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San Diego Unified Names 2024 Teachers of the Year

News Release: San Diego Unified Names 2024 Teachers of the Year
Posted on 05/14/2024


San Diego Unified Names 2024 Teachers of the Year
Educators from Hancock Elementary, Standley Middle, and Morse High Schools Selected as District Teachers of the Year         

April 30, 2024

SAN DIEGO – Universal Transitional Kindergarten teacher Jennifer Nannini from Hancock Elementary School, Standley Middle School math teacher Lisa Clifner, and Morse High School English teacher Maria Miller have been named San Diego Unified School District’s 2024 Teachers of the Year. 

Mackenzie Levine from Perry Elementary School, Kellie Marcarelli from Creative Performing Media Arts Middle School, and Skye Cooke-Pinon from San Diego High School have been named this year’s runners-up. 

In observance of National Teacher Appreciation Week, May 6-10, these six educators will be honored at the Day of the Teacher celebration on Tuesday, May 7, at 5 p.m. during a ceremony hosted by ABC 10News reporter Natay Holmes. More than 160 Teachers of the Year from individual schools will also be honored. 

During Teacher Appreciation Week, San Diego Unified encourages the community to honor teachers by sharing a post, image, or video of a special educator in their life. The district challenges San Diegans to thank a teacher either in person, or on social media using the hashtag #ThankATeacherSD. 

"While today we celebrate the remarkable teachers at San Diego Unified, appreciation for our teachers transcends a single day or week of recognition,” Superintendent Dr. Lamont Jackson said. “It's woven into the everyday moments: the sparkle in a student's eye when they grasp a challenging concept, the cheers as a soccer team scores the winning goal, in the heartfelt notes of gratitude from parents, and in the warm embraces shared between students who find a sense of belonging. These are the little moments of magic that fill our school days, made possible by the unwavering dedication of our teachers."

The Day of the Teacher celebration is recognized by the Board of Education every year. Board members and district staff, community leaders, and elected officials from the region take part in honoring the distinguished educators. The in-person ceremony will feature original student-created content performed by students from the San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts.

Teacher of the Year candidates go through a rigorous selection process, first being selected by the staff members at their school, then a panel including former Teachers of the Year.  San Diego Unified’s teachers of the year and runners-up may advance to compete for San Diego County Teacher of the Year honors.   

This year’s event is co-hosted by the North Island Credit Union Foundation. “At North Island Credit Union Foundation, we understand the profound impact teachers have on empowering our communities. We are honored to recognize the dedication and passion of educators who go above and beyond as co-host of the 2024 San Diego Unified School District’s Teacher of the Year program,” said North Island Credit Union Foundation President Marvel Ford. “The Foundation’s mission is to strengthen the financial well-being of our communities, and there is no question that education is the cornerstone of a healthy community. We congratulate these outstanding teachers and thank them for their commitment to inspiring a culture of lifelong learning.”

Additional sponsors of the event are California Coast Credit Union, California Schools VEBA, SchoolsFirst Federal Credit, Lakeshore Learning, University of California, San Diego, San Diego Education Association, Creations by Chelyz, and the San Diego Education Fund, San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance Press, Orfila Vineyards Inc., SugarBears Sweet Provisions, Prince Street Pizza, Pilgrimage of the Heart Yoga.

For more information on this year’s winners and on the San Diego Unified Teacher of the Year celebration, please visit: https://cutt.ly/TOY2024                

BROLL/PHOTOS: Download here


MEDIA CONTACT: Isabella McNeil, San Diego Unified, Teacher of the Year Coordinator, 619-341-2343