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Betty McPeek

Betty McPeek

Lucille Glass Mauzy School, Contra Costa County Office of Education

My philosophy of teaching is based upon the ideas that living is a process of continual growth and that the stronger abilities strengthening weaker abilities through cooperation leads to a goal of maximum development within each child. Therefore, I believe that students are capable of performing activities ranging through a wide scope of skills and that they are limited only by their bodies anatomical structure and inherent cognitive ability. Still the application of this philosophy recognizes that hidden potentials exist within every child and by offering students a spectrum of opportunities, individually designed for each child, all children will progress and achieve a wide range of skill.

This philosophy has held true throughout my career and has allowed me the joy of being a creative thinker, experiencing the blossoming of students and receiving the warm regards of their families


Kent Hammons

Kent Hammons

Fresno Pacific Adult Transition Program, Fresno County Office of Education

When Fredrick Douglass escaped from slavery he talked about what it meant to be free and valued as a person. He took great delight in doing things we take for granted like simply being able to have a job, developing relationships and taking part in the community

My students have the same dreams and need to be valued. I want to give every student the ability to dream, build and contribute.

I feel I have given my students the ability to contribute by giving them life skills, confidence and healthy habits. I wrote a $40,000 Kaiser Permanente grant to create a health and fitness program at Break-the-Barriers and have been instrumental in working with local organizations to give my students access to the community in which they live.


Oscar Dominguez

Oscar Dominguez

Clear Lake High School, Lakeport Unified School District

Making the career change from biologist to biology teacher was a natural shift for me. Our students will face life-changing issues and a lot of them are rooted in genetics, human behavior and environmental interaction. So empowering them to make educated and altruistic decisions is an obvious obligation for me.

Because of my background i have a hardwired passion for pushing students to succeed. i completely empathize with students who don't have the buy-in to invest themselves in their future, to invest themselves in their education. Teaching, to me, is about reaching these kids and engaging them.

If you care about the future and playing a part in shaping it, there is no finer profession than teaching. Teaching is about giving students the highest consideration and respect, laying the foundation for trust, the kind of trust that brings down the barriers to teaching and learning.


Mary Batchelder

Mary Batchelder

Marin County Office of Education

I am one of the dying breed of educators who has spent my entire professional career in one place--the Marin County Office of Education (MCOE). I have always believe that the earlier we began providing a solid educational foundation to our children, the better the chance that they would succeed in life. MCOE provided me an opportunity to test that belief as a permit teacher and Director in the Child Development Programs and later as a Program Manger, Coordinator and Director in Special Education.

Since 1999, as Director of Personnel, I have devoted my time to recruiting and retaining and supporting teachers, classified staff and administrators who share my commitment to doing what is best for our children. Along the way, I have worked with wonderful colleagues, acquired a great family and friends and recently become a grandmother.
John LaLonde

John LaLonde

Marin County Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA)

At a time when a person just entering the world of work can count on changing careers numerous times, I am truly proud of my almost 40 years as an educator.

Since beginning as a classroom teacher in 1971, I have had the unbelievable good fortune of being a classroom teacher, a school principal, a superintendent, and most recently, a SELPA Director. It is this last role that has given me the greatest insight into how to help educators flourish in extraordinarily difficult times and at the same time has provided me with the highest level of personal satisfaction.

If asked to provide a summation of my life and times as an educator, it would be this: Unparalleled opportunities, exceptional pep and undreamed of accomplishments.


Mark Iacuaniello

Mark Iacuaniello

Point Arena Joint Union High School District

I began serving in schools almost 42 years ago. At age 17, just out of high school, I began work as a school custodian. At age 18, I was working as a paraeducator and a year later, while working on my BS, I began teaching science part-time in a private elementary school. At age 20, after completing my BS and teaching credential at New York State university, I began my full time teaching career which would span another 19 years and include a variety of classroom settings including special education and elementary through high school science. At age 39, I accepted the principalship of Laytonville High School, five years later i was hired as Principal of Mendocino High School and then later as their Superintendent. I have spent the last nine wonderful years as Superintendent of Point Arena Schools.

I treasure most of the many lifetime relationships with students, staff, trustees and community members; and all of the incredible things we have learned together.
Twila Rutherford

Twila Rutherford

Fort Bragg High School, Fort Bragg Unified School District

After receiving my teaching credential in 1972 from Chico State College, I was hired by Fort Bragg Unified to teach junior high English and later to be a school counselor at both the junior high and high school levels. Thirty eight years later, I look back on my career and feel blessed to have been a part of the lives of three generations of Fort Bragg families and to have worked with dedicated professionals who are my mentors, colleagues and friends.


Lisa Miller

Lisa Miller

Napa High School, Napa Valley Unified School District

I lead a team of teachers who believe that all students can learn at high levels and it is our responsibility to see that the students are successful. We believe that the best way we can help all of our students be successful is to work together.

Our team teaches students who have failed math at least two years in a row. When a student fails a test in our algebra class, the intervention teachers switch students so that students who need to, get another opportunity to relearn the material and retake the test. As a team, we send a clear message to our students: Failure is not an option. Since we have been working together, our pass rate has increased and we are seeing students who previously failed now believing they can do math.
Caroline Wilson

Caroline Wilson

Chamberlain High School, Napa County Office of Education

I was raised and schooled in Napa. I started college, and then I stopped college. I went to the California Culinary Academy and graduated as a professional chef. From there, I went to Rome, Italy where I taught English. Four years later, I returned to the U.S., this time to New York City, where I worked in film and television production. Eventually, I made my way home, finished college, teacher credentials, administrative credential and Master's degree.

After three years of teaching, I discovered alternative schools and have never strayed. I was eight years at the local continuation high school, three of those years as the Dean of Students. Four years ago, I joined the Napa County Office of Education as the teacher of Chamberlain, a high school program serving students on formal probation.


Virginia Dold

Virginia Dold

E.R. Taylor Elementary School, San Francisco Unified School District

I was born in San Francisco and I am a fourth generation Californian. My great grandparents moved to the Bay Area in the 1850s. I am a product of the San Francisco Catholic schools and my mother was a teacher in San Francisco in the 1920s.

I have been a teacher for 40 years and a principal for nine of those years. i work in a diverse school and I am most proud of the fact that we have begun to significantly reduce the achievement gap between our Asian and Latino students over the last five years. I was married for 35 years and have three wonderful daughters and four grandchildren.
Judy Giampaoli

Judy Giampaoli

Francisco Middle School, San Francisco Unified School District

As a fourth generation San Franciscan, I am proud to have spent my 40 years as an educator serving students, families and staff in my city's public schools. I always dreamed of being a teacher, and, actually, I believe my teaching career began at age six with my neighborhood friends. Most every afternoon you would find me playing school, joyously assuming the role of the teacher.

From classroom teacher to counselor to administrator, I have had remarkable experiences in the many positions I have held. I now proudly serve as Principal of Francisco Middle School located in the heart of the Chinatown-North Beach community. Every day I look forward to being at work, as I am fortunate tos erve at a school with a dedicated staff and wonderful students.

I am grateful for my many enriching years in this field where I have had opportunities to learn and grow and to develop deep connections with colleagues, students and families.
Andrew Ishibashi

Andrew Ishibashi

Lowell High School, San Francisco Unified School District

I began my educational career as the Band Director at Hawthorne High School in LAUSD where I developed an award-winning marching band, drum-line, winter guard and jazz band. In 1997, I completed my MA in Educational Administration and was offered a position as an activities director and associate principal that began my career as an educational leader.

Currently, I am the proud principal of Lowell High School (SFUSD), President of the AAA CIF SF Section where I am a member of the CIF Federated Council, serve on the Board of Directors of the japanese Community Cultural Center of Northern California, and on the Executive Board of the Association of Asian American Administrators.
Candace Lee

Candace lee

Francis Scott Key Child Development Center and Noriega Child Development Center, San Francisco Unified School District

I am a fourth generation Chinese American born and raised in San Francisco and proud to say a product of the San Francisco Unified School District attending Spring Valley, Commodore Stockton, and Sherman elementary schools, Francisco Junior High School, and Lowell High School.

I graduated from the University of California, Berkeley majoring in psychology and continued my education at San Francisco State University earning an Elementary Education teaching credential and a Child Development Program Director permit.

My destiny brought me to child development where I have now worked for over 37 years, first with a non-profit agency as a master teacher, site director, and program coordinator, and for the last 13 years as a Site Manager with SFUSD.


Dr. David Mantooth

Dr. David Mantooth

Escalon Unified School District

In my 35 years in education, I am thankful to have been associated with outstanding educators and supportive parents and community members in the three towns in which I have worked. I am proud that together we have been able to provide our students with numerous opportunities to be successful, both in and outside the classroom, and that over the years, students, staff and parents have appreciated my efforts as teacher, innovator, manager, and cheerleader. Despite seemingly continual change and federal/state directives, I am also proud that the district in which I worked always kept the education of the individual student as a whole in the forefront and never looked at test scores as the only method to measure school success.

I am equally proud of the education my children received in attending schools in those districts. I have always been lucky to do something I loved and to be in a profession in which you are always challenged, always learning, and always having an impact on young people.
Dr. Rick Wentworth

Dr. Rick Wentworth

San Joaquin County Office of Education

I presently serve as San Joaquin County Superintendent of Schools, having first been elected in 1991, and then re-elected in 1994, 1998, 2002 and 2006. Prior to this, I was employed by the Manteca Unified School District, working in administration from 1982-1991, and the Escalon USD as a teacher and coach.

As County Superintendent of Schools, I am proud to have worked with so many dedicated professionals who have helped establish many new and innovative programs in our county office. San Joaquin County Office of Education is known throughout the state for its service orientation and expertise. I have served as President of the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association and was recognized as their Superintendent of the Year in 1997. As a member of ACSA for over 30 years, I was honored with the Ferd Kiesel Memorial Distinguished Service Award in 2001, for significant contributions to public education.


Walter 'Bud' Donaldson, Jr.

Walter "Bud" Donaldson, Jr.

Liberty High School, Benicia Unified School District

I attempt to make the learning in all my classes relevant, making connections to the usefulness and applications of what is being taught. i believe this is a key to making education a priority for my students. I offer technology, solid text book and alternative instructional materials, peer instruction, community instruction, job opportunities, internships, and anything I can think of that day. I focus on their interests and natural abilities to develop them and help them achieve their fullest potential.

I have been in continuation and vocational education for 30 years; however it only feels like a fraction of that. I am proud of my history with these students and my long standing relationships with them. As i drive or walk around our small town, I frequently hear someone yelling "Hey Bud!" from a car or window. Nothing makes me happier.