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Lisa Anderson

Lisa Anderson

5th Grade Teacher, Napa Junction Elementary School, Napa Valley Unified School District

After graduating from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and completing a Master’s in Education at the University of California Santa Barbara, I started my teaching career in my hometown of Santa Barbara, CA.
After six years at the primary level, I moved to Napa, and now teach 5th grade at Napa Junction Elementary School.

I believe in teaching students how to set goals and creating action plans to achieve them. I have implemented an instructional method called Project Base d Learning (PBL), which incorporates essential 21st century skills into teaching. PBL creates a classroom environment that is buzzing with student inquiry, collaborative learning, and technology. Part of my day is now dedicated to PBL coaching, which allows me to support other teachers at my school site.


Tobin Hahn

Tobin Hahn

Science Teacher, Mendocino High School, Mendocino Unified School District

Upon graduating from Princeton University with a degree in Ecology, I began work as a scientist. I quickly learned that I enjoyed presenting my work to others more than doing the research itself. When offered an opportunity to teach science in my home town of Mendocino, I decided to give it a try. Seventeen years later, I am still teaching science in the Mendocino Unified School District.

For me, the profession of teaching has been a journey of constant reflection and growth. I have had the privilege of working alongside and learning from many inspiring and innovative educators. Ultimately though, it is the students who have given meaning to my career and who have taught me the most valuable lessons. I hope that after my students have forgotten all the equations and scientific laws, they will retain their curiosity, their creativity, and a passion for learning. I look forward to another seventeen years of being inspired and inspiring!
Paula Patterson

Paula Patterson

Principal, Arena Union Elementary School, Point Arena Schools District

It is my personal belief that respect and collaboration throughout the entire school family is the motivational underpinning of an educational organization. If as a staff we can keep consistently focused on the individual
well-being and success of every student, not just as a scholar but as a compassionate, loving, human being, the hope of all educators is realized.

As anyone who has been a school administrator knows, it is an incredibly difficult job, full of travails and irrelevant bureaucratic distractions. One classroom visit witnessing bright young minds engaged in learning or a plethora of hugs at recess on the play yard is the antidote to any troubling obstacle. I am so lucky to have those options every day.


Dr. Gary Dei Rossi

Dr. Gary Dei Rossi

Deputy Superintendent for Student Programs and Services, San Joaquin County Office of Education

For the last 22 years I have worked at the San Joaquin County Office of Education. For the last three I have been the Deputy Superintendent for Student Programs and Services. When you read this I will be officially retired, as March 1 is my last day.

During my tenure at SJCOE, I along with many others most notably Mick Founts, Rick Wentworth, Jackie Flowers, Jamie Mousalimas, Sandee Kludt, Kathy Skeels, and Jim Thomas have built SJCOE into a highly regarded educational organization that provides state of the art professional development, innovative educational ideas, and student-centered programs.

Besides my passion for traveling, I enjoy reading, gardening, following soccer, and I am an avid UCLA alumnus. One of my proudest moments is when I encounter former students that tell me they went into teaching because of me.


Miclelle Daughtry

Michelle Daugherty

Art Teacher, Fairfield High School, Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District

I have always known that I had an ability to demonstrate my art and to encourage others in their creative pursuits. The profession of teaching has given me the outlet to pass on my gifts and talents to others.

My greatest contributions and accomplishments in education would be the
change I have affected in so many lives. I am not speaking specifically about my capability to teach my students about the visual arts, but my ability to encourage and inspire others to believe that they can be successful and they too have much to offer our society. My upbringing and life’s experiences have proven to be an amazing way to connect to my students. I look for inspirational moments and personal events to be relevant to my student’s lives. I have been told that my enthusiasm is infectious and that my students have laughingly commented on how excited I get when sharing ideas with them. I guess I never left my inner child behind!
Ken Anderson

Ken Anderson

Head Custodian, Wardlaw Elementary School, Vallejo City Unified School District

“Ken is an invaluable asset. In his daily responsibilities for maintaining the campus, he is always responsive; he never says, “That’s not my job!” Rather, he’ll say, “Let me take a look and figure out what we need to get it done.”

Ken often gives students an additional positive interaction with an adult at school. For example, at our “lunch on the lawn” activity, students were also eager to introduce him to parents along with their teacher. He speaks to all the students and knows most of their names; a big fete when we have over 900 students.

We are proud of our beautiful campus and Ken is instrumental in that— both directly in the work and indirectly in planning for the work.”

Coreen Russell, Principal, Wardlaw Elementary School