TEACHER OF THE YEAR PROGRAM


Teacher Appreciation Week is May 1-8, 2022

In observance of National Teacher Appreciation Week, May 1-8, 2022 San Diego Unified will be holding a special virtual celebration honoring the district’s Teachers of the Year, on National Day of the Teacher May 3, 2022. Six District Teachers of the Year will be honored at the Day of the Teacher celebration on Tuesday, May 3, at 5:00 p.m. during a virtual ceremony, Hosted by CBS 8’s Shawn Styles. More than 130 Teachers of the Year from individual school sites and will also be honored.

During this week, we invite everyone to honor educators by sharing a post, image or video of a special educator in their life. We encourage everyone to Thank a teacher either in-person, or on social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok) using the hashtag #ThankATeacherSD.

Day of the Teacher virtual Ceremony
May 3, 2022

Thank you to our Co-Host & Sponsors!


ABOUT THE TEACHER OF THE YEAR PROGRAM

The purpose of San Diego Unified's Teachers of the Year Program (TOY) is to pay tribute to the tireless efforts of our district's outstanding teachers. In doing so, the program brings deserved recognition to the hard working, innovative members of the teaching profession. It is the goal of San Diego Unified School District to recognize and honor outstanding teachers on an annual basis.

The California Teacher of the Year Program actively encourages applicants that fully represent the diverse ethnic and cultural composition of our state’s teaching force, as well as of its varied geographical settings. Teachers are eligible to go on to county, state, and national competition. The program seeks teachers with exemplary personal growth, commitment, personal attitude, and professional skills.

The California Teacher of the Year Program celebrates and pays special tribute to the tireless efforts of our state’s outstanding teachers. In doing so, the program brings well-deserved recognition to the whole teaching profession.

The program’s goals are to:

  • identify and honor outstanding teachers throughout California within a structure of local, regional, and statewide recognition activities;

  • select, for special commendation and responsibility, five teachers who will effectively represent California teachers during the year, speaking for, energizing, and symbolizing the positive contributions of the teaching profession statewide;

  • focus attention on the positive accomplishments of students and teachers throughout California; and

  • emphasize maintaining and improving student achievement.

Within this context, the San Diego Unified School District is seeking nominations of outstanding educators from pre-kindergarten through grade 12 and adult education to be Teacher of the Year.

The Teacher of the Year nomination process allows every school site an opportunity to nominate a teacher to compete for San Diego Unified School District Teacher of the Year. Of those nominees, three outstanding educators are named San Diego Unified Teachers of the Year at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. Additionally, three Teacher of the Year runners-up, and teachers selected as Teachers of the Year by their individual schools are recognized annually during National Teacher Appreciation Week.

All Teachers of the Year will be honored at the 2021 Day of the Teacher event on May 4, 2021. Due to the current pandemic, the Teacher of the Year celebration will be held virtually. However, given the fluidity of the situation, any changes to this plan will be communicated as needed. Mark your calendars now!


The 2021-2022 San Diego Unified School District Teacher of the Year Program has begun. The road to District Teacher of the Year begins at your school site. Use the nomination form below to nominate a teacher you deem worthy of being honored.

The deadline to submit a Teacher of the Year School Site Nomination is January 24, 2022.

The deadline to submit your District Teacher of the Year application is February 28, 2022

2021 TEACHERS OF THE YEAR ANNOUNCED

NEWS RELEASE

SAN DIEGO UNIFIED NAMES 2021 TEACHERS OF THE YEAR

Educators from Chollas-Mead Elementary, CPMA Middle and Hoover High schools have been named San Diego Unified School District 2021 Teachers of the Year.

SAN DIEGO – Thomas Courtney from Chollas-Mead Elementary, Guadalupe Celedon from CPMA Middle School and Sharon Apple from Hoover High School have been named San Diego Unified School District’s Teachers of the Year for 2021.

In observance of National Teacher Appreciation Week, May 3-7, 2021, these three devoted educators will be honored at the Day of the Teacher celebration on Tuesday, May 4, at 5:00 p.m. during a virtual ceremony, Hosted by FOX5 News Anchor Raoul Martinez. More than 250 Teachers of the Year from individual school sites, both from 2021 and 2020, District Teacher of the Year runners-up will also be honored.


Teacher of the Year candidates go through a rigorous selection process, first being selected by the staff members at their school, then a panel including former teachers of the year. San Diego Unified's Teachers of the Year and runners-up are eligible to apply for San Diego county Teacher of the Year, part of the process leading to the national Teacher of the Year. The county Teacher of the Year ceremony will be held this fall and is organized by the San Diego County Office of Education.


The theme for this year’s Teacher of the Year celebration is “Teachers: Leading in crisis, fostering resiliency and building a Better San Diego”. This theme reminds us that our Teachers have had a significant role in the resiliency of our students and our education system. Teachers are essential to ensuring we emerge from the pandemic stronger with the promise of a better tomorrow.


The Day of the Teacher celebration is a traditional event on the Board of Education calendar. All Board members and senior district staff, community leaders and elected officials are scheduled to attend. A pre-event virtual reception will feature original student created content performed by students from San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts.


This year’s virtual event is co-hosted by North Island Credit Union. “We are honored to co-host the 2021 San Diego Unified School District’s Teacher of the Year program that provides well deserved recognition to these exceptional educators,” said North Island Credit Union President/CEO Steve O’Connell. “Serving the education community for over 85 years, we understand the commitment our teachers bring to their classrooms every day. Their dedication to their students has never been more evident, and more important, than through the challenges of the last year. We congratulate this year’s award recipients and nominees, and applaud the innovative ways they have continued to inspire students.”

For more information on this year’s winners and on San Diego Unified’s Teacher of the Year celebration, please visit: https://cutt.ly/TOY2021


Sponsors of the event are California Coast Credit Union, California Schools VEBA, SchoolsFirst Federal Credit, Mission Federal Credit Union, shoplovemo.com, San Diego Education Association, San Diego Education Fund, Encore Entertainment Events.

MEDIA CONTACT: Isabella McNeil, San Diego Unified, Teacher of the Year Coordinator, 619-341-2343

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ANNOUNCEMENT REGARDING 2020 TEACHERS OF THE YEAR INCLUSION IN 2021 RECOGNITION CEREMONY

As you know, the Teacher of the Year recognition event honoring winners for the 2019-2020 academic year was suspended. While the winners were named, as a result of the school closures, we were unfortunately unable to recognize all 130 teachers with the traditional accolades awarded to all site teachers of the year.

In an effort to make up for the missed recognition, this year in addition to the 2021 Teachers of the Year, we will be honoring the 2019-2020 Teachers of the Year during the ceremony on May 4, 2021. We look forward to recognizing you in front of your peers and district leaders, as well as presenting you with your certificate and congratulatory gift.

Due to COVID-19 safety guidelines this year’s event will be held online. Although the event will not be celebrated in person there will be virtual engagement opportunities incorporated into the program. Further details regarding the virtual celebration will be emailed to the 2019-2020 Teachers of the Year in the coming weeks.