Second 2020 Riverside County Educator of the Year Named in Surprise Visit at Riverside County Office of Education

Riverside County Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Judy D. White poses with 2020 Riverside County Classified Administrator of the Year, RCOE’s Brian Sousa and his wife Amy.

RIVERSIDE– Last December, Riverside County Student Data and Achievement Administrator, Brian Sousa, was called out of a meeting and instantly encountered dozens of colleagues and Riverside County Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Judy D. White, who were gathered to surprise him with the news that he had been named Classified Administrator of the Year for the Riverside County Office of Education.

Two months later, a case of déjà vu ensued as Mr. Sousa was called out of the same office under the ruse of yet another meeting for another surprise visit from Dr. White, his wife, and his colleagues, as he was named as the Classified Administrator of the Year for all of Riverside County’s schools.

The surprise visit was the second of seven surprise announcements set to take place this month at the work locations of the 2020 Riverside County Educators of the Year.

“Brian’s work benefits so many people, systems, and programs—not just in Riverside County, but throughout the state,” said Riverside County Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Judy D. White. “His desire is to leave a legacy of using data as a driver for meaningful human interaction that benefits students. That is the kind of work we should all want to leave as educators.”

Brian Sousa has worked in education for 16 years, and has served at the Riverside County Office of Education (RCOE) during the last five years as a Student Data and Achievement Administrator. Mr. Sousa has been working on developing the capacity for data fluency by within the organization by integrating it into every facet of RCOE. His focus on the implementation of multi-tiered systems of supports (MTSS) in the county’s alternative schools has led to improved educational outcomes as evidenced by the California State Dashboard. This includes year-to-year improvement for various student groups in the areas of absenteeism, suspension, graduation, and the progress of English learners.

Colleagues shared the value of Mr. Sousa’s proficiency in pinpointing root causes of student learning difficulties on state and local assessments that contributes to successful discussions by teachers, instructional assistants, and principals. He is recognized as a “go-to” source for “out-of-the-box thinking that leads to workable solutions.”

“This feels almost surreal,” Sousa said immediately after the surprise announcement. “This award is a reflection of the work of our amazing team. Anything I’ve done is already a complement to what everybody else on our team is already doing.”

The full list of categories and honorees for the 2020 Riverside County Educators of the Year is as follows:

Riverside County Classified Employee of the Year

Erika Ruiz
Campus Security/Athletic Director
North Mountain Middle School
San Jacinto Unified School District

Riverside County School Counselor of the YearTBD week of February 17

Riverside County Site Support Employee of the YearTBD week of February 17

Riverside County Confidential Employee of the YearTBD week of February 17

Riverside County Classified Administrator of the Year

Brian Sousa
Administrator, Student Data and Achievement
Riverside County Office of Education

Riverside County Certificated Administrator of the YearTBD week of February 24

Riverside County Principal of the YearTBD week of February 24

The Riverside County Educators of the Year are selected from the more than 36,000 educational employees in the county. The rigorous application process starts with nominations by teachers, classified employees, and school district administrators throughout the county. Applications are then submitted to the Riverside County Office of Education, where an outside selection committee selects the honorees before the county superintendent announces the honorees.

Along with the 2020 Riverside County Teachers of the Year, the Educators of the Year will be honored at the Riverside County Celebrating Educators Luncheon at the Riverside Convention Center on Tuesday, May 5, 2020.

Clarification: The 2020 Teachers of the Year were named in mid-2019 to align with the 2020 California State Teacher of the Year competition. The 2021 Riverside County Teachers of the Year will be announced in May/June of 2020.