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Teachers of the Year

Oct 04, 2016 01:22PM ● By Elena Hutslar

Contra Costa County Teachers of the Year

On September 23, in a packed and energy-filled Concord Hilton banquet room, Contra Costa County Superintendent of Schools Karen Sakata announced Shauna Hawes, from the Mt. Diablo Unified School District, and Gina Minder-Maldonado, from the Oakley Union Elementary School District, as the 2016-2017 Contra Costa County Teachers of the Year.

Shauna Hawes teaches computer applications/technology to grades 6-8 at Valley View Middle School, in Pleasant Hill. The 18-year teacher has been with the Mt. Diablo Unified School District during her entire teaching career.

“I have worked closely with Shauna Hawes for the past several years,” says Foothill Middle School teacher Margaret Elliott. “Shauna does not work for awards or accolades but simply to inspire and impact all those she comes in contact with each day. She believes that all students should have the same opportunities that her students have.”

Gina Minder-Maldonado has recently begun her 26th year of teaching. For the past 18 years, Minder-Maldonado has taught at Oakley Elementary School, in Oakley. She currently teaches 2nd grade.

“For the last 25 years, Gina Minder-Maldonado has challenged the students in Oakley to dream big, do the best they can each and every day, and to treat one another with kindness and respect,” said Oakley Union Elementary School District Assistant Anne Allen.  “Her classroom is a magical place – a place where children and adults go to breathe in an environment that makes learning possible, celebrating mistakes and creating independent thinkers.”

After both teachers were named Teacher of the Year by their school districts last March, Hawes and Minder-Maldonado successfully proceeded with the other 17 eligible county candidates through a rigorous countywide selection process, including an application screening, classroom evaluation and interview, and speech presentation. Their fellow finalists were Summer Rodriguez, from Liberty Union High School District (Liberty High), and Joyce Rooks, from San Ramon Valley Unified School District, (Creekside Elementary).

Hawes and Minder-Maldonado will now compete with all the other California county representatives in the state competition. The California State Teachers of the Year should be announced early this month.