Gary Pease says one of the biggest challenges he faces as an educator is catching up with students who miss school.
“Some kids who have the internal drive type will do it on their own, but other kids who don’t are the ones who struggle,” Pease said. “That’s why I make myself available before and after school to try to reach these kids.”
His efforts to reach out to his students are a big part of why the Jefferson School teacher was chosen as San Joaquin County’s Teacher of the Year.
The award was presented to him at the San Joaquin County Classified Employee and Teacher of the Year Awards Celebration Dinner earlier this month.
“For me, I wouldn’t have this award without the people I work with,” Pease said.
Pease, 60, whose teaching career spans more than 30 years, spent 21 at the Jefferson School, where he is an eighth-grade math teacher in the Jefferson School District.
“Mr. Pease takes every opportunity to reach out to students, through Wednesday afternoon online STEAM classes, online in-person or online tutoring, supporting students at home in hospital or in extended distance learning, to take them under her wing and listen to them when needed,” said Alyssa Wooten, Principal of The Jefferson School, in her letter of appointment.
Pease teaches three classes: the eighth-grade math class, a Jefferson District algebra class with students from three different locations, and a STEAM option, which is a design and coding class. In total, he teaches more than 150 students.
He also mentored teachers and led the district’s math professional learning team, helped grow the STEAM department, and also coached volleyball, basketball, and athletic director before the COVID pandemic. -19 does not hit.
Five teachers from different schools in San Joaquin County were finalists for San Joaquin County Teacher of the Year.
The San Joaquin County Office of Education announced Pease as the winner.
Finalists for 2022 Teacher of the Year:
- Staci DiazEl Portal Middle School, Escalon Unified School District: Diaz teaches seventh and eighth grade English Language Arts (ELA) and sixth grade English Language Development (ELD) and has been teaching for over 8 years.
- Tammy HurstAltamont Elementary School, Lammersville Unified School District: Hurst teaches third grade and has been teaching for over 17 years.
- Annie ThompsonRipona Elementary School, Ripon Unified School District: Thompson teaches sixth grade and has been teaching for over 16 years.
- Robert WinterhalterLodi High School, Lodi Unified School District: Winterhalter teaches grades nine through 12 and has been teaching for over 17 years.
Eight school employees were also honored at the San Joaquin County Classified Employee and Teacher of the Year Awards Celebration Dinner. The custodial and maintenance services of food and nutrition services have all been recognized.
All winners were nominated by their colleagues. The county’s top ranked employees were announced in late March. The finalists for Teacher of the Year were announced at the end of April.
The Ranked School Employee of the Year winners and the Teacher of the Year winner are county nominees for the California Department of Education recognition program.
As the Teacher of the Year winner, Pease received $1,000 from the Premier Community Credit Union. Teacher of the Year finalists received $400 each from the credit union. The Ranked School Employee of the Year winners also received $400 each.
2022 Classified School Employee of the Year winners:
- Kelly CabralClerk I, Office and Administrative Services, Tom Hawkins Elementary School, Jefferson Elementary School District.
- Arthur Medinamaintenance manager, custodial and maintenance services, Lincoln Unified School District.
- Rachelle MetcalfeNutrition Services Manager, Food and Nutrition Services, Lathrop Elementary School, Manteca Unified School District.
- Hector CalderonIntervention and Prevention Specialist, Health and Student Services, one.Program, San Joaquin County Office of Education.
- Mary GomezSpecial and Paraprofessional Education, Waterloo Middle School, Linden Unified School District.
- Maria “Lilia” Martinez DeArredondoSchool Site Assistant, Security Services, Great Valley Elementary School, Manteca Unified School District.
- Debra YanezWork Order Technician/Dispatcher, Skilled Trades, Stockton Unified School District.
- cat tricksTechnology Coordinator, Technical Services, Banta Unified School District.
At the awards dinner, two outgoing superintendents were also recognized: Escalon Unified School District Superintendent Ron Costa and Tracy Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Brian Stephens.
Record reporter Angelaydet Rocha covers community news in Stockton and San Joaquin County. She can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @AngelaydetRocha. Support local news, subscribe to The Stockton Record at https://www.recordnet.com/subscribenow.