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Education

Three Educators Named SDUSD's Teachers Of The Year, To Be Honored In May

Thomas Courtney (left), Guadalupe Celedon and Sharon Apple in these undated photos released by San Diego Unified School District.
San Diego Unified School District
Thomas Courtney (left), Guadalupe Celedon and Sharon Apple in these undated photos released by San Diego Unified School District.

Educators from Chollas-Mead Elementary, CPMA Middle School and Hoover High School are the San Diego Unified School District's Teachers of the Year for 2021, it was announced Wednesday.

Thomas Courtney from Chollas-Mead, Guadalupe Celedon from CPMA and Sharon Apple from Hoover High will be honored at a "Day of the Teacher" celebration on May 4. The 5 p.m. virtual ceremony, hosted by FOX5 news anchor Raoul Martinez, will coincide with National Teacher Appreciation Week.

More than 250 Teachers of the Year from individual school sites, both from 2021 and 2020, and District Teacher of the Year runners-up will also be honored.

Candidates go through a rigorous selection process, first being selected by the staff members at their school, then vetted by a panel that includes former teachers of the year.

San Diego Unified's Teachers of the Year and runners-up are eligible to apply for San Diego County Teacher of the Year, part of the process leading to the national Teacher of the Year. The county ceremony will be held this fall and is organized by the San Diego County Office of Education.

The theme for this year's SDUSD celebration — "Teachers: Leading in Crisis, Fostering Resiliency and Building a Better San Diego" — is intended as a reminder that teachers have had a significant role in the resiliency of students and the education system during the pandemic.

"Teachers are essential to ensuring we emerge from the pandemic stronger with the promise of a better tomorrow," a district statement reads.

The Day of the Teacher celebration is a traditional event on the Board of Education calendar. A pre-event virtual reception will feature student-created content performed by students from San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts and Hoover High School.

This year's virtual event is co-hosted by North Island Credit Union.