Thursday, October 7, 2010

County Teacher of the Year Named

Concluding an energy-driven and exciting evening at the Concord Hilton, Contra Costa County Superintendent of Schools Joseph Ovick, Ed.D., announced the night-long anticipated naming of the county’s next Teacher of the Year – it was Pinole Valley High’s Michele Lamons. Lamons (at left) has been teaching English and sign language at Pinole Valley High for the past eight years.

After being named by the West Contra Costa County Unified School District as their district Teacher of the Year (TOY), this past March, Lamons successfully proceeded with the other 17 eligible county candidates through a rigorous county-wide selection process, which included an application screening, classroom evaluation, interview, and speech presentation. Her fellow finalists were John Korzick, San Ramon Valley Unified SD, (California High) and Lori Leach, Brentwood Union SD, (R. Paul Krey Elementary).

Close to 400 attendees were on hand for an evening that will certainly not be forgotten. The audience was made up of the TOYs’ family members and friends, as well as numerous local educators, business partners, and officials. Kicking off the festivities was a rousing version of “The Devil Went Down To Georgia,” performed by Alhambra High School’s “Pivotal Vortex,” directed by teacher Julianne George. Master of ceremonies, Dr. Ovick introduced the TOY class of 2010-2011 (19 TOYs were on hand) by sharing stories to the audience about his visits to each of the teachers’ classrooms. This was followed by speeches of the three TOY finalists, their topic: “What I have learned from my students.” Following the three speeches, Lamons’ announcement was made.

Along with the courses she teaches at Pinole High, Lamons serves as an adviser and coordinator for several school student groups and activities, including the Forensics (speech and debate) Team, the African American Student Union, Black History Month, Day of Peace Celebration, and annual college fair. She also teaches English at Solano College, in Fairfield.

Lamons will now compete with all the other county representatives in the California State TOY competition. The California State Teachers of the Year are expected to be announced in early November.

The county TOY program is produced by the Contra Costa County Office of Education (CCCOE). (For additional TOY info, visit the CCCOE website).

The Teacher of the Year Dinner Celebration was taped by Contra Costa Television (CCTV), and is scheduled for the following dates:

*October 13, 7:00 p.m.
*October 14, 4:00 p.m.
*October 18, 10:00 a.m.

CCTV is on Comcast channel 27, Astound channel 32, and AT&T U-Verse channel 99.

For additional air dates, check CCTV's program guide at