By Kathy Chouteau
The West Contra Costa Unified School District (WCCUSD) has named two of its finest as the district’s “Teachers of the Year.”
Richmond teachers Cesar Dante-Barragan of Cesar Chavez Elementary School and Jesus Alfredo Galindo of Lincoln Elementary School will now advance as candidates in the selection process of becoming county “Teachers of the Year” (TOY) as part of the Contra Costa County Office of Education’s (CCCOE) program.
Both Dante-Barragan and Galindo were also recently among four recipients of the West Contra Costa County Public Education Fund’s (Ed Fund) “2020 Teaching Excellence Award.”
The teachers join 20 of their peers as TOY candidates representing 17 out of 18 county school districts, the Contra Costa Community College District and the CCCOE. The WCCUSD is permitted to submit two TOY candidates due to the large number of students and teachers in its district.
“We are extremely proud of the Teachers of the Year, Class of 2020-2021,” reports Contra Costa County Superintendent of Schools Lynn Mackey.
“When you review their TOY applications and their heartfelt letters of recommendation, it is quite evident that these teachers were thoughtfully selected to represent their schools and school districts, while at the same time truly embody what is best about public education in Contra Costa County.”
Up next in the TOY process for Dante-Barragan and Galindo will be Thurs., May 14, when four teacher finalists are expected to be announced by CCCOE and will advance to the next two phases as finalists. From there, around May 28, the finalists will complete an interview phase, and on July 28, they will give 3-to-5-minute speeches upon which they will be judged.
The final two 2020-2021 Contra Costa County TOYs will be announced Sept. 24 at the Teacher of the Year Dinner Gala at the Hilton Concord. Gala plans are currently tentative pending any COVID-19 related directives from county health officials.
According to CCOE, the county’s two top TOY teachers will progress to represent Contra Costa County in the California State TOY Program this coming fall.
Learn more about the CCCOE here.