CTA Congratulates Educators Named the 2020 California Teachers of the Year

Educators recognized for their outstanding work with California’s students and communities

BURLINGAME – The California Teachers Association celebrates the five extraordinary educators named as the 2020 California Teachers of the Year, who are also all CTA members. The teachers were selected by the Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond after an extensive process that began at the county level. Presented by California Casualty and supported by the California Teachers of the Year Foundation, the California Teachers of the Year Program began in 1972 to honor outstanding teachers and encourage new teachers to enter the profession.

“On behalf of the 310,000-member California Teachers Association, congratulations to these outstanding educators, who have gone above and beyond to ensure students are kept at the center of everything we do. This is a testament to the strength of their good work, which inspires students’ natural curiosity and builds their desire to learn,” said CTA President E. Toby Boyd.

The 2020 California Teachers of the Year are:

Sean Bui, who is a ninth through twelfth grade English language development and business law teacher at Cupertino High School in Cupertino, Fremont Union High School District, Santa Clara County. Thurmond also nominated Bui as California’s representative for the National Teacher of the Year competition. Bui will compete against other state nominees, and the 2020 National Teacher of the Year will be announced in the spring.

Brenda Chavez-Barreras, who is a kindergarten teacher at Good Hope Elementary School in Perris, Perris Elementary School District, Riverside County.

Mandy Kelly, who is a sixth-grade multiple-subject teacher at Trabuco Mesa Elementary School in Rancho Santa Margarita, Saddleback Valley Unified School District, Orange County.

Guy Myers, who is a ninth through twelfth grade drama and musical theatre teacher at John Burroughs High School in Burbank, Burbank Unified School District, Los Angeles County.

Katya Robinson, who is a kindergarten through third grade special education teacher at West Sonoma County Consortium School in Sebastopol, West Sonoma County High School District, Sonoma County.

In a press release issued by Thurmond’s office, he said: “It is important to motivate and inspire other educators, champion the positive contributions of the teaching profession, and highlight the rewards of being a teacher. Great teachers are the core of a great educational system. Yes, teaching changes lives of individual students, but beyond that, teachers show us all that all children can achieve, no matter who they are.”

County offices of education nominate California Teachers of the Year applicants through their county-level competitions. The California Department of Education selection committees review applications; conduct site visits to evaluate teachers’ rapport with students, classroom environments, presentation skills, and teaching techniques; and interview the teachers. The State Superintendent then selects the five California Teachers of the Year and the National Teacher of the Year nominee.

The 2020 California Teachers of the Year and finalists will be honored by the CDE at a gala to be announced at a later date.

For more information on the award program, please visit the CDE’s California Teachers of the Year web page.

The 310,000-member California Teachers Association is affiliated with the 3-million-member National Education Association.