Thursday, May 5, 2016

A big hug to all Monterey County teachers!

Many thanks to everyone who heeded my call and nominated a wonderful teacher to celebrate on National Teacher's Day. As it's often the case, only one could be picked for the honor, but I wanted to give a shout out to other teachers who are also wonderful.

Here's my honorable mentions. Drum roll, please!

May Higuera, 2nd grade teacher at King School in Seaside.

Higuera works very hard to make sure that students gain a love of reading. She writes grants so she can buy books to give to students and their families, and has spearheaded "Read Across America" for over 20 years -- did I mention "Read Across America" is my favorite education holiday? As part of her efforts, Higuera hosts Family Reading Night at King,  a very special event that compliments her efforts to increase literacy in her school.

Paul Karrer, 5th grade teacher, Castroville Elementary School

Paul is the type of teacher that is not only greatly concerned for the well being of his students, but also for the well being of his fellow teachers. He has an amazing rapport with his kids, and does a lot for and with them, even to jogging around the field with them during their P.E. time. He keeps in touch some of his former pupils. Paul's also a great writer, a frequent contributor to the Herald's opinion pages, where he shares his expertise about the world of education.

Teri Flanders, social studies teacher at Los Arboles Middle School in Marina

It is usually one teacher who makes History Day happen in those schools that participate, and Teri appears to be it for Los Arboles, She does a lot of the heavy lifting because she wants the kids to have an opportunity to do the research, write papers, make presentations -- in other words, to have a rich educational experience.

Ruben Pizarro and Jose Gil, Alisal High.

It's not just the teaching that makes them beloved. Pizarro and Gil -- who happen to be brothers-in-law -- devote countless of hours outside the classroom to mentor students -- not just their own students, but from all over the city. Pizarro founded the Dream Academy a few years ago to expand his students horizons through travel, and Gil founded the Gil Basketball Academy to provide youth with an after-school hoops program. Both programs are extremely successful.

I'll keep other nominations in my pocket for features in the very near future. Stay tuned.

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