San Diego County Teachers of the Year Honored, Including Language, Science and Physical Education Instructors

Cox County San Diego Office of Education
(lr) Stephanie Cluxton, Jacqueline Ma, Aimee McCoy, Juanita Nuñez and Melissa Rains. Photo credit:

Five local educators representing schools in San Diego and northern and southern counties have been named San Diego County Teachers of the Year.

Officials named the winners on Friday as part of the 32nd editionCox Presents: Tribute to Teachers» presented in part by the San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE).

The Teachers of the year 2022-23:

  • Stephanie CluxtonTorrey Hills School, San Diego, part of the Del Mar Union School District, described an educator who “strives to create a classroom environment where students take ownership of their learning, deepen their curiosity, and discover their gifts.”
  • Jacqueline Ma, Lincoln Acres Elementary, National City, National School District. She led a school-wide STEM improvement plan, involving outside organizations — including the Salk Institute, Scripps Institute of Oceanography, and San Diego Zoo — and providing students with the opportunity to interact with professionals.
  • Aimee McCoy, Mesa Verde Middle School, Poway Unified School District, which believes that enabling students to “feel valued by sharing and asking questions” is critical to the success of the whole class.
  • Juanita Nunez, Ocean View Hills, Sunset, Smythe, Willow, and La Mirada Elementary Schools, San Ysidro School District. Nuñez, the daughter of farm workers, engages 370 students each week in 80-minute “Sci-Phy” classes, combining science education and physical education.
  • Melissa is raining, Castle Park Middle School, Chula Vista, Sweetwater Union High School District, which greets science students with a “question of the day” designed to gauge how they are feeling. The answers guide the first topic of conversation at the start of class and the group moves into a “mindfulness moment” before the first lesson.

“The teachers we celebrate here tonight are innovative in what they do and passionate about the students they serve,” said San Diego County Schools Superintendent Dr. Paul Gothold. “It is an honor to recognize these extraordinary educators and individuals. »

The five Teachers of the Year will represent the county in the California Teacher of the Year program. State winners will be announced next month.

In partnership with SDCOE, Cox will produce a one-hour television special to recognize local teachers, spotlight teachers of the year and share reception highlights. The show, hosted by the Food Network personality and San Diego Magazine owner Troy Johnson, will air at 9 p.m. on October 2 on YurView Network (Cox Channel 4) and will be rerun several times in October and November.

The winners were chosen from 40 teachers nominated by their school districts. The winners were selected based on a review of their nominations and interviews by a panel consisting of former County Teachers of the Year, the Office of District and County Education Administrators and a representative of the PTA.

They were chosen on the basis of their school and community involvement, their teaching philosophy, their knowledge of current educational issues and trends, the promotion and development of the teaching profession, school culture and their ability to serve as ambassadors of education.

Since 1974, 191 teachers have been named County Teachers of the Year. Of these, 23 became California Teacher of the Year and three were named National Teacher of the Year.