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K.I. Jones Elementary instructor is teacher of the year

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From page A4 | May 08, 2014 |

7Educators of the Year2

Phillip Green, a classroom supervisor at Benicia High School, was named classified school employee of the year at the 201-25 Solano County Educators of the Year awards ceremony held Wednesday in Suisun City. (Ryan McCarthy/Daily Republic)

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:

  • Kristyn Andrews, kindergarten through fifth-grade specialized education core inclusion teacher at Matthew Turner Elementary School, Benicia School District.
  • Peggy Harte, fourth-grade teacher at Tremont Elementary School, Dixon School District.
  • Jill Camp, office manager at C.A. Jacobs Intermediate School, Dixon School District.
  • Faren Jones, secretary at Matt Garcia Learning Center, Fairfield-Suisun School District.
  • Cory Smith, preschool special education teacher at Silveyville and Irene Larsen Center, Solano County Office of Education.
  • Kira Levin, school secretary for special education at Golden Hills Education Center, Solano County Office of Education.
  • Maranda Hanson, sixth-grade teacher at Scandia Elementary School, Travis School District.
  • Janie Tepley, school secretary for the Travis Education Center and Travis Community Day School, Travis School District.
  • Dave Hawkins, 10th- through 12th-grade history and government teacher at Buckingham Charter School, Vacaville School District.
  • Lisa Galloway, secretary at Country High School, Vacaville School District.
  • Ainsley Harris, fourth-grade teacher at Johnston Cooper Elementary School, Vallejo School District.
  • Matt Nyland, custodian at Steffan Manor Elementary School, Vallejo School District.

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 rmccarthy@dailyrepublic.net.

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Discussion | 1 comment

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  • HeatherMay 08, 2014 - 3:35 pm

    Mrs Fisch definitely deserves it. She has been in the school system for so long and so has her mom. Well done Mrs Fisch I am proud to say I was a student! :)

    Reply | Report abusive comment
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