challenge and responsibility of selecting one teacher from each level: elementary, middle, and high school, as District Teacher of the Year.
 

2013 Teachers of the Year

The 2013 District Teachers of the Year are: Angela Wolde, first-grade, Euclid Elementary; Kenneth Hughes, eighth-grade US History, Lewis Middle School; and Jessica Graham, English, Kearny High School of Science Connections and Technology.

“Few other professionals touch as many people as teachers do,” said Superintendent Bill Kowba. “This year’s Teachers of the Year, selected by a committee of their peers, are an extraordinary group of individuals who exhibit passion for their profession and compassion for their students in their own unique ways.They are representative of the thousands of district teachers who each day inspire and enable students to work hard, strive for their best and ultimately achieve success.” 

Even as a young child, Angela Wolde always knew that she would become a teacher. Upon high school graduation, Wolde took part in the district’s Future Educators Scholar program. She obtained her degree and teaching credential from San Diego State University and then joined the team at Euclid Elementary School. Now, after 10 years of working as a teacher, Wolde can reflect and recognize those impactful educators that encouraged, supported, and inspired her to be the kind of teacher she has become today.

“Being a teacher was never really a decision I had to make,” Wolde said. “I was born to be a teacher.”

As an English teacher, Graham develops an atmosphere in her classroom that engenders respect, compassion, and teamwork. Because of her own educational and life experiences, she believes it is imperative for teachers to be adults whom students can trust. If teachers can make it their business to inspire and encourage students, achievement will naturally follow. These responsibilities as a teacher have earned her the nickname “Mama G.”

“I know my students may remember little of what I said to them, but everything about the way I made them feel,” Graham said. “I hope they will be able to say they had at least one teacher in their time at school that treated them with kindness.”

Hughes’s philosophy of teaching is simple -- sincerity and transparency. During his 19 years, 15 of which were spent at O’Farrell Charter School, he has built relationships with parents and students based on honesty and trust, and that trust has to be earned. He purposefully engages students in discussions and critical thinking, doing whatever it takes to help them understand a concept. He strives to make his curriculum accessible to all of his students while maintaining high expectations of each one. Hughes is not afraid to admit he doesn’t have all of the answers and enjoys the experience of learning new things with students.

“If students know you not only care about them as students, but as human beings as well, then you’ve already mastered the art of teaching and can capture their hearts and minds,” Hughes said. “It is how you treat people that makes the biggest difference in their lives.”

Wolde, Hughes and Graham will compete for San Diego County Teacher of the Year, along with the district’s three Runners-up, Amy Sanders from Nye Elementary, Lauren Robinson-Hunt from Creative Performing and Media Arts (CPMA) Middle School, and David Weber from Preuss School UCSD.
 
The Day of the Teacher celebration held May 7 at Kearny High School honoring all of our Teachers of the Year was made possible with the support of our generous sponsors.
 
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