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Turlock educators named finalists for Teacher of the Year awards
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Five educators from the Turlock Unified School District are finalists for the county-wide Teacher of the Year Awards.

The Stanislaus County Office of Education and the Modesto Rotary recently announced the finalists for the 2013 Stanislaus County Teacher of the Year Awards with five TUSD teachers among the 12 named.

Michelle Cardoso from Dennis Earl, Kelly Villalobos from Wakefield, and Tanya Freitas White from Medeiros are all finalists in the K-3 category. Jamie Garner from Walnut is a finalist in the 4-6 grade category; and Jill Ogden from Turlock High is in the high school category of finalists.

“I am extremely proud of our teachers,” said TUSD Superintendent Sonny DaMarto. “This is representative of our teaching staff and the hard work they do every day."

According to SCOE, teachers were nominated by their principals and finalists were selected from 70 nominees representing 16 school districts in Stanislaus County. TUSD had the most finalists from all the school districts.

A selection committee composed of local Rotarians and educators narrowed the nominations through a paper screening process and then visited the classrooms of the 12 finalists. Four nominees will be selected at the 2013 Stanislaus County Rotary luncheon on May 7 at the Double Tree Hotel. Selected teachers will each receive a $1,000 cash award.

The Teacher of the Year program not only honors local teachers and celebrates excellence in education, but also provides an opportunity for teachers to receive state and national recognition.

“Someone once said, ‘Good teachers are to education what education is to all other professions- the indispensable elements, the sunlight and oxygen, the foundation on which everything else is built,”’ said County Superintendent Tom Changnon. “It is truly an honor to partner with the Rotary to recognize these outstanding teachers, each who has helped shape the lives of young students in our country.”