Awards were presented to the outstanding Manteca Unified teachers and other district employees Tuesday night during the Board of Trustees meeting.
Recipients of the 2013 awards are the following:
• Tony Pacheco, Secondary Educator of the Year
Pacheco is a foreign language teacher at Sierra High School. He has been with the Manteca Unified School District since 2003. Pacheco’s story is being described as the American Dream personified. His parents immigrated to the United States from El Salvador when he was a young boy. He was the first member of his family to graduate from college. It was his parents who inspired him to pursue higher education, always emphasizing to him the importance of education. Pacheco is currently in the master’s program at California State University, Sacramento, while at the same time continuing to teach at Sierra High where he is also the MeCHA club adviser, soccer coach, and Spanish teacher.
• Grace Baldeon, Intermediate Teacher of the Year
The French Camp School fifth-grade teacher has been with Manteca Unified for seven years, the last three at her current place of employment. Her teaching method in the classroom includes interactive activities utilizing technology – she encourages her students to get creative with the computer when writing their autobiographies, for example – as well as using Power Points or short clips to enhance lessons. She has gone to science camp with her students ever year, and has volunteered for various causes including after-school tutorials not only for her own grade level but others wherever she is needed, as well as providing support for the French Camp School Operation Christmas targeted for the neediest children, and the annual Give Every Child a Chance bowl-a-thon fund-raiser.
• Tammy Gerial, Primary Grades Educator of the Year
A teacher at August Knodt School in Weston Ranch, Gerial has been singled out for her “upbeat, encouraging attitude and a strict belief that all children are capable of improving every day.” She has always been known also to go “above and beyond her assigned duties as a teacher in many ways.” She serves on the School Site Council, for instance, as well as a BTSA (Beginning Teacher Support Assessment) support provider. While holding on to her teaching post, she is currently pursuing a master’s degree in administration.
• Donna Beck, Classified School Employee of the Year
As the secretary to the administrator of Compensatory Education, Beck’s responsibility is to prepare for district parent advisories, board meetings, training, and the compilation and submission of multiple state and federal reports. Among the criteria for this award are five years of service in the nomination category, excellent work performance, school and community involvement, leadership and commitment, and willingness to go above and beyond the call of duty.
• Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment (BTSA) awards
BTSA induction coordinator Lisa Goodwin announced the names of the two BTSA of the year recipients – Brent VanZwaluwenberg and Amy Rosendin, both teachers at Sierra High School.
VanZwaluwenberg teaches Spanish and is supporting Roxana Navarette who is also a Spanish teacher at Sierra High. Navarette, who nominated VanZwaluwenberg for this honor, commented: “It is a privilege to work with amazing intellectuals like Brent; he has taught me more than any credential program or class I have ever taken. (He) is a perfect ‘go to’ person when I need help…. He is a great mentor and I will continue to seek his advice and guidance.”
Rosendin, an English teacher at Sierra High, worked with Justin Minteer who also teaches English at the Timberwolves campus. Minteer described Rosendin as “a critical player in my success at Sierra, although we have different organizational styles. She is very patient with me…. She has a way of assisting but backing out of the way enough to make it clear that the responsibility is mine. I believe because of her support and guidance, what I am doing in the classroom will make a difference in the lives of my students.”