By: Staff Writer Apoorva Rajanala
The Teacher of the Year nominations began in 1972 to acknowledge the challenges that teachers face to commend them for the hard work and effort that they put into their students and work. Every year, each school’s principal nominates a teacher that they believe exhibits the qualities that should be found in the Teacher of the Year. The nominees are evaluated at a district level and the top candidates are sent to the county for further assessment. The state selection committee conducts visits to gauge the teacher’s classroom environment, presentation skills, and other criteria after reviewing the teacher’s application.
This year, Mr. Larsen nominated World Language teacher, Kathryn Cochran for working diligently to guarantee the success of all of MSJ students. She is a well-regarded leader and is trusted to give great advice and direction to her peers and students, qualities that are sought in the Teacher of the Year. “Ms. Cochran is a change agent at MSJHS and had been instrumental in providing Instructional Rounds in the World Language department as well as researching the best speakers and Programs for Common Core Implementation. While it is not easy to select just one teacher on a staff of nearly 100, Ms. Cochran is one of the clear standouts,” said Ms. Cochran’s nominator, Mr. Larsen.
The award for the District’s Teacher of the Year 2015 is being given to Ms. Amy Perez, who teaches freshman and sophomore students at Robertson High School. “Ms. Perez’s selection is based on instructional excellence, contributions to the school and District, and as a teacher who serves a school leader,” says an email sent by Juan Espinosa, who is part of the district’s human resource team. Ms. Perez will advance to the county and state competitions for further evaluation in the Teacher of the Year competition.