With Hollywood-style glitz and a little Disney magic, 63 superstar educators from Orange County school districts and community colleges were honored Friday night at a special dinner celebration coordinated by OCDE.
Sponsored by SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union, the 2019 Orange County Teachers of the Year ceremony was held at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim, reflecting the theme “I Am a Teacher.” The event featured student musical performances, remarks by County Superintendent Al Mijares and pre-recorded statements from each of the honorees as they took the stage.
Even Mickey and Minnie Mouse took time out of their busy schedules to congratulate the winners.
“The most superlative and inspirational people who have graced this planet since the beginning of time have uttered those four words: ‘I am a teacher,'” Superintendent Mijares told an audience of about 760. “Teachers are God’s gift to humanity. They are the light that shines brightly into the souls of students, which sparks innovation, enthusiasm and drive. They provide the antidote to our most perplexing problems, which gives us hope.”
“Teaching is not a job,” he said, “but a calling.”
Actor and director William Allen Young (“Code Black,” “Moesha”) and PBS SoCal Producer Maria Hall-Brown once again served as emcees, and international business leader and philanthropist Bill Gross reprised his role as legacy sponsor, providing cash awards for the field of nominees. SchoolsFirst contributed a complimentary table for 10 and a prize package for each of this year’s winners.