San Diego County's 2006 Teachers of the Year were honored at halftime of San Diego State's recent victory over BYU, with more than 11,500 at Cox Arena cheering their support.
The four Teachers of the Year, Erin Mangahis of Patrick Henry High, Keith Koelzer of Rancho Bernardo High, Karen Anglin of Campo Elementary, and Guillermo Gomez of Vista Square Elementary were showered with applause as the arena public address announcer said, "Thank you to these great teachers, and to all the other great teachers they represent around San Diego County. San Diego State University is proud to be the alma mater of many of these community leaders, and we salute your efforts. Keep up the great work."
Standing with the teachers at center-court were San Diego County Superintendent of School Rudy Castruita, SDSU President Stephen Weber, SDSU Athletic Director Jeff Schemmel, and San Diego Union-Tribune public relations director Carole Ravago.
The halftime ceremony was part of an on-going partnership between the SDSU Athletic Department and the San Diego County Office of Education, a relationship forged between Castruita, Weber, Schemmel and the athletic director's predecessor, Mike Bohn.
During the current basketball season and last football season, SDSU provided free tickets to more than 9,000 elementary and middle school students from schools throughout San Diego County. The university's goal has been to elevate the profile of SDSU in the minds of local students, and their efforts have been extremely popular with local teachers, administrators and students.
In addition, the Union-Tribune provided more than 7,000 Aztec football tickets to teachers and their families last season. At that game, all 2006 school district Teachers of the Year were honored on the field.
With the Aztec men's basketball team enjoying its finest season in years, the tickets-for-students program is more popular than ever. Five home games remain on the schedule at Cox Arena: Feb. 8 vs. Air Force, Feb. 11 vs. Utah, Feb. 18 vs. TCU, March 1 vs. Wyoming, and March 3 vs. South Dakota State.