This September, five Sweetwater District teachers of the year will compete with nearly 37 other San Diego County teachers at the Annual Cox Presents: A Salute to Teachers Gala. Out of the 42 total teachers, only five will move forward to be named San Diego County Teacher of the Year.
The Salute to Teachers Gala is an Academy Awards-style ceremony that will be held at Balboa Theatre downtown and is broadcast live on local cable TV.
The 2019 Sweetwater District Teachers of the Year are:
The finalists were selected by their schools to represent the Sweetwater Union High School District at the county level based on student achievement, professional development and community involvement, teaching philosophy, knowledge of current issues in education, promotion and development of the teaching profession, accountability, and ability to serve as ambassadors of education.
For outstanding educator Julio Avasan, every student in his classroom not only learns the principles of engineering, but he also strives to mold their character to value passion, compassion, appreciation, humility, and most of all, the need to see life with a positive attitude.
“From the very first day when each of my students’ enter my classroom, I open my heart to them” said Avasan. “They become part of my world, and I get to witness their journey to success.”
Cheryl Bayley says her personal goal is to provide a classroom experience in a public school that will rival or exceed other experiences outside of the public-school system. Her mission is to help students take more science due to the need for science majors in our economy.
In Bayley’s third year of teaching science courses, she increased numbers in Anatomy and offered AP Environmental Science for the first time last year. “I value students and the power of their voice,” said Bayley. “Through this power, I ignite their passion for science.”
“Having a good relationship with your students and being committed to learning in whatever form it may take is what makes a successful teacher,” said Brian Dougherty. “I have high expectations for my students, but they are not overwhelmed by them.
As a science teacher, Dougherty wants science to come alive for his students and inspire them to have an appreciation of the natural world.
For Don Dumas, to be a student in his class is to be comfortable knowing that you are in an environment where you can be your authentic self.
“Students in my class know that they can take academic and intellectual risks without fear of ridicule or the ‘wrong’ answer,” said Dumas.” In his classroom, he values the knowledge and experiences that students bring to the class, and the environment is one in which everyone in the room is respected and is free to contribute to the learning of everyone else.
Robert Manroe says his class is a community. He says his students talk to one another, learn from one another, and look out for one another. He believes the inclusive nature of this teaching style encourages students to join in the experience.
Manroe also says he does not rely on students’ skill-sets when they enter his room. “If they lack a skill, I will teach them,” said Manroe. “Whether that is a language, graphing, organization or technology, the solution is the same: Let me show you how to do this.”
The Annual “Cox Presents: A Salute to Teachers,” will be televised LIVE from the Balboa Theatre on September 7, 2019, in the evening! Tune in or purchase tickets to see if one of our outstanding Sweetwater District teachers will be named San Diego County Teacher of the Year!