Teacher of the Year to be announced at June 16 reception | SierraSun.com

Teacher of the Year to be announced at June 16 reception

Truckee Hometown Sears-Sierra Sun Teacher of the Year sponsors were thrilled to recognize 10 outstanding teachers this year. Nominees represented a variety of grade levels, subject areas and schools in the Truckee/Tahoe area.

The 2013-2014 Teacher finalists will be honored at a June 16 reception, where the Teacher of the Year will be announced.

This year’s Teacher of the Year sponsors included: Mountain Hardware & Sports, Tahoe Truckee Brokers, Tahoe Dave’s Skis and Boards, The Office BOSS, Sierra Nevada College, McDonald’s Truckee, Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows ski resorts, Sierra Sun and Truckee Hometown SEARS.

Truckee Hometown SEARS- Sierra Sun Teacher of the Year sponsors thank the community for its enthusiasm and supporting area teachers.

“We were excited to spotlight a diverse group of exceptional teachers again this year,” said Michael Gelbman, publisher of the Sierra Sun/North Tahoe Bonanza. “Thanks to community sponsors we were able to recognize and award the teacher nominees throughout the year.”

Charlie Riley, owner of Truckee Hometown SEARS encourages community members to thank fellow sponsors next time they are in one of their stores, businesses or resorts.

“Collaborating with these community partners make continuing the Teacher of the Year program possible,” said Riley. “Giving parents and students a chance to publicly recognize their teachers benefits our entire community.”


Dave Goggin inspires his fourth graders at Tahoe Lake Elementary. He is described as “exceptionally student centered” and was recognized for his engaging and passionate teaching style.

Yvonne Logan teaches transitional kindergarten in the two-way immersion program at Kings Beach Elementary. Nominators described Logan as “incredibly energetic, loving and supportive.”

Taylor Strong impressed parents at Glenshire Elementary with her enthusiasm as a first-year teacher. A parent nominator described how she is “a better parent” because of the time she spent volunteering in Strong’s kindergarten classroom.

Ashley Staron completed her first year teaching this year as a kindergarten teacher at Truckee Elementary. Nominators described Staron as “fun and engaging.”

Lindee Eckert has taught nearly every middle school subject and has spent the past 15 years teaching math and science. She was recognized for her “dedication and commitment” to students.

Jane Miller has found a home at Truckee Elementary after substituting and teaching in multiple positions in Tahoe Truckee Unified School District (TTUSD). A parent of one second grader described Miller as “an asset to the educational system and to our community.”

Jason Tracy works as a special education teacher at North Tahoe High School. There he has “proven an amazing teacher” for all of the students with which he interacts.

Jennifer Dewald has worked for TTUSD since 1996, teaching first, third and fifth grades. Her fifth-graders at Truckee Elementary “appreciate the respect they receive, they trust her and they love her.”

Jill Zapata has taught English and social studies in the TTUSD for the past 12 years. For the last two years she has worked at Sierra High School. One student nominator described how Zapata will “teach and teach in all these different ways until I understand.”

Rita Whitaker-Haun has been teaching music to Tahoe area children since 1985. She has worked with students preschool aged to grade 12, in public and private settings. Haun currently teaches at Incline Elementary, where she was recognized for “creating a world class music program.”

“Thanks to our lasting partnership with the Sierra Sun/North Tahoe Bonanza, we have been able to spotlight all of these excellent teachers,” said Riley. “I have appreciated working with the papers to support this program as part of their impressive, broader efforts to promote literacy in the community.”

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