Gary Pease has worked diligently for 21 years to inspire and teach his students. His efforts to educate have been rewarded as the eighth-grade teacher from Jefferson School in Tracy has been named San Joaquin County Teacher of the Year.

The San Joaquin County Office of Education (SJCOE) made the announcement, and Pease received $1,000 from Premier Community Credit Union, a supporter of educators in San Joaquin County. Pease’s nomination will now be submitted to the state for consideration as California Teacher of the Year.

Gary Pease

He was nominated by Jefferson School Principal Alyssa Wooten.

“Due to his intense understanding, he implements unique ways and fun language to help students learn the concept, and they remember it years down the road,” she wrote in her nomination. “Mr. Pease keeps his students on the edge of their seat and engaged throughout the class period.”

Pease understands students have different learning styles, and he uses language and examples that students can relate to, said Diane McRae, a teacher at Jefferson School. McRae wrote a letter in support of his nomination.

 “Mr. Pease always seems to have an example problem ready in his head for any situation,” she wrote. Every year, Pease updates the names he uses in his examples and test questions to include the names of his current students. In addition to mentoring teachers and leading the district’s math professional learning team, Pease is credited for growing Jefferson School’s STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics) department, and is also a coach and athletic director at Jefferson.

The other reacher of the year finalists were: Staci Diaz, El Portal Middle School, (Escalon Unified School District); Tammy Hurst, Altamont Elementary School (Lammersville Unified School District); Annie Thompson, Ripona Elementary School {Ripon Unified School District); Robert Winterhalter, Lodi High School (Lodi Unified School District).

Debra Yanez

The San Joaquin County Classified Employees and Teacher of the Year Awards honor the best of the best in the education profession.

Each winner received $400 from Premier Community Credit Union and was nominated to be California School Employee of the Year. Each Teacher of the Year finalist also received $400 from Premier Community Credit Union.

SJC Classified Employees of the Year

Clerical and Administrative Services: Kelly Cabral, Tom Hawkins, Elementary School, Jefferson Elementary School District

Custodial and Maintenance Services: Arthur Medina, Lincoln Unified School District

Food and Nutrition Services: Shelly Metcalfe Lathrop Elementary School, Manteca Unified School District.

Hector Calderon

Health and Student Services: Hector Calderon, one.Program, San Joaquin County Office of Education.

Paraprofessional: Mary Gomez Waterloo Middle School, Linden Unified School District.

Security Services: Lilia Martinez DeAredondo, Great Valley Elementary School, Manteca Unified School District.

Skilled Trades: Debra Yanez, Stockton Unified School District

Technical Services: Kitty Towers, Banta Union School District.

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