Last month, Millville School was in a celebratory state as it heard the news that two of its teachers had each been designated as “Shasta County Teacher of the Year”.

Fifth-grade teacher Annette Gaddy, who has been teaching at Millville School for 12 years, and sixth-grade teacher Paul Burbank, were both nominated and then selected as Shasta County Middle School Teacher of the Year.

When asked about the two winning teachers, Millville’s Principal/Superintendent Mindy DeSantis was not at a loss for flattering words for her staff members.

“Paul Burbank is one of those teachers that reflects the best of the profession. He sees every day as a new opportunity for discussion and learning. Every event in class is another moment in life where his students can learn and grow. There is no wasted time in his classroom, there are only opportunities to learn”.

DeSantis continued, “Paul’s classroom reflects his thoughtful consideration of his students and is an environment of energy and excitement. Paul’s real strength lies is in his ability to develop real and lasting relationships with his students, understanding that his creating and developing a genuine and trusting relationship will influence them in a most positive way and have a perennial and decisive influence on their lives. Kids will remember him always.”

When asked about Annette Gaddy, DeSantis continued on the same laudatory vein.

“Annette is a fearless teacher, she is always trying new approaches to teaching, if something doesn’t work for one student she is relentless in her quest to find an approach that will. She is no “sage on a stage” but a moving target, constantly roaming among her students, always aware of what each student is doing, what work is completed, and which student needs help. Being so accessible, and aware of her students’ learning, she is immediately available to her students, and that in itself, makes her an exceptional instructor.”

DeSantis finished up by saying what she sees in Mrs. Gaddy is all that is great about teaching. “Annette naturally demonstrates those traits valued in a solid teacher—she is caring, creative, innovative, motivated, confident, collaborative, aware, skilled, and in control.” DeSantis adds, “It’s the relationships she has with her students that really sets her apart. Annette builds a trusting relationship with her students that makes her beloved and one of those teachers kids remember for the rest of their lives. She makes a difference every day.”

Shasta County Office of Education selects the Teachers of the Year for Shasta County by a committee vote out of those teachers who were nominated by their schools.  After the selection of the three Shasta County Teachers of the Year, the committee then selects one of these outstanding teachers to participate in the California Teachers of the Year Program. This program highlights educational innovation, student learning, and the rewards of teaching.

The California Teachers of the Year Program results in the annual selection of five teachers who reflect the diversity of our teachers and students. The process pays tribute to California’s teaching force, the complexity of challenges that confront our schools, and the need to promote collaboration and teamwork to meet those challenges.

The overall purpose of the California Teachers of the Year Program is to pay tribute to the tireless efforts of our state’s outstanding teachers. In doing so, the program brings deserved recognition to the 300,000 California members of the teaching profession.