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 Five Teachers of the Year Named at Annual Cox Salute

​Five phenomenal teachers were named 2012 San Diego County Teachers of the Year Saturday at the 21st annual live television production of Cox Presents A Salute to Teachers at sold-out Balboa Theatre in downtown San Diego.

The new County Teachers of the Year are:

  • Yolanda Sherard, who teaches US History to 8th graders at Rancho del Rey Middle School in the Sweetwater Union High School District;
  • Jo-Ann Fox, who teaches 2nd graders at Reidy Creek School in the Escondido Union School District;
  • Mark Burroughs, who teaches 5th graders at San Pasqual School in the tiny San Pasqual Union School District;
  • Mark Alcorn, who teaches 5th graders at Lee Elementary School in the San Diego Unified School District; and
  • Alicia McBride, who teaches Language Arts, History, and Personal Development at the Reflections program which is part of the County Office of Education´s Juvenile Court and Community Schools system.

The five new Teachers of the Year are now candidates for California Teacher of the Year.

Their announcement, by County Superintendent of Schools Randy Ward and Cox Communications Senior Vice President Dave Bialis, concluded a wildly emotional and enthusiastic awards show. The show, often likened to the motion picture industry’s Academy Awards, ended with a prolonged standing ovation for the new teachers of the year, as well as for the students who had performed during the Salute production and returned to the stage for the conclusion.

The black tie, live television production was sponsored by several prominent businesses, in cooperation with the San Diego County Office of Education. Ashford University was the title sponsor of the show for the fourth consecutive year. Other major sponsors included Sycuan, Sony, CNN, San Diego County Credit Union, Cymer, and National University.

The Salute was televised live by Ch. 4 San Diego. CNN news anchor Kyra Phillips, an alum of Helix High, and Ch. 4’s Dennis Morgigno were the show’s co-hosts. In the audience at Balboa Theatre was Phillips’ Helix High journalism teacher, Jessica Patton, who has retired and now lives in Ramona.

The show will be replayed on Ch. 4 San Diego, and HD 704, Oct. 7 at 7 pm and October 15 at 8 p.m.

Before the new County Teachers of the Year were announced, 10 Teacher of the Year finalists were introduced, one at a time, over the course of the two-hour Salute to Teachers production. The other five finalists were:

  • Erica Cox of Palmquist Elementary in the Oceanside Unified School District;
  • Brad Fox of Potter Junior High in the Fallbrook Union School District;
  • Darci Kimball of Castle Park High in the Sweetwater district;
  • Connie Rodriquez of Willow Elementary in the San Ysidro School District; and 
  • Julie Harris of Willow Grove Elementary in the Poway Unified School District.