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Teacher of the Year Selection Criteria

Please note the selection criteria listed here are not exclusive, and are not intended to be requirements. Instead they are a list of considerations that we hope will help those who nominate teachers understand the intent behind each of the three cateories.


New Teacher (less than 3 years in the profession)​. 

  1. Enthusiasm for the job (a smile and energy, plus a drive to do things right).

  2. Ability to spark meaningful work conversations and address current issues.

  3. New and useful ideas for instruction and/or school climate.

  4. Approval of students and parents, as well as fellow teachers.

  5. Consideration of the following:

    • Ability to work well with special education students.​

    • Strategic/effective use of IT/new media as part of instruction

    • Ability to relate to students, especially where a caring adult acting as a mentor can have a profound difference on the trajectory of a child's education. 

Innovative/Collaborative Teachers (two or more). 

  1. Instrumental in implementing an innovative or creative change in instruction or the school climate that has been adopted within the last five years. 

  2. The innovation or creative change has been shown to be effective in  meeting its stated goal. 

  3. The teacher has a history of promoting high standards and thoughtful execution of instruction and school climate strategies, such that the award reflects not just a one-time contribution, but rather a history of working to improve school operations. 

Career Service Teachers.

  1. Interpersonal communication skills (how the teacher connects with others, what expectations of effort and achievement the teacher communicates, the feelings the teacher communicates to others).

  2. Creativity and imagination (innovative teaching approaches and tecniques, effectiveness in addressing individual student interests and needs).

  3. Extracurricular activities (helps students extend learning through clubs, sports, field trips, etc, is available to students and meets with parents outside of class time, communicates closely and effectively with parents.) 

  4. Collegial development (helps guide, coach, and support fellow teachers, actively contributes in staff meetings and events, exhibits school leadership).

  5. Personal professional development (pursues personal growth as a teacher, utilizes a variety of outside resources)


A Long History of Teacher Awards!



Sally Briggs, Career Service Teacher, Apple Blossom School

Mei Ibach, New Teacher, West County High Schools

Andy Del Monte and Walt Hays, Innovative Teachers, West County High School



Sergio Blanco, Career Service Teacher, Hillcrest Middle School

Jennifer Tsuromoto, New Teacher, Park Side and Brook Haven Schools

Kate Crandall, Beth Trivunovic, Kory Van Dyke, and Sally Redfern

Innovative Teachers, Gravenstein Elementary School


Mary Jo Kinser, Career Service Teacher, Pleasant Hill Christian School

Sydnee Mardell, New Teacher, Twin Hills Charter Middle School

Joe Maloney, Innovative Teacher, Laguna High School


Julie Aiello, Kindergarten, Parkside School
Tim Forslund, Social Studies, Analy High School
Amanda Reece, Special Education, West Sonoma County Special Education Consortium
Sonoma West Times Article


Jolene Johnson, Dance Teacher, El Molino High School
Karen McKenna, 6th Grade English and History, Twin Hills Middle School
Jeff Stucker, 6th Grade English and History, Brook Haven School
Sonoma West Times Article


​Kate O'Brien,Kindergarten,  Sunridge School
Sara Gramm, 3rd Grade, Parkside School
Adam Alcorn, Special Education, Analy High School
Sonoma West Times Article


Nicole Ellwood, Special Education Twin Hills Middle School
Katya Robinson, West Sonoma County Special Education Consortium
Walt Hayes, Applied Arts & Technology, Analy High School
Sonoma West Times Article


​Sunny Galbraith, Orchard View School
Greg Corby, Brook Haven School
Mike Roan, El Molino High School
Sonoma West Times Article


Mary Fitch, Physical Sciences, Twin Hills Charter School
Sarah Prosser, 4th Grade, Sun Ridge Waldorf School
Lynn Stewart, English Language Learners, El Molino High School


Andy DelMonte, Choir, Analy High School
John Thomas, English, El Molino High School


Gianna De Persis Vona, English, Laguna High School
Rachel Lasek, Math, El Molino High School


Joe Compagno, Science, Analy High School
Vance Regan, Instrumental Music, Analy High School


Bill Olzman, Social Studies/English, El Molino High School
Lynette Williamson, English/Rhetoric, Analy High School


John Grech, Social Studies, El Molino High School
Cathy Wiese, Special Eduaction, Analy High School

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