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Pitman band director named All-Star Teacher, receives $20k award
Ruben Modesto pic
Pitman High band director Ruben Modesto (second to left) accepts a check at the San Francisco Giants/San Diego Padres game at AT&T Park. Pictured with Modesto is Ted Griggs, president, Comcast SportsNet Bay Area; John Haggarty, vice president of marketing, Provident Credit Union; and Javier Lopez, San Francisco Giants pitcher. - photo by Photo Contributed

The Pitman High School community already knows how dedicated band director Ruben Modesto is to his students, but now his excellence in education is being recognized beyond Turlock as he was named the Comcast Sportsnet 2013 All-Star Teacher. Modesto was presented a $20,000 check at today's San Francisco Giants game.

“Modesto has demonstrated extraordinary dedication to his school and his community.  By means of his passion for music, he has deeply connected with his students.  We would also like to celebrate and thank the other finalists and award nominees for their invaluable contributions in their classrooms and communities,” said Ted Griggs, president, Comcast SportsNet Bay Area. 

Modesto was the driving force behind the Marching Pride performing in the America’s National Independence Day Parade in Washington, D.C. last year, allowing local students to highlight Turlock's talent on the national stage. He has also motivated and inspired individual students like recent graduate Michael Cabida,  who  was encouraged to try out for the Marine Corps Band so he could continue his love of music while serving in the military.

In its seventh year, the All-Star Teacher Award recognizes middle and high school teachers in Northern and Central California for dedication to their students and significant presence within their respective communities. Modesto was nominated for the award and then was named a finalist by a panel of community leaders. Members of the public were then able to vote for their choice for the 2013 All-Star Teacher.

"It couldn't have happened to a greater guy," said Pitman Principal Rod Hollars.