SUISUN CITY — Michelle Labelle-Fisch, sixth-grade teacher at K.I. Jones Elementary School in Fairfield, was named teacher of the year and Phillip Green, a classroom supervisor at Benicia High School, was named classified employee of the year during the 2014-15 Solano County Educators of the Year awards ceremony Wednesday.
A total of 14 educators were honored at the event at the Joseph A. Nelson Community Center in Suisun City.
“This will sound like a spelling bee,” said Jay Speck, Solano County superintendent of schools, but “they’re all winners.”
The 14 people are really good at helping other people be good, Speck said.
Sandy Jessop, assistant superintendent of education services for the Solano County Office of Education, said at the start of the ceremony that “good teaching comes not from behind the desk, but behind the heart.”
Vacaville resident Labelle-Fisch was one of seven nominees for top teacher and Benicia resident Green one of seven for top classified school employee.
LaBelle-Fisch and Green will represent Solano County in a statewide Educators of the Year competition.
Judi Honeychurch, a trustee for the Fairfield-Suisun School District, wrote that many dedicated teachers are in education.
“There are also teacher leaders who, because of their commitment to education and students, must be considered outstanding,” Honeychurch wrote. “Michelle Labelle-Fisch is outstanding.”
JoAnn Severson of the Benicia School District wrote, “Phil Green has a spirit that never wavers when it comes to students and their success.”
“He believes in kids and does whatever he can to help them succeed,” Severson wrote.
Green’s title is isolated classroom environment supervisor and he said Wednesday that when students need a breather, they’re sent to “the ICE room.”
Superintendent Speck said that as an elementary school student he had spent a day or two in an ICE room.
Solano County Educators of the Year nominees, along with Green and Labelle-Fisch, were:
Assistant Superintendent Jessop said classified employees include people who work in the playground and cafeteria, along with bus drivers and secretaries – the office workers Jessop, said, “who really run the school.”
The county office of education has made the awards since 1978.
Video segments of all Educators of the Year nominees will be posted on the Solano County Office of Education website at www.solanocoe.net.
Custodian Nyland recounts on his video how first-graders sang “Happy Birthday” to him.
“It blew my mind,” he said.
Teacher Hanson in the Travis School District spoke about how a sixth-grader asked her to attend her high school graduation and, after the student moved to Illinois, invited her to the event. Hanson had recently given birth but boarded the plane with her baby and went to the graduation.
“I made you a promise,” she said to the high school graduate.
Hanson on the video adds, “You’ve got to be careful what you promise.”
Reach Ryan McCarthy at 427-6935 or firstname.lastname@example.org.