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CONTRA COSTA COUNTY

Jacqueline Rosig

Jacqueline Rosig

Mt. McKinley School, Contra Costa County Office of Education


I received my first teaching credential in 1986 and have been working as a Special Education teacher for the last twelve years.

As an Instructional Support Program teacher, my job is to help students continue with their studies, get their diplomas and help them transition back into the community when they leave our facility. I believe my students trust me and know I care about them. I believe these students deserve a second chance and can rise to teachers’ high expectations when given the opportunity, regardless of their disabilities. These students need teachers around them who believe they will succeed!

FRESNO COUNTY

Neriada Barba

Neriada Barba

Liberty Intermediate School, Kerman Unified School District


Teaching is not what I do, it’s who I am. I do not see teaching as an occupation; I see it as an “occupassion.” My students’ academic success is what drives my passion for teaching. My students know that they are the reason why I wake up every morning. They know I love them and care about them unconditionally.

My students know I believe in them, just as my mother believed in me. It was my mother’s belief in me that inspired me to complete my education. It is my belief in my students that will inspire them to believe in themselves.

To my husband Tony, my daughter Gabriella, my son Anthony, and the Liberty family, I thank you for your love and continuous support.

LAKE COUNTY

Joyce Palva

Joyce Palva

Mountain Vista Middle School, Kelseyville Unified School District


I grew up in the Bay Area and attended San Jose State University. Throughout college I worked for a bank and looked forward to a promising career in business. As I neared graduation, I felt a growing dissatisfaction with my career path, so I applied for a graduate teaching program. I received my credential and also obtained a 2nd grade teaching position at Kelseyville Unified School District in Northern California.

I am currently completing my 38th year as an instructor in Kelseyville. I have taught all of the primary grades and am now in my 13th year as an instructor at the middle school.

I have found that every year of teaching has been as challenging and rewarding as the first.

MENDOCINO COUNTY

Jill Frick

Jill Frick

Blosser Lane Elementary School, Willits Unified School District


I have the best job in town as the English language development teacher at Blosser Lane Elementary School in Willits, California. My job allows me to work with grades 3-5, helping students whose native language is not English. I am responsible for creating experiences and implementing lessons that help my students develop their English language skills. It is especially exciting when a student becomes proficient in English and no longer needs my services.

I began my career in education 31 years ago after earning a B.S. Degree from California State University at San Luis Obispo. For the past 28 years, I have been very fortunate to teach for the Willits Unified School District, with the last seven years as the ELD teacher at Blosser Lane Elementary.

I can’t imagine being anything but a teacher! Every day has been rewarding, and I am not retiring any time soon because I love teaching, plus I have got the best job in town!
John Markatos

John Markatos

Laytonville Unified School District

I first considered becoming a teacher while in elementary school. Following graduation from U.C. Berkeley, I worked as a Head Start teacher, then returned to Berkeley for my secondary teaching credential.

My first public school job was at Calexico High School where I talked my way into a bilingual teaching assignment by memorizing a presentation in Spanish. Thereafter, I steadily made my way north toward Mendocino County, pausing for a few years in the Pajaro Valley Unified, and Cotati- Rohnert Park Unified.

I saved my best and last assignment for Laytonville Unified School District, where for the past 10 of my 36 years in education, I’ve held the position of Superintendent of Schools. As a Superintendent, I’m most proud of having contributed to a positive and successful learning environment and a secure financial base for the district.

NAPA COUNTY

Sherry Bosson

Sherry Bosson

Donaldson Way School, Napa Valley Unified School District


I was born and raised in the small Western Pennsylvania town of Charleroi. College included Penn State University with a final year at California University of Pennsylvania where I earned a B.S. degree in Elementary Education.

After 23 years teaching first and second grade, I married the “boy next door” and moved to Napa. I am the proud mother of a blended family comprised of 5 children and 7 grandchildren.

For a brief period I tried other careers. Soon I was doing substitute teaching which re ignited my desire to be in the classroom. On one of my substitute jobs I found my new “home” at Donaldson Way School in the Napa Unified School District. I knew right away that the team at DWS was for me. Fortunately I was offered a position there. I have been there for the last 13 years. My new found love, third grade, has been my passion for most of those years.
Sandy Haroutunian

Sandy Haroutunian

Vintage High School, Napa Valley Unified School District


After my first college final I received an A in French. Unfortunately, the class was in Italian. I was hit with classic “Brain Drain.” Later, when working on my Masters in Special Education, I discovered that I am dysgraphic and dyscalculate. The connection I feel with my special education students is real. I do not see myself as a teacher as much as a “key master,” one who guides and helps others to discover the keys to compensating for a disability.

I have found my niche. My severely handicapped students work on character education and community service and they are magnificent.

Before entering the field of teaching, I was a founding member of both Aldea (children’s services) and The Humane Society of Napa County. The name Sandra means “protector and beneficiary of mankind.” I guess I take that task to heart.

SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY

Dr. Sandee Kludt

Dr. Sandee Kludt

San Joaquin Office of Education


I recently retired as the Assistant Superintendent/SELPA Director for the San Joaquin County Office of Education, where I have served since 1994. In this role, I was responsible for over 6,000 special education students and their families. I served as the Chair, Vice-Chair and Secretary of the Special Education Administrators of County Offices. I have been the Special Education Administrator of the Year for both ACSA and CEC. My department was awarded a CSBA Golden Bell Award for our work on autism. I also received the prestigious Joleta Reynolds Service to Special Education Award in 2008.

I started my career as an elementary teacher in Texas and worked in Tuolumne County for 22 years. During my time in Tuolumne County, I was a special education teacher, Director of Administrative Field Study Projects, a Resource Consultant, a Coordinator for all LH and PH programs, the SELPA Director and Special Education Director for the Tri-County Consortium and ended my career there as the Associate Superintendent for SELPA, Personnel and Special Education.
Ed Quinn

Ed Quinn

Jefferson Elementary School District


I am currently the Superintendent of Jefferson Elementary School District where I have served since 1999. During my tenure as Superintendent, I added a classroom complex at Jefferson School and oversaw the development and construction of both Hawkins and Traina Elementary schools. I expanded enrichment opportunities for students as well as opening a summer school program. I maintained high expectations for student behavior and academic achievement resulting in some of the highest API scores in the county. This year I was awarded the Bill Ullom Award from Region 7 ACSA.

I started my career as an elementary teacher in Redwood City. I am well respected by my staff and community due to my integrity, honesty, commitment to children and outgoing personality.

SAN MATEO COUNTY

Mark Nolan

Mark Nolan

San Mateo Outdoor Education, San Mateo County Office of Education


I grew up in Ukiah California and attended outdoor education as a seventh grader. While a high school science student teacher, I participated in a five day residential outdoor education program that turned into 28 years of my life. During my career, I have taught as a naturalist, founded the Pigeon Point Environmental Education Program, served as Executive Director of Exploring New Horizons and now I am Director of Outdoor and Environmental Education for the San Mateo County Office of Education.

I have taught and directed over 100,000 students at residential outdoor education programs. Residential outdoor education creates a learning experience that students remember for the rest of their lives. Through experiencing, understanding, and appreciating the natural world, students care for and make decisions that positively effect our Earth. Having lasted almost three decades, I have seen elementary students return as high school cabin leaders, who return as naturalists, who go on to be classroom teachers. I feel very honored that this is my career in education.
Steve Van Zandt

Steve Van Zandt

San Mateo Outdoor Education, San Mateo County Office of Education


I am a graduate of UC Santa Barbara in Environmental Studies/Geography. I received a multiple subject teaching credential from San Francisco State and an Administrative Credential from San Jose State. I worked as a naturalist at SMCOE and at Exploring New Horizons. I also worked as a naturalist at Youth Science Institute and as a Co-Director/Intern Coordinator at Hidden Villa. I was also a co-manager for the Pigeon Point Youth Hostel. I have been a classroom teacher for kindergarten, 3rd and 4th grades. I have also been a Life Lab and ESL teacher K-7. I am one of the founding and active members of the Banana Slug String Band. I has been the outdoor education site director for 16 years. My nature name at outdoor education is “Solar.”

SOLANO COUNTY

Alison Eeds

Alison Eeds

Vacaville High School, Vacaville Unified School District


I believe that in order to be as an effective a teacher as possible, I must be willing and able to teach to the divergent needs of my students. As a teacher, I deal with every kind of student; students with disabilities, English language learners, unmotivated students with less than a 1.0 GPA, and highly motivated students with a 4.0+ GPA. All of these students have differing needs and learning styles. Therefore, when I create the curriculum for a specific unit, I need to keep all of these concerns in mind.

By diversifying the methods through which I teach, I am able to connect with many students who might not otherwise be successful in the classroom. It is especially gratifying to help students succeed, when they have not been able to do so in the past. Additionally, by integrating pictures, music, and video into my curriculum, I am able to bring History alive to my students.