WATCH: Revisit the day OCDE announced the 2025 Orange County Teachers of the Year

On the morning of May 2, six educators received a welcome surprise in their classrooms as they were named this year’s finalists in the countywide teachers of the year program.

A big yellow school bus filled with OCDE representatives including Deputy Superintendent Dr. Ramon Miramontes, camera crews, reporters and awards program sponsors traveled across six campuses to honor each educator alongside their colleagues and loved ones.

OCDE’s Media Services team supported the special day and captured the teachers’ reactions to their 2025 Teachers of the Year recognition in the video above.

Each finalist was awarded an apple-shaped trophy along with prizes from SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union and a $25,000 check from the Orange County Teachers of the Year Award Foundation, established by the William, Jeff and Jennifer Gross Family Foundation. On Nov. 1, they will be formally honored at a dinner gala at the Disneyland Hotel.

To learn more about the teachers’ dedication to delivering quality education for their students, check out our story naming the 2025 Orange County Teachers of the Year with surprise visits.