Over 50 awards are handed out with 350 guests in attendance at Bowers Museum.
More than 350 Orange County teachers, employees, principals and administrators came together in celebration of education at Parenting OC’s 4th Annual School Heroes Awards Reception at Bowers Museum on Feb. 5. The Top 25 Teachers and Top 25 Employees from all over the county were honored for their exemplary work in the public and private educational communities.
Food and drink for the night was sponsored by Teacher Created Resources. Nominees and guests enjoyed a night of hors d’oeuvres from the Patina Group, wine provided by OC Wine & Spirit Fest and Bianchi Wines, and musical entertainment from student musicians of Orange County School of the Arts. The keynote speaker for the event was Orange County Superintendent of Schools Al Mijares, who commended teachers in his speech, highlighting their impact on students.
Top Teachers and Employees were selected for the Parenting OC honors based on several measures, including creativity in teaching methods, passion and involvement. A total of 54 awards were handed out. The grand finale was the announcement of the Top Employee and Top Teacher of Orange County. Operation Manager and IT Specialist Alphonse Nguyen of the International School of Orange County was recognized as the Top Employee and honored with the School Hero Shooting Star award. Brea Olinda Unified School District Adapted Physical Education Specialist Kasia Givenrod was honored as the Top Teacher of Orange County with the Crystal Apple award. Villa Park Elementary sixth-grade teacher Jean Krever and Friends Christian Elementary School librarian Toni Steen were recognized as Orange County’s Family Favorite teacher and employee.
“All teachers and employees should be thanked every day for the jobs they do with students. Once a year, this night and this special issue is our way of recognizing not just the winners but everyone working in the private and public schools of OC,” said Randall Tierney, publisher of Parenting OC Magazine.
For seven years, Parenting OC has awarded excellence in education for teachers that go above and beyond for their students, school and community. Originally, Top Teachers of OC, the acknowledgment started as a special issue in 2014. It became an awards show at Bowers Museum in 2017, complementing the issue. The 2020 School Heroes recognition ceremony marked the seventh-annual special issue and fourth awards show.
—By Diane Ortiz
Top Teachers & Employees Nominees Announced
Parenting OC announced on January 6 the final nominees for its 7th annual Parenting OC Top Teachers & Top School Employees of Orange County awards. School principals all over the county submitted over 200 essays in response to the call for nominations. The overall Top Teacher and Top Employee will be announced at the annual Top Teachers & Employees Awards Reception at Bowers Museum on February 5, 2020.
Principals were asked to submit their school’s top teacher and top employee, based on performance, passion and going above and beyond expectations. The Top 25 Teachers and Top 25 Employees of 2020–selected by a committee including former honorees and Parenting OC editorial staff–will also be featured in the February and March issues of the magazine.
“Of all the projects we do at Parenting OC, this annual awards is, to me, the most rewarding. Nobody is more deserving of recognition than the dedicated, talented and hard-working teachers and employees at our schools. It’s heart-warming to witness the reactions to being selected,” said Parenting OC Publisher and Editor-in-Chief.
Kim de Montmorency, a care and summer camp director at St. Paul’s Lutheran School in Orange, was chosen as the 2019 Top School Employee. She credited the children she cares for as her inspiration. “I am ever in awe and joyfully surprised by our children on a daily basis,” said the 2019 Top Employee. “There is no greater joy than when a child feels empowered to make choices that directs them in positive life accomplishments.”
The Top Teacher winner of 2019, Jackie Leimkuhler of Heritage Oak Private Education, sees the award as confirmation of her sometimes out-of-box teaching style. “What this recognition means to me is that the risks I’ve taken in the classroom have paid off,” she said. Her innovative, interactive and engaging English lessons made her stand out to the committee.
Originally Top Teachers of OC (with Top Employees added in 2019), the acknowledgement started as a special issue in 2014. It became an awards show at Bowers Museum in 2017. The 2020 School Heroes recognition will make the 7th annual special issue and 4th awards show.
Tickets for the 2020 Awards Reception are available to all participating schools. Seating is limited and on a first come first serve basis. For more information contact Parenting of OC at 714-630-4510 x 6.
Awards Reception Food & Drink Sponsor
Top Teacher & Employee Nominee Announcement Photos
Parenting OC is proud to share reaction photos of schools informing their teachers and employees that they have been nominated to be one of this year’s Top Teachers & Employees of Orange County. If your school would like to share your own announcement photos, email them to email@example.com and we will share them with everyone!