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Region 1
Simone Spearman

English Teacher
Piner High School
Santa Rosa City Schools

A teacher who inspires, challenges and champions students, Simone Spearman is committed to student success. She teaches Advanced Placement English Language and a double-block section of Intervention English for English Language Learners, provides support for English Language Development throughout the curriculum, advocates for high expectations for special education students within mainstream classes, and consults with special education case carriers on RSP student accommodations in academic English classes. Simone maintains a network of opportunities and programs to help all students access college. She is actively involved in grades 9-12 vertical articulation for English classes, leads many student clubs and activities, and continually improves her own skill set.

Region 2
Travis Rubke

Science Teacher
Greenville Junior/Senior High School
Plumas County Unified School District

Travis Rubke's parents were teachers, and Travis has taught science for over three decades. He arrives at school when most of us are still in bed and returns to school two nights a week to help students with homework in the library. Labs in Travis's classroom include rat trap cars, the bed of nails and fruit flies, but it is the egg launching activity that has achieved legendary status on campus. In addition to his rigorous teaching schedule, Travis has coached football, led a scout troop, served on the hospital board, raised two children, completed his master's degree, and helped develop and implement his school's natural resources program.

Region 4
Lance Powell

Science Teacher
Menlo-Atherton High School
Sequoia Union High School District

Lance Powell is a bilingual educational leader who inspires colleagues and students alike. He seeks new ways to make science accessible, developing hands-on labs and projects that are conducted in an interactive classroom culture. This standard of excellence has resulted in high achievement among traditionally underperforming student populations. Lance is a leader in his department and the school's technology academy, working with colleagues to design and implement an assessment portfolio and grading rubric based on Habits of Mind that is used across the disciplines within the academy. His Environmental Chemistry curriculum was approved by UC Berkeley as a college prerequisite and is now a popular class on campus.

Region 6
Scott Lankford

Special Education Department Chair
Thomas Downey High School
Modesto City Schools

Scott Lankford has been a Special Day teacher for 22 years, helping students with disabilities gain life skills to be productive citizens. Scott sees his students' potential and holds them accountable by combining high behavioral and academic expectations with appropriate support. His program features explicit direct instruction, project-based learning, real-life job placements through community-based instruction, and mentoring relationships with regular education students through a peer-assisted learning program. Thanks to Scott's special education department leadership, the school has met district Individualized Education Plan goals, the department has gained vision and order, and intern teachers benefit from a caring master teacher and support provider.

Region 7
Jeanne Escalera

Economics and Finance Teacher
Center for Advanced Research and Technology
Clovis/Fresno Unified School Districts

As a 35-year educator and a leader in the economics and finance lab at the Center for Advanced Research and Technology (CART), Jeanne Escalera combines a prodigious work ethic, talent for curriculum design, and passion for student learning. According to her principal, CART is a nationwide model for integrated Career Technical Education (CTE) and high-rigor academic courses largely as a result of Jeanne. In her team's lab, high expectations and support have built a professional culture that has transformed the futures of hundreds of students. From leading professional development for colleagues, to providing business wardrobes to low-income students, to coordinating K-8 CART programs, Jeanne has made an impact.

Region 8
Judith Craemer

Art Teacher
Clark Magnet High School
Glendale Unified School District

Judith Craemer is a true Renaissance woman. She holds credentials in English, art and social science; speaks Latin, Spanish and French; travels extensively to experience other cultures; and plays the cello, piano and harpsichord. But her biggest accomplishment is teaching students to draw, paint and use technology to produce amazing multimedia art and commercial designs. Judith brings out the best in every student, from the ninth-grade designers who produce magazine covers and movie posters for her Technology Literacy class, to the Advanced Placement students who create digital portfolios and win major art competitions. She is a whirlwind of creative energy.

Region 10
Wendy Henderson-Ditchfield

Guidance Counselor
Rialto High School
Rialto Unified School District

An educator for 20 years, Wendy Henderson-Ditchfield is known for her blend of dedication, leadership and warmth. Every day she comes to school early and stays late to work with students and parents. On campus, she helped found the Students Stopping Cancer Club. In her region, she co-chairs the East Valley Counselor Cal-PASS consortium, working to increase college enrollment and retention rates by targeting at-risk students and their parents. Her booklet, My Travel Guide to College, is used by students at secondary campuses and is being adapted by the Oakland Unified School District. Recently Wendy earned her doctorate, conducting original research on counselor readiness in crisis situations.

Region 11
Rick Boogar

Mathematics Teacher
Marina High School
Huntington Beach Union High School District

Rick Boogar devotes heart and soul to his craft. He is in his classroom early, at lunch and late to help students who need tutoring. When he finally gets home, the work doesn't stop. His Web site, bethemath.com, allows students to discuss math and homework with him and other students. Rick has taught every math course up to Advanced Placement Calculus BC – a course that has flourished under his care and now boasts a more than 90% pass rate. No matter what the class, his students experience a hands-on, rich program that makes math meaningful and exciting. Rick also initiated Pi Day events on campus.


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