California Educator

December/January 2019

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SEAN BUI, Fremont Education Association, a ninth through 12th grade English language development and business law teacher at Cuper- tino High School. Thurmond has nominated Bui as California's rep- resentative for the National Teacher of the Year competition; the 2020 National Teacher of the Year will be announced in the spring. Bui came to the Fremont Union High School District nine years ago. Besides teaching, he advises the Mock Trial Club and is the voice of the Pioneers on the football field. District staff say that Bui "strives to create a supportive and inclusive culture on campus, whether that means design- ing activities to help ELD students feel more at home or working with struggling students to relieve stress and have fun." Bui's colleagues note his "bubbly personality" and "joy in the teaching profession," and say he is a force for good in the world. Indeed, he says he'd rather be at school making a positive influence on a kid than any- where else. BRENDA CHAVEZ-BARRERAS, Perris Elementary Teachers Association, a k i n d e rga r te n tea c h e r a t G o o d H o p e E l e m e n ta r y Sc h o o l i n Pe r r i s, R i ve rs i d e Co u n ty. C h avez- B a r- re ra s i m m i g ra te d to t h e U.S. a t a ge 16, n o t s p ea k i n g En g l i s h , b u t wa s a n h o n o r ro l l st u d e n t by t h e t i m e s h e g ra d u a te d h i g h sc h o o l , a cco rd i n g to t h e R i ve rs i d e Co u n ty O f f i ce of Ed u ca t i o n . She has been a teacher for 22 years. At Palms Elementary, where she previously taught, she led the California Association for Bilingual Educators program and founded an English-language tutoring ini- tiative to help students before and after school. "Great teachers are the core of a great educational system. Teachers show us all that all children can achieve, no matter who they are." —Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond Changing Lives California's Teachers of the Year bring joy and creativity to the classroom A L O V E O F learning and strong connections to students are abundantly evident in the 2020 California Teachers of the Year. The educators, all CTA members, were announced by state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond in October. "These five incredible teachers receive this prestigious honor for their focus, drive and determination to teach young people in California," Thur- mond said in a statement. "They make profound differences in the lives of their students and their communities by employing innovative strategies to increase academic success and narrow the achievement gap among a broad range of students." California Teachers of the Year act as ambassadors for the profession. The 2020 awardees are: 54 CTA & You

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