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33 District Teachers of the Year are nominees for County honors

With the onset of the pandemic and distance learning in March 2020, and as homes became classrooms, teachers scrambled to make the sudden shift while also dealing with the emotional toll it took on their students and themselves. Teaching during a worldwide pandemic has been challenging, but it’s also put a spotlight on the resiliency, creativity, and talent of San Diego County’s teachers.

It makes it especially meaningful as “Cox Presents: Salute to Teachers” brought to you by San Diego County Credit Union kicks off Friday, Sept. 10 with a special reception honoring 33 County Teacher of the Year nominees – all of whom were previously selected as their District Teacher of the Year. At the end of the evening, the five San Diego County Teachers of the Year will be announced and will become nominees for California Teacher of the Year honors.

National television personality and San Diego native Troy Johnson, who attended Mt. Carmel and Poway high schools, will serve as host for the evening and help announce the new San Diego County Teachers of the Year. A food critic for San Diego Magazine, Johnson has appeared as a judge in more than 100 episodes of “Guy’s Grocery Games” with Guy Fieri on the Food Network.

Troy Johnson
Troy Johnson on the set of Guy’s Grocery Games

“Cox Presents: Salute to Teachers” began 31 years ago as a partnership between Cox Communications and the San Diego County Office of Education as a way to say, “Thank you, Teachers!” It has an impressive history:

-More than 1,000 teachers have been nominated

-126 teachers have been named a San Diego County Teacher of the Year

-15 became California Teacher of the Year

-3 were National Teacher of the Year finalists (Stan Murphy, Megan Gross, Sandy McBrayer)

-1 was named National Teacher of the Year (1994, Sandy McBrayer)

Prior to COVID, the show has been a public, black-tie awards ceremony televised live from a theater in downtown San Diego and ending with the announcement of the new County Teachers of the Year. Due to the pandemic, this year’s event will be a private reception for the nominees and taped by Cox Communications’ YurView network as part of a one-hour television special that will air on Sunday, Oct. 17.

In addition to presenting sponsor SDCCU, “Cox Presents: Salute to Teachers” is sponsored by Procopio and media partners KPBS, iHeart Radio, The Mightier 1090, and The San Diego Union-Tribune.