The annual Contra Costa County Teachers of the Year (TOY) Dinner Gala on September 27 was filled with radiant inspiration, as 22 deserving county school district teachers were honored in front of a crowd of more than 400 attendees at the Hilton Concord. Contra Costa County. Superintendent of Schools Karen Sakata concluded the festivities by announcing the county’s 2018-19 Teachers of the Year, Kelly Perkins and Rosie Reid, both from Mt. Diablo School District.
For the past 10 years, Kelly Perkins has been a special education teacher at Ygnacio Valley High School. She has taught special education classes for 17 years at other Mt Diablo Unified School District schools, including Foothill Middle, Strandwood Elementary, and Woodside Elementary. In addition, she has been an adjunct professor at St. Mary’s College, since 1998, where she teaches a variety of special-education-related courses for current and soon-to-be educators.
“I became a teacher because I enjoy interacting with students and supporting social and intellectual development,” says Perkins. “I also enjoy challenging students and guiding them toward becoming independent thinkers and learners…I can’t imagine doing anything else!”
Rosie Reid was certainly destined to teach English, with her enormous appetite to read books from an early age. When mobile books would come to town, Reid was their best customer, and she would always walk away with a new tower of books to take on. For the past two years, Reid has taught English/ELD at Northgate High School, in Walnut Creek. Her 16 years of instruction also includes teaching high school English courses at Piedmont High School and John O’Connell High School in San Francisco.
“Perhaps because of my fascination with books, teachers took an interest in me throughout my years of schooling, encouraging me, coaching me in ways my parents who hadn’t been to college didn’t always know how to,” remembers Reid.
Perkins and Reid will now participate with all the other California county representatives in the California State TOY competition. The California State Teachers of the Year are expected to be announced in early October. The county TOY program is coordinated by the Contra Costa County Office of Education.
Update: 10/11/2018 — State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced that Northgate High School teacher, Rosie Reid will represent California in the National Teacher of the Year competition. The Mt. Diablo Unified School District high school English teacher is one of five educators selected as 2019 California State Teachers of the Year, but will be the only teacher (and the first teacher in Contra Costa County since 1998) to represent California at the national level.