The Santa Clara County Office of Education recently named its 2013 Teachers of the Year, selected by their respective school districts. The county also announced the recipients of the 2013 Texas Instruments STEM Teaching Awards.
Teachers of the Year
• The Los Altos School District recognized Egan Junior High School science teacher Curtis Schneider, who initiated and organizes the student-staff golf tournament and the student-teacher chess tournaments each year. Principal Brenda Dyckman said Schneider is “outstanding and revered.”
• The Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District selected Barbara Kaufman, a physical education teacher at Mountain View High School. Kaufmann is nationally board-certified and a member of the Mountain View High leadership team.
• In the Santa Clara County Charter School category, Bullis Charter School recognized teacher Jessica Lura. Lura has taught eighth-grade English and history at the charter school for eight years. Sharing the ideal of global citizenship is particularly important to her, as she spent time studying abroad in Denmark, Kenya, Costa Rica, Trinidad, Ecuador and India.
STEM Teaching Awards
For their efforts in teaching Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, five county teachers, including two from local schools, each received $1,000 for classroom use.
• The county honored Gina Dunsmore, who teaches physics at Mountain View High, for her contributions to STEM education. She conducts a Walk on Water event annually, which requires students to use their knowledge of physics, design process and teamwork to engineer a device that enables them to walk or crawl over the surface of the school’s pool without the use of propellants or paddles.
• The county recognized Noirin Foy, who teaches algebra at Blach Intermediate School.
“(Foy) seamlessly incorporates technology into her instruction and student experience,” said Blach Principal Sandra McGonagle. “From mind-mapping how to solve challenging equations to creating personal online study guides, students are exposed to a wide variety of tools that individualize their learning and teach skills they can use in high school and beyond.”
The Santa Clara County Office of Education has scheduled its 44th annual Teacher Recognition Celebration Sept. 26 at the Heritage Theatre, 1 W. Campbell Ave., Campbell.
For more information, visit www.sccoe.org/trc/teachers/2013.asp.