2020 Alameda County
Teacher of the Year Awards

Show your support of individual honorees and ALL educators by posting to social media with #acteacheroftheyear.

The Alameda County Office of Education is honored to recognize the 2020 Teachers of the Year named by county school districts.

Twelve district-level honorees were selected by the 10 districts that have chosen to participate this year. The honorees are recognized for their individual dedication and excellence in the classroom, and they collectively represent the thousands of educators doing amazing work across Alameda County every day.

"As County Superintendent, it is my honor and pleasure to uplift and celebrate our Teacher of the Year honorees for their dedication and efforts on behalf of students," said Alameda County Superintendent of Schools L. K. Monroe. "This year it feels particularly important and healing to shine a spotlight on educators who perform such a critical service in our community."

  • 2020 Teachers of the Year for Alameda County School Districts

    Brian Dodson

    Alameda Unified School District

    Brian Dodson was named Teacher of the Year for his work as a 2nd/3rd grade teacher at Maya Lin School.

    Jina Kim

    Castro Valley Unified School District

    Jina Kim was named Teacher of the Year for her work as a 4th grade teacher at Vannoy Elementary School.

    Nicole Meyer

    Dublin Unified School District

    Nicole Meyer was named Teacher of the Year for her work as an English and AVID teacher at Eleanor Murray Fallon Middle School.

    Bray Roman

    Fremont Unified School District

    Bray Roman was named Teacher of the Year for his work as a PE teacher at John F. Kennedy High School.

    Jose Tañada

    Hayward Unified School District

    Jose Tañada was named Teacher of the Year for his work as an English Language Arts and Puente teacher at Anthony W. Ochoa Middle School.

    Miguel Baez

    Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District

    Miguel Baez was named Teacher of the Year for his work as a Computer Arts and IT teacher at Granada High School.

    Christopher Skrocke

    Mission Valley Regional Occupational Program

    Christopher Skrocke was named Teacher of the Year for his work as a Culinary Arts teacher for Mission Valley ROP.

    Phoebe Diamond

    Oakland Unified School District

    Phoebe Diamond was named Teacher of the Year for her work as a 3rd grade teacher for Chabot Elementary School.

    Ji-Yun (Jane) Kim

    Oakland Unified School District

    Ji-Yun (Jane) Kim was named Teacher of the Year for her work as a Biology/AP Biology teacher for Fremont High School.

    Josh Hill

    Pleasanton Unified School District

    Josh Hill was named Teacher of the Year for his work as a Biomedical Science teacher for Foothill High School.

    Starla Colburn

    San Leandro Unified School District

    Starla Colburn was named Teacher of the Year for her work as a Special Education teacher for Bancroft Middle School.

    ACOE is adjusting the Alameda County Teacher of the Year Awards in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent school closures: for the first time in 31 years, the event will be held virtually and ACOE will not be naming county-level Teacher of the Year honorees. In 2021, ACOE will name two county-level honorees from the combined 2020 and 2021 cohorts to be considered for California Teacher of the Year in 2021.

    On December 9, 2020 at 7:00pm, ACOE will stream a virtual Alameda County Teacher of the Year Awards ceremony celebrating the honorees. During this event, videos featuring each teacher will be premiered and honorees will be presented with an award.

  • 2020 Bridging the Distance Awards

    In addition to honoring the district Teachers of the Year, ACOE will also present Bridging the Distance Awards to teachers who have demonstrated innovation, creativity, compassion, care and a commitment to equity during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Ms. Huong Giang

    Sunol Glen School
    Sunol Glen Unified School District

    Doing the best that I can for my students and letting them know that I care about them is more important than ever. This has meant learning new technology programs, sharing ideas with fellow teachers, communicating clearly and often with my families, being understanding and supportive of my students, and creating detailed weekly plans that allow for flexible instructional groupings. My students know that I work hard for them, because I care about them and love being their teacher.

    Maestra Lourdes Luy

    Valley View Elementary
    Pleasanton Unified School District

    Remote teaching has been one of the biggest challenges we have had to face as educators. But as teachers, we always put the best interest of our students first and foremost. With a positive attitude, and through epic fails and successes we have been able to step up to the challenge. Creating and maintaining a partnership with families has been crucial. We have all heard the saying “it takes a village to raise a child”... well during remote learning it certainly does!

    Maestro Greg Martin

    Sylvia Mendez Elementary
    Berkeley Unified School District

    I have just always figured that it is my job to try to engage students no matter what the circumstances. Engagement is impossible without trust and a keen sense of fun. So those are the areas I really work on in these monumentally challenging times, especially for the young ones.

    Mr. Kyle Moss

    Montclair Elementary
    Oakland Unified School District

    While distance learning presents some unique challenges, I also think it has been a valuable opportunity for me to reevaluate some priorities and see the creative potential of digital resources. Most of all, it has allowed me to focus on the essential work of guiding students to develop strong identities as independent learners.

    Mrs. Shereen Raber

    August Schilling Elementary
    Newark Unified School District

    This year is as much a learning experience for me as it is for my students and their families. How do I make those important connections through my laptop camera? High energy, enthusiasm, empathy, laughter and persistence are my go-to strategies. If things aren’t working, I look for something new.

    Ms. Emily Rubin

    Glenview Elementary
    Oakland Unified School District

    At the end of the day, I care most about my TK students feeling excited about school and developing a genuine love of learning. We spend our time together on Zoom singing, dancing, playing games, and sharing about ourselves. I want to make sure that every student in my class feels comfortable, important, and loved. Even through the computer, we have learned how to connect and care for each other and bring joy to our community every day!

    Mr. Andy Thomas

    John Muir Elementary
    Berkeley Unified School District

    I started by asking parents and students what they needed from our class. Parents helped with deliveries, setting up technology, and helped purchase thousands of dollars worth of materials. We bought books, folders, pens, markers, paint, and manipulatives. Kits were delivered to every child's house by parent volunteers. When I had technical difficulties, parents quickly helped me resolve problems. A major reason why things are working is because I had a great connection with families already.


    ACOE is committed to making each educator in Alameda County, whether an honoree or not, feel celebrated and valued through this program. With new traditions, expanded access to the virtual ceremony, and a focus on the remarkable and essential work of educators, this year’s celebration will be a memorable recognition for Alameda County's amazing educators.

  • Event Sponsors

    Event Sponsors

    Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson

    Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley

    Association of California School Administrators