On Monday, February 6, 2012, I had the amazing opportunity to attend the California Teachers of the Year Gala at the Sheraton Grand Hotel in Sacramento, California. I was honored as 2012 California Teacher of the Year Semi-Finalist along with several other talented teachers. The opportunity to meet our State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tom Torlakson, proved to be one of the highlights of the night. We had an excellent discussion regarding the effective integration of technology though the use of iOS devices and educational apps. After our discussion, he asked for my business card as he is planning a task force to address such issues as technology integration into the classrooms. He was excited to hear about how much second graders are capable of when given the opportunity to access hand-held devices.
The night’s event was hosted by the California Teachers of the Year Foundation with presentations given by Foundation members Jack Hawkins, Andee Aceves, and Dawna Countryman. Mr. Torlakson presented awards to all of the Semi-finalists, finalists, and the 2012 California Teachers of the Year. During the Awards Dinner each California Teacher of the Year gave an inspiring speech with a small peek into their classrooms. Those honored were Florence Avognon, Tom Collett, Shari Ann Herout, Ken La Vigne, and Rebecca Mieliwocki.
Also in attendance were several State Senators and Assembly members. In the picture above is Assemblywoman Mariko Yamada (far right).