Riverside County Office of Education Celebrates National Teacher Appreciation Day

Tom Buck

 

#RivCo 2020 Teachers of the Year

Congratulations!

 

#RivCo 2020 Teachers of the Year

Congratulations!

Brenda Barreras

 

#RivCo 2020 Teachers of the Year

Congratulations!

Jodi Fecera

Tracy Waters

 

#RivCo 2020 Teachers of the Year

Congratulations!



 
In celebration of National Teacher Appreciation Day on Tuesday, May 5, the Riverside County Office of Education (RCOE) will premiere four videos highlighting the extraordinary work of the Riverside County Teachers of the Year.

“Like many of our teachers in Riverside County, these four outstanding educators use their own personal experience to inspire students to succeed. These are veteran teachers who build connections beyond the curriculum to reach the students, families, and communities to change the lives of our students for the better,” said Dr. Judy D. White, Riverside County Superintendent of Schools. “Great teaching should be celebrated any time—whether it’s done remotely, on Zoom, or in the classroom.”

Tracy Waters, a 4th grade teacher from Starlight Elementary in Beaumont Unified School District
Ms. Waters consistently challenges her 4th graders who represent a wide array of students with learning disabilities, from group homes, and English language learners to believe they have worth, and that their education has a purpose. Ms. Waters’ teaching is rooted in the recognition of students’ unique gifts and individual strengths that drives her focus each day. Through her campus leadership, students practice “service above self” by purchasing supplies for students in Africa, supporting local elder care facilities, and more.

Jodi Fecera, a family and consumer sciences teacher at Palm Desert Charter Middle School, Desert Sands Unified School District
Students in Ms. Fecera’s class learn practical lessons that they will use both in and out of the kitchen for the rest of their lives. Experiencing new challenges, exploring their creative potential, and collaborating as a team, are just a few of the lessons that are cooked up for her middle school students every day. Prior to her current teaching assignment, Ms. Fecera has also taught Life Skills, French, Renaissance Leadership, Foundations in Personal Finance, English 3-D, Study Skills, Read 180, Corrective Reading, and Reading.  She never hesitates to teach a course based on what students need.

Tom Buck, a digital media career and technical education teacher at Indio High School, Desert Sands Unified School District
Mr. Buck is the career and technical education teacher for IMPACT—the Institute of Media Production Arts and Creative Technology. Mr. Buck began his educational career as an English teacher, but shifted to helping students develop skills in filmmaking, graphic design, audio production, broadcast, animation, and leadership in preparation for postsecondary education and careers in the arts, media, and entertainment industry sector. IMPACT serves more than 200 students each year with the focus on teaching digital literacy. Student-led productions continue to receive local, state, and national recognitions year after year.

Brenda Barreras, a Kindergarten teacher from Good Hope Elementary School in Perris Elementary School District
Brenda Barreras first came to the United States as a 16-year old English language learner. That life experience has uniquely prepared her to pour herself into the lives of students entering her Kindergarten classroom with similar backgrounds for the last 22 years. Ms. Barreras has grown the parent program for students of English language learners from one parent to a committed group of 25 parents invested in all aspects of the school while building a foundation of connection between students, families, and the school. She was named a California Teacher of the Year.

On National Teacher Appreciation Day, Tuesday, May 5, Dr. White will share a special video message honoring teachers along with video clips submitted by the public. RCOE will be gathering submissions through social media. Videos will be shared through social media including Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube as well as posted to RCOE’s website.

The Riverside County Teachers of the Year are selected from nearly 20,000 educators in the county. The rigorous application process requires candidates to spend time reflecting on, and carefully defining, their teaching philosophy. The county teachers of the year are selected by a diverse committee of educational professionals and community members.

More 2020 Riverside County Educators of the Year Press Releases: