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LAKE COUNTY

Erica Boomer

Erica Boomer

Agriculture Teacher, Upper Lake High School, Upper Lake High School District


I love being a teacher and feel very fortunate that I was able to create the Agricultural Education and FFA Program at Upper Lake High School. I am passionate about my subject matter and I do my best to inspire my students to live up to the FFA Motto “Learning to Do, Doing to Learn, Earning to Live and Living to Serve.” I feel the most important part of my job is to provide students with a base of knowledge that will help them be productive citizens and lifelong learners.

I teach Ag Biology, Ag Mechanics (metal and wood shop), Ag and Natural Resources and have developed a school farm on campus. I am also the coordinator of our new CA Partnership Academy classes called “Alternative Energy and Sustainable Agriculture.”

MARIN COUNTY

Lisa Schwartz

Lisa Schwartz

Director of Safe Schools and Prevention Programs, Marin County Office of Education


I am the daughter of a teacher and always wanted to serve in the public school system. I was fortunate to be selected as intern psychologist for Marin County Office of Education in 1981.

MCOE has been my home ever since, working first as a school psychologist and then as an administrator for Alternative Education programs with our most high-risk youth. I was part of the creation of Marin’s first charter school, Phoenix Academy. I have had the honor to serve as the Interim Principal of Novato High School and of Bayside/Martin Luther King Elementary in Sausalito; and as the Director of Safe Schools and Prevention Programs, Academic Competitions, ROP/School to Career programs and as the Region IV K-12 Student Mental Health Initiative Coordinator.
Steven Temple

Steven Temple

Physics Teacher, San Rafael High School, San Rafael High School District


The central focus of my teaching is “learn by doing.” This has guided my practice throughout my years at San Rafael High School. I have helped create and direct two interdisciplinary programs, both of which attempt to create a learning environment where students are encouraged to explore, create, and test their own knowledge. As an instructor in the Media Academy, I have co-created a project-based learning curriculum that integrates humanities content with the professional practice of digital video production. In the The Academy of Physics and Technology we work to give students an opportunity to explore the application of science in the field of engineering through “hands-on” experiences where students construct models to interpret and predict the behavior of the physical realm. My practice is enriched continually through the collaborative process I am engaged in with the extraordinary teachers in both programs.

MENDOCINO COUNTY

Erin Gardiner Armstrong

Erin Gardiner Armstrong

Director of Special Education, Ukiah Unified School District


I’ve worked for the Ukiah Unified School District since the fall of 1978, starting my career at Trinity School for Children, teaching students with a variety of disabilities, primarily emotional disturbance, ranging in age from 7 to 15 years old. In 1984, I moved to Nokomis Elementary School where, as a Resource Specialist Teacher, I worked with students Kindergarten through 6th grade, primarily with learning disabilities.

At both school sites, I acted as Teacher-in-Charge on many occasions and was encouraged to get my administrative credential. I earned this credential and a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from San Francisco University in 1985. I’ve worked in my current position since 1996.
Eric Crawford

Eric Crawford

Agriculture Science Teacher, Mendocino County Office of Educat


1982 was my freshman year in high school. One of my classes was agriculture science. This class opened my eyes to the manner in which our food was grown and produced. It also helped me develop public speaking skills, and my knowledge of parliamentary procedure.

Because of the positive difference my instructors made in my life, I chose to pursue a credential in Agriculture Education at University of California, Davis.

Throughout my 21 years of teaching agriculture in California, and in Botswana through Peace Corps, I have striven to make a positive influence in the lives of my students, as my agriculture instructors did for me.

It is an honor to be recognized as Mendocino County’s Teacher of the Year by the California Schoolmasters’ Club.

NAPA COUNTY

Kimberly Douma

Kimberly Douma

First Grade Teacher, West Park Elementary School, Napa Valley Unified School District


As a child, learning, specifically reading, did not come easy for me because I had problems with my vision. I have come to realize that learning through music, drama, dance, games and storytelling were methods to help me retain information. Because of this, I make every effort to incorporate these activities into my daily lessons for all my students, especially the struggling ones.

One of my biggest accomplishments is the knowledge that I instill in children the never-ending joy of learning. My dad taught me that teachers are guides, and guides create adventures into the unknown worlds which are exciting, fun, entertaining, meaningful, memorable, and challenging. As a class we discover, create, learn and play together. We are one united family.

SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY

Dr. James C. Franco

Dr. James C. Franco

Superintendent, Tracy Unified School District


For the past 27 years, I’ve been living the dream working in the Tracy Unified School District with an outstanding group of educators and a community that believes in the impact that education has on a student’s life.

As superintendent for 12 years, I’ve been able to assist others on my journey and spread good news about education. Stories like Dr. Trosien, who treated one of our high school students with free orthodontic work to beautify her smile.

Education is about heartwarming experiences that help transform students into a better version of themselves. Our students now benefit from a quality educational experience with the renovation of nearly all 22 TUSD schools.

As I leave education, I will cherish the many positive relationships I’ve formed with staff as we’ve helped empower students to achieve their potential.
Carlin Jardine

Carlin Jardine

Producer, SJCOE Productions, San Joaquin County Office of Education


In the early 1970s, my advanced production class at Lincoln High School in Stockton became the first in the western United States to produce and air regularly scheduled programming on local cable TV. After an intervening 18 years in the industry as an independent producer, director, writer, editor working from coast-to-coast and abroad, I’ve come full circle returning to education as producer/director for SJCOE Productions at the San Joaquin County Office of Education.

These past 17 years have restored most of my sanity and allowed me to work with an incredible group of people who do amazing things for kids. Most of my job is recording and communicating the accomplishments of students and staff. I get to capture the young faces that light up, see the enthusiasm and skill of those teachers turning on those lights and the look of pride in the eyes of parents and staff. They even pay me to do this.

SOLANO COUNTY

Angelo Bracco

Angelo Bracco

Special Education Teacher, Solano Middle School, Vallejo City Unified School District, California Teacher of the Year


I attended Gavilan Community College in Gilroy and graduated with an AA degree in criminology in 1969. I completed my Bachelor degree in Social Science and Criminology in 1971 from California State University Fresno.

In 1971 I joined the San Francisco Police Dept. I left the S.F.P.D. in 1978 and became a member of the Concord Police Dept. until my retirement from law enforcement in 1998.

In 1999, I was hired by the Vallejo City Unified School District on an emergency credential. In 2008, I completed my Special Education Credential from California State University Sacramento.

In May of 2013, I was the recipient of Teacher of the Year for Solano Middle School, the Vallejo City Unified School District, and the County of Solano. In October 2013, I was selected as California Teacher of the Year.
Frank Garcia, Jr.

Frank Garcia, Jr.

Computer Technician, Travis Unified School District


“Frank shines best at his work when he is responding to technology service requests involving students and teachers. He has worked tirelessly for Travis Unified School District for many years and has earned a reputation as a caring, hard-working, team player that always strives to provide the best solutions and support to his customers.

I know it is difficult to provide consistent, top-notch service all the time, but Frank takes great pride in providing end-to-end solutions to make sure his customers have the technology tools to be successful. His primary goal is to always do what’s right for kids.”

- Rick Marx, Information Services Manager, Travis Unified School District