It is during these challenging times that we realize more than ever just how much our County educators do for our children. These exceptional teachers are there for our communities in so many ways. Residents of our county have come to realize how these educators convert into members of our family unit and are so significant in the lives of our children and homes. This year we had twenty-one 2020 Santa Cruz County Teacher of the Year nominees selected by their educational peers from their schools. Left to the task of electing amongst these incredible nominees were five judges from across our County. In early June the Santa Cruz County School Superintendent’s Office held a virtual zoom interview process with each of the twenty-one nominees. Also present at this interview were two representatives from the Santa Cruz County School Superintendents Office and our five judges.
After a long day of inspirational and heartening interviews with the twenty-one nominees, our judges chose Mrs. Michelle Sebert from Elgin School as the 2020 Santa Cruz County Teacher of the Year and Mr. Nate Porter from Patagonia Union High School as Runner-up.
The virtual Teacher of the Year Awards Ceremony was held on Friday, October 30, 2020. All Nominees, Principals, Superintendent’s and Judges were present during the event. Once the announcement of the winner and runner-up was announced, all nominees were invited to drive up to the Santa Cruz County Complex parking lot (which was set up in a festive Super Hero motif) to pick up their prize platters. These platters consisted of trophies, cash, Chrome Book, BBQ Grill, and certificates of over $3,800.00 for the 2020 Santa Cruz County Teacher of the Year winner and cash, Chrome Book, BBQ, and certificates of over $1,800.00 for the runner-up. The nominees all received platters as well, with trophies, cash, prizes, and certificates of over 475.00 each. The Santa Cruz County School Superintendent’s Office and the Nogales Rotary Club would like to congratulate each of the nineteen nominees and the two winners. We would also like to thank our judges Mrs. Cynthia Matus-Morriss, Mr. Pete Thunem, Mr. Dean Davis, Dr. Stella Perez, and Mr. Brad Beach for their dedication, we would also like to thank Mr. Oscar Islas Jr., Mr. German Mendoza, Mr. Oscar Felix, and Mr. Edgardo Munoz. To our sponsors, Home Depot, Walmart, Santa Cruz County Manager Ms. Jennifer St. John, Santa Cruz County Dist. 02 Supervisor Mr. Rudy Molera, Santa Cruz County District 03 Supervisor Mr. Bruce Bracker, Santa Cruz County Recorder Ms. Suzie Sainz and Mrs. Mary Lou Sainz, Santa Cruz County Treasurer Mrs. Elizabeth Gutfahr, Mr. Michael Hughes, and Mr. David Hathaway, THANK YOU for your donations and dedication to our community.
We leave you with this quote from an unknown author: A teacher is like a candle…it consumes itself to light the way for others.