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District honors 2017 Teachers of the Year

District honors 2017 Teachers of the Year
Posted on 05/10/2017

2017 Teachers of the Year

Pictured: Jean-Paul Balmat, Claudia Sanchez-Guevara, Vanessa Hart, Jaime Brown, Robert Daluraya and Denise Tayco

Claudia Sanchez-Guevara, Vanessa Hart and Jean-Paul Balmat are San Diego Unified's 2017 Teachers of the Year.

The three were honored, along with runners up Robert Daluraya, Denise Tayco and Jaime Brown, and more than 130 teachers of the year from individual school sites, at the Day of the Teacher celebration at Patrick Henry High school.

Superintendent Cindy Marten joined Board of Education members, district leadership, school administrators, families and friends of teachers being recognized at the annual event.

The afternoon festivities started with a reception catered by the culinary arts students from Morse and Garfield high schools. The students prepared and served savory appetizers, such as pesto mozzarella pinwheels and Ensenada-style shrimp cocktail, and desserts like carrot cake and cinnamon mint cheese rollups. A string quartet from Patrick Henry provided entertainment.

The ceremony kicked off with a performance by The Preservationists, the award-winning jazz ensemble from Mission Bay High, under the direction of 2017 High School Teacher of the Year Jean-Paul Balmat. Patrick Henry High's Bel Canto Ensemble sang the National Anthem and the school's Navy JROTC presented the colors.

The recognition portion of the event began with a presentation by the San Diego Education Fund, who honored their 2017 Teacher and STEM Scholarship recipients. Teacher scholarship recipients plan to pursue a career in teaching and return to San Diego Unified following graduation. STEM scholarship recipients are pursuing degrees in the STEM fields.

Following the student presentation, the 2017 Teachers of the Year were recognized with awards and video tributes. Here's a little more about our honorees:

This year's winners are:

  • Claudia Sanchez-Guevara, fifth-grade, Bethune K-8. She had such an impact on her fourth-grade students, that they successfully petitioned to have her become their fifth grade teacher. There is little question Sanchez-Guevara has a tremendous impact on her students. She relates to them. She cares for them. She sets high expectations for them.
  • Vanessa Hart, six- and seventh-grade English, De Portola Middle. She strives to create a relaxed, fun environment so that students feel comfortable and aren't afraid to take risks with their learning. Hart uses a lot of historical fiction to fuel compassion, and will often turn lessons into games in order to motivate students to learn.
  • Jean-Paul Balmat, music teacher, Mission Bay High. He became a music teacher because of the influence his own music teacher had on him when he was a student at Mission Bay. If there was ever any doubt about the impact a teacher can have on a student, Balmat is proof. He shares his love of music with students and teaches them about more than just notes on a page. He teaches music concepts, leadership, respect and how to carry oneself like a professional musician.

This year's runners up are: Robert Daluraya, science prep, Hickman Elementary; Denise Tayco, seventh-grade science, Pershing Middle; and Jaime Brown, 12th-grade IB English and IB film, San Diego High School of International Studies.

All site teachers of the year had the opportunity to go on stage, say their name and be acknowledged for their dedication to the teaching profession.

The night concluded with the District Teachers of the Year receiving letters of recognition and gifts from local elected officials and from sponsors California Coast Credit Union, California Schools VEBA and Mission Federal Credit Union.

Sponsors of the Teacher of the Year event include: California Coast Credit Union, California Schools VEBA, eLiveLife.com, Mission Federal Credit Union, San Diego Education Association, San Diego Education Fund, San Diego Unified - College, Career and Technical Education, The San Diego Padres, The Standard, and the Art Institute of California - San Diego.

Video Tributes:

Media Coverage:

Event Photos: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B236umBA8uTaNnZoRzduekstrongbW8?usp=sharing

2017 Site Teachers of the Year

Site Teacher of the Year School/Department
Chris Ahrens Adapted Physical Education
Heather Allan Cadman Elementary School
Teresa (Teri) Ang Mann Middle School
Ken Bailey Doyle Elementary School
Kelly Baker Bell Middle School
Jean-Paul Balmat Mission Bay High School
Diane Barraclough Rowan Elementary School
Frances Barragan Porter Elementary School
Susan Barrett Green Elementary School
Kyra Bartlett Patrick Henry High School
Deborah Baumer Language Academy
Rosemarie Bella Paradise Hills Elementary School
Brian Benz Point Loma High School
Linda Bertin Longfellow K-8
Julie Best Miramar Ranch Elementary School
Alex Blackwelder Scripps Ranch High School
Anne Marie Bodenwieser Linda Vista Elementary School
Nancy Bognatz Hamilton Elementary School
Corina Borevitz Golden Hill K-8
Scott Borino Vista Grande Elementary School
Linda Boswell Henry Clay Elementary School
Elizabeth Bowers Marston Middle School
Raymond Brandes San Diego Met High School
Jaime Brown San Diego High School of Int. Studies
Kateena Bugg Valencia Park Elementary School
Rex Calvin Morse High School
Diana Celle Holmes Elementary School
Julie Chambless Wangenheim Middle School
Ben Champion Crown Point Jr. Music Academy
Whitney Chase Madison High School
Amy Childs Oak Park Elementary School
Rick Corlett Kearny High DMD
Laurie Covill Ross Elementary School
Jamie Craig Garfield High School
Mary Cruikshank Bay Point State Preschool
Carinne Daley Fay Elementary School
Robert Daluraya Hickman Elementary School
Patricia Dargan Adams Elementary School
Cheryl David Washington Elementary School
Ashley de Goede Pacific Beach Elementary School
Jason Demendonca Serra High School
Alison Dickens Kearny High SCT
Dexter Dimacali Freese Elementary School
Pam Djordjevski Mira Mesa High School
Samantha Doerner Taft Middle School
Josielyn Dungo Jones Elementary School
Julieta Duran Encanto Elementary School
Jim Essex La Jolla High School
Evayon Farnum Toler Elementary School
Benjamin Felix Ibarra Elementary School
Candice Finn Cesar Chavez Elementary School
Robert Ford Rosa Parks Elementary School
Allyson Frasure Perry Elementary School
Jessica Frichtel Kearny High EID
Jessie Friend Whittier
Jeffrey Godes Baker Elementary School
Hiram Gonzalez Standley Middle School
Claudine Gressel Sherman Elementary School
Agustin Guardado Burbank Elementary School
Claudia Sanchez-Guevara Bethune K-8
Manuel Gutierrez Lincoln High School
Michelle Hackley Pacific View Leadership Elementary
Vanessa Hart De Portola Middle School
Kirk Hoffman Visual and Performing Arts
Deborah Horn Hage Elementary School
Chris Horton Clark Middle School
Mark Hoskisson ALBA Community Day School
Monique Hudson Correia Middle School
Steve Ingrum CPMA
Jennifer Jimenez Walker Elementary School
Holly Johnson Jerabek Elementary School
Angela Jurado Barnard Asian Pacific Language Academy
Kathleen Kaping Challenger Middle School
Donna Kemp Miller Elementary School
Ray Kinne San Diego High School of Business
Gina Koch-Torres Kimbrough Elementary School
Christine Laseak Garfield Elementary School
Nicole Latuszek Lewis Middle School
Laurie Lavache iHigh Virtual Academy
Sarah Leach Roosevelt Middle School
Theodora Long Johnson Elementary School
Nancy Luna Boone Elementary School
Frances Mackenzie McKinley Elementary School
Kendra Madden East Village High School
Jason Maxwell Webster Elementary School
Becky McCarty Ocean Beach Elementary School
William McClain Carver Elementary School
Brooke Melling Central Elementary School
Lony Mendez Audubon K-8
Eleanor Miano Euclid Elementary School
Sharon Miller Chesterton Elementary School
Mathew Miller TRACE
Bonnie Milse Dailard Elementary School
Lynn Minor Jefferson Elementary School
Kaitlin Moffatt Marshall Middle School
Orelia Moore Horton Elementary School
Daria Murphy Alcott Elementary School
Marika Nieratko Rolando Park Elementary School
John O'Donnell Pacific Beach Middle School
Trudy Pachon Mt Everest Academy
Katie Pagan Marshall Elementary School
Amy Palacios Cherokee Point Elementary School
Amy Palmore Knox Middle School
Dusty Pedrotti Field Elementary School
Monica Ponce-Gutierrez Wilson Middle School
Lisa Popovich La Jolla Elementary School
Lorraine Poveda Penn Elementary School
Laura Preisman Muirlands Middle School
Maria Quintana Kumeyaay Elementary School
Linda Randall Gage Elementary School
Andrew Robinson Angier Elementary School
Dominica "Nikki" Rodriguez-Adams Lindbergh Schweitzer Elementary School
Deborah Sadler Crawford High School
Jill Schenk San Diego High School SciTech
Lisa Schifrin Chollas/Mead Elementary School
Patrick Schoettler Millennial Tech Middle School
Jennifer Segars Whitman Elementary School
Charity Silvas Joyner MicroSociety School
Janell Small Laura Rodriguez Elementary School
Scott Spalding Normal Heights Elementary School
Laura Stern Mark Twain High School
Donna Talner Jonas Salk Elementary School
Denise Tayco Pershing Middle School
Theresa Tran Ericson Elementary
Cynthia Trunzo Fulton K-8
Reyna Turner Loma Portal Elementary School
Jennifer Valenzuela Kit Carson Elementary School
Amy Varas Hearst Elementary School
Rosalina Vergara Balboa Elementary School
Stephanie Vest Hoover High School
Benjamin Vosburgh Innovation Middle School
Tom Waczek Ellen Browning Scripps Elementary
Jennifer Wiser Lafayette Elementary School
Maj Xander Montgomery Middle School
Andrew Zafuto University City High School