Ed Fund names Teaching Excellence Award finalists

Details on Michelle Obama School virtual grand opening Thursday
Michelle Obama School located at at 629 42nd St. in Richmond. (Photo by Mike Kinney)

By Kathy Chouteau

The West Contra Costa Public Education Fund (Ed Fund) has announced the eight finalists of its 2022 Teaching Excellence Award. Nominations came in from throughout the West Contra Costa Unified School District (WCCUSD) and the Ed Fund identified the eight teachers who “represented the best of the district.”

The 2022 Teaching Excellence finalists are: Luis Chacon, Richmond High School, 11/12 grades Ethnic Studies and Chicano Studies; Carole Peters, Vista Virtual, Middle School;  Nashon Williams, DeJean Middle School, 7-8 Math; Pawan Mann, Betty Reid Soskin, 7-8 History; Veronica Mayeda, El Cerrito High School, English, CSU Expo; Debbie Cruger-Hansen, Mira Vista Elementary, 4th; Lisa Jako, Obama Elementary, 5th; Janet Belanoff, Collins Elementary, 3rd.

Noting that this year saw school communities “adapting to the return to in-person instruction and all the challenges that came with it,” the Ed Fund hearalded these teachers who “prioritized student emotional health in their classrooms” while also making “great strides in living up to the promise of equity in education.”

From the pool of finalists, the Ed Fund partnered with the WCCUSD to select four winning teachers to represent its 39th Teaching Excellence cohort. The winners will be announced throughout this week starting with the first winner on Tuesday.

According to the Ed Fund—an organization that collaborates to create “education environments where students can thrive and succeed”—it has recognized the county’s best teachers via the Teaching Excellence Awards for more than 30 years.

Keep updated on the daily award winner announcements on the Ed Fund’s Facebook page.