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Turlock educator named Teacher of the Year
teacher of the year
Dutcher Middle School teacher Charlyn Selee (second from left) poses for a picture with fellow Teacher of the Year awardees Eli Bynum, Danelle Garcia and Chelsea Bustos (Photo contributed).

Three local teachers were selected as finalists for the Stanislaus County Teacher of the Year awards, with Dutcher Middle School’s own Charlyn Selee announced as one of four winners on Tuesday.

The Modesto Rotary Club and the Stanislaus County Office of Education partner for the annual educator awards.

Seele and Yohan Partan from Pitman High represented Turlock Unified on the finalist list, while Kelli Redman from Chatom Elementary represented Chatom Unified. 

Selee was selected as the middle school/junior high category winner. Other winners include: Chelsea Bustos from Sinclear Elementary School in the Ceres Unified School District - TK-3 division; Danelle Garcia from Dieterich Elementary School in the Stanislaus Union Elementary School District – 4-6 division; and Eli Bynum from Downey High School in the Modesto City Schools District – high school division.

The four winners each received a $1,000 cash award from the Modesto Rotary Club Foundation.

“It is such an honor to represent the wonderfully dedicated teachers of Stanislaus County and receive this award,” said Selee. “I became a teacher to help students reach their full potential, and I’m grateful that teaching at Dutcher Middle School has given me the opportunity to do so. Seeing the smiles on my students’ faces and watching them learn brings me great joy. I can’t imagine having any other career. Thank you to the supportive administration at Dutcher for giving me the flexibility and freedom to teach in a way that truly supports all students.”

Teachers were nominated by their principals and finalists were selected from 57 nominees representing 13 school districts in Stanislaus County. A selection committee, composed of local Rotarians and educators, narrowed the nominations through a paper screening process and then visited the classrooms of 24 semi-finalists before narrowing it down to the 12 finalists.

This is the 23 year that Modesto Rotary and SCOE have joined efforts to honor teachers in Stanislaus County. The program not only honors local teachers and celebrates excellence in education, but also provides an opportunity for teachers to receive state and national recognition. 

Two of the four Teachers of the Year will be selected, through an interview process, to represent Stanislaus County in the State Teacher of the Year Program. One state winner then proceeds to the national level.

Janette Schmidt from Hughson Unified was presented with the Civility Award in honor of former SCOE Assistant Superintendent Jane Johnston, who helped launch the county-wide Choose Civility Initiative in 2010 and passed away unexpectedly in April 2012. Johnston was a member of the Modesto Rotary, co-chaired the Teacher of the Year Program and was active with the Education Foundation of Stanislaus County.