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In honor of teacher appreciation week, San Diego Unified names teachers of the year

The outside of the Board of Education building for the San Diego Unified School District is shown in this photo, March 24, 2016.
Katie Schoolov
The outside of the Board of Education building for the San Diego Unified School District is shown in this photo, March 24, 2016.

San Diego Unified School District will honor three educators on Tuesday — Leann Samek from Audubon Elementary School, Lee Yepiz from DePortola Middle School and Trishaa Camp from Scripps Ranch High School — as the district's teachers of the year.

Jillian Salazar from Tierrasanta Elementary School, Julie Rick from Marshall Middle School and Laurisa Murray from Mira Mesa High School have been named this year's runners-up.

"Every year in May, I am reminded of the immensely loving, caring, talented, and dedicated educators we employ within San Diego Unified," said Superintendent Lamont Jackson. "It never ceases to amaze me how fortunate we are to be the home of so many life-changing educators."


The six educators will be honored Tuesday, during National Teacher Appreciation Week, at a ceremony hosted by Fox 5's Elizabeth Alvarez. More than 150 Teachers of the Year from individual schools will also be honored.

"Teacher appreciation is a notion that may not be apparent but can be seen year-round. In the eyes of students — when they finally understand a concept, in a high-five when a student makes a 3-pointer during a basketball game, in the smile from a proud parent, and in the hug from a student who finally feels seen, heard, and a sense of belonging," Jackson said. "Tiny moments of joy throughout the year are made possible because of our educators. Our outstanding Teachers of the Year represent these magic moments and the successes of each of our students."

The in-person ceremony will feature original student-created content performed by students from the San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts and Scripps Ranch High School, a district statement reads.

Teacher of the Year candidates go through a rigorous selection process, first being selected by the staff members at their school, then a panel including former Teachers of the Year.

San Diego Unified's teachers of the year and runners-up may advance to compete for San Diego County Teacher of the Year honors.


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

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