(Eureka)— The Humboldt County Office of Education (HCOE) hosted its annual celebration honoring California’s Day of the Teacher by recognizing outstanding educators with Excellence in Teaching Awards. This year’s ceremony, held at the Sequoia Conference Center in Eureka, recognized 15 teachers for their exceptional work in the classroom. With a combined 437 years of teaching experience, these educators were joined by over 300 colleagues, friends, and family members to celebrate their achievements.
The Excellence in Teaching Awards program has been a staple of HCOE since 1986. The awards recognize teachers from Transitional Kindergarten through 12th grade who have been identified as exemplary by their coworkers, parents, or students and have a minimum of five years teaching experience.
This year’s honorees were Megan Collenberg of Ferndale Elementary School, Catlin Conlin of the Humboldt County Office of Education’s Court and Community School, Jackie Hauger of Dow’s Prairie, Elizabeth Kadle of Fieldbrook Elementary, Angela Kidd of Fuente Nueva Charter School, Michelle Merideth-Sutke of Grant Elementary, Kelly Miller of Arcata High School, Haley Pinochi and Lacey Pope of St. Bernard’s Academy, Greg Rowe of Arcata High School, Melissa Seymour of Ridgewood Elementary School, Cathie Shermer of Northern United Charter School, Mary Stone of Washington Elementary School, Maureen Sundberg of Morris Elementary School, and Sarita Villanueva of Pacific Union School.
“We are privileged to honor these outstanding educators who demonstrate an exceptional commitment to elevating the teaching profession through their focus on improving student learning,” said Humboldt County Superintendent of Schools, Michael Davies-Hughes.
In addition to the Excellence in Teaching Awards, the event also recognized the Jean Olson Career Achievement Award recipients. Cori Borges, Diana Howard, Tom Davies, and Thom McMahon were honored for their lifelong contributions to public education, children, and the community. The Jean Olson Career Achievement Award is named in memory of Jean Olson, a long-time County Board of Education member and President who passed away in 1998. Jean’s husband, Larry Olson, expressed his gratitude to these fine educators.
Andrea Butler-Crosby, the 2022-2023 Humboldt County Teacher of the Year from Orleans Elementary, addressed the audience, inspiring all in attendance. She noted that the 2024 Humboldt County Teacher of the Year will be selected from among the Excellence in Teaching Award recipients.
The event was made even more special with the Fortuna High School Culinary Arts program creating appetizers and Eureka High School’s musicians welcoming attendees with their musical ensemble, under the guidance of Stacy Chatfield and Charles Young, respectively.
All the teachers nominated for the Excellence in Teaching Awards expressed their gratitude for the honor and acknowledged the importance of having the support of their families and colleagues. They also recognized that there are many excellent educators throughout Humboldt County and felt proud to be recognized among them. Visit hcoe.org/awards for more information about our teacher recognition programs.