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Five Educators Honored as San Diego County Teachers of the Year.

SAN DIEGO San Diego (săn dēā`gō), city (1990 pop. 1,110,549), seat of San Diego co., S Calif., on San Diego Bay; inc. 1850. San Diego includes the unincorporated communities of La Jolla and Spring Valley. Coronado is across the bay.  -- Five local educators selected from a field of 44 nominees were named San Diego County Teachers of the Year during the 19th annual "Cox Presents: A Salute to Teachers brought to you by Ashford University Ashford University is a private, coeducational liberal arts university located in Clinton, Iowa. The University is owned by Bridgepoint Education, Inc., a for-profit higher education company based in San Diego, California. " in cooperation with the San Diego County Office of Education. The sold-out annual event honored San Diego County's public school teachers and was televised live on Channel 4 San Diego from the Balboa Theater in downtown San Diego.

The 2009-10 San Diego County Teachers of the Year are:

* Donna Farquar, District English Learner Resource Teacher (Santee School District Santee School District (Santee Elementary School District) is the district that governs all public elementary schools in Santee, California. The two high schools in Santee, Santana and West Hills are operated by the Grossmont Union High School District. )

* Kelly Kovacic, The Preuss School UCSD UCSD University of California, San Diego (La Jolla, California)
UCSD User Centered System Design
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 (San Diego Unified School District A unified school district is a school district which includes both primary school (kindergarten through middle school or junior high) and high school (grades 9-12). In Illinois, these districts are called unit school districts. )

* Mike Love, Mt. Miguel High School (Grossmont Union High School District The Grossmont Union High School District (GUHSD) is a public school district located in eastern San Diego County, California, and serves high school, adult school, and Regional Occupational Program (ROP) students in the cities of El Cajon, La Mesa, Lemon Grove, and Santee; and the )

* Eric Mabrey, Olympian High School (Sweetwater Union High School District The Sweetwater Union High School District is a school district located in San Diego County, California that serves adults and high school-aged students in the communities of Chula Vista, Imperial Beach, National City and San Ysidro. )

* Melanie Tolan, Sarah Anthony School (San Diego County Office of Education)

The five teachers of the year will go on to represent San Diego County in the California Teacher of the Year program, which will be announced later this year. Nominees for San Diego County Teacher of the Year were selected by their school districts based on student achievement, teaching philosophy, familiarity with current issues in education and community involvement.

Donna Farquar, District English Learner Resource Teacher (Santee School District) An English language English language, member of the West Germanic group of the Germanic subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages (see Germanic languages). Spoken by about 470 million people throughout the world, English is the official language of about 45 nations.  development teacher at the Santee Elementary School elementary school: see school.  District Educational Resource Center, Donna Farquar works toward getting her students reclassified as Fluent English Proficient students. She can be found working with the district's nine schools and students from kindergarten through 8th grade whose first language ranges from Spanish and Russian to Kurdish and Arabic. Farquar uses her own second-language learner experience she had as an adult teaching abroad in Brazil and Hong Kong to help her students overcome their anxiety and apprehension of not being English proficient.

Kelly Kovacic, The Preuss School UCSD (San Diego Unified School District) A social studies teacher for 11th and 12th graders, Kovacic doesn't just teach her students about the Great Depression and other historical events - she encourages them to analyze, reflect and discuss the topics. All of her students live below the poverty level, so it's common for Kovacic's students to relate their personal experiences to what they're learning in class, such as Cesar Chavez's account of being six years old and watching his family lose their home to foreclosure.

Mike Love, Mt. Miguel High School (Grossmont Union High School District) Love has been a math teacher at Mount Miguel High School Mount Miguel High School is public, comprehensive high school located in Spring Valley, California and serves 2,061 students in grades nine through twelve. Opened in 1957, Mount Miguel is the fourth of twelve high schools constructed in the Grossmont Union High School District.  in Spring Valley for 15 years where much of his career has been spent preparing under-served and under-represented students for college through the AVID program. Love was instrumental in Mount Miguel becoming the first high school in the nation to have a chapter of the Student African-American Brotherhood, a naturally chartered program that promotes leadership, self-discipline and intellectual development in young men of all backgrounds. Love says that he is not just a math teacher. He is a life skills teacher, a philosopher, a psychologist, a father figure, and a stand-up stand·up or stand-up  
1. Standing erect; upright: a standup collar.

2. Taken, done, or used while standing: a standup supper; a standup bar.
 comedian in his classroom because all of those roles play an important part in his ability to connect with his students.

Eric Mabrey, Olympian High School (Sweetwater Union High School District) A 20-year teaching veteran, Mabrey is an instrumental and choral music teacher in the same district where he attended school. He draws on his experiences as a student in a diverse cultural community to connect and relate to his students. Well known in the music educational community for consistently having performing groups that score at the top during festivals and competitions, Mabrey used his musical talents to compose the Alma Mater and Fight Song for Olympian High School.

Melanie Tolan, Sarah Anthony School (San Diego County Office of Education) Melanie Tolan's students are all male, ages 15 and 16, and are in Juvenile Hall. Less than 24 hours after being booked, they enter Tolan's classroom at the Sarah Anthony School, located inside San Diego's Juvenile Hall. Tolan emphasizes to her students that hers is a real classroom and a safe haven for learning. Students soon learn that her curriculum is not "dumbed-down" because they are in Juvenile Hall. They are challenged to write poetry, use technology to create presentations, improve their math skills, and make her honor roll. Because her students are not allowed to leave Juvenile Hall, Tolan brings field trips to them by bringing in community speakers and organizations.

Rounding out the 10 finalists are: Jennifer Eckle, Vista Magnet Middle School (Vista Unified School District Vista Unified School District is a public school district in northern San Diego County, California. Schools
High Schools
  • Alta Vista High School
  • Guajome Park Academy
  • Palomar High School
  • Rancho Buena Vista High School
); Bill Freeman, Walter J Porter Elementary (San Diego Unified School District); Arlene Gapusan, Black Mountain Middle School (Poway Unified School District Poway Unified School District is a school district located in Poway, California. The District operates 22 elementary schools (K-5), six middle schools (6-8), four comprehensive high schools (9-12), and one continuation high school. ); Yvonne Fojtasek, San Elijo Elementary School (San Marcos Unified School District); and Diana Souther, Valley Center Primary School (Valley Center-Pauma Unified School District).

"Cox Presents: A Salute to Teachers" will replay on Channel 4 San Diego on Sun., Oct. 11 at 8:30 p.m.; Sat., Oct, 17 at 9 p.m.; Sat., Oct. 24 at 7 p.m.; and Sat., Nov. 7 at 6 p.m. Time Warner also will carry the show live and all replays, and ITV (1) See interactive TV.

(2) (iTV) The code name for Apple's video media hub (see Apple TV).
 will replay the show on Fri., Oct 16 at 7 p.m.; Sat., Oct 24 at 5:30 p.m.; and Thurs., Oct 29 at 6 p.m.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Oct 11, 2009
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