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 Five New County Teachers Named at Annual Cox Black Tie TV Production Salute to Teachers

​Five phenomenal teachers were named 2010 San Diego County Teachers of the Year on October 10, honored as representatives of all local teachers in the annual live television production of Cox Presents A Salute to Teachers.

The new Teachers of the Year are:

Kelly Kovacic of The Preuss School at UCSD, a charter school that’s part of San Diego Unified School District;

Michael Love of Mount Miguel High in the Grossmont Union High School District;

Eric Mabrey of Olympian High in the Sweetwater Union High School District;

Melanie Tolan, of Sarah Anthony School at Juvenile Hall, part of the San Diego County Office of Education’s Juvenile Court and Community Schools; and

Donna Farquar of the Santee School District’s Educational Resource Center.

“This is the kind of recognition our teachers deserve,” said San Diego County Superintendent of Schools Randy Ward, seconds before the five Teachers of the Year names were announced. “It’s the greatest profession…the most important profession…and far too often the least-appreciated profession on this earth. I love the feeling of doing something this nice for our teachers.”

Ward and Cox Communications Vice President and General Manager Bill Geppert then announced the five names, accompanied by an uninterrupted standing ovation from the wildly enthusiastic crowd of 1,300.

The Academy Awards-style production, the 19th time the Teacher of the Year Awards have been produced as a television show by Cox Communications and the County Office of Education, were supported by several key sponsors. Ashford University was the title sponsor for the second consecutive year. Other important sponsors included Sony, San Diego County Credit Union, Cisco, and the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation.

Ten Teacher of the Year finalists were announced over the course of the two-hour show. In addition to the five new County Teachers of the Year, the other finalists were:

Jennifer Eckle of Vista Magnet Middle School, Vista Unified School District;

Yvonne Fojtasek, San Elijo Elementary, San Marcos Unified School District;

Bill Freeman, Porter North Elementary, San Diego Unified School District;

Arlene Gapusan, Black Mountain Middle, Poway Unified School District;

Diana Souther, Valley Center Primary, Valley Center-Pauma Unified School District.

The awards show also featured entertainment by five outstanding local student groups. The Chula Vista High Main Attraction opened the show. The Latin Connection from Canyon Crest Academy dazzled the crowd, followed by the Acafellas from Chula Vista, and the Mystic Stepper dance ensemble. The Music Machine from Bonita Vista High was the final performing group, and all five groups received enthusiastic applause.