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Ceres teacher one of best in the county
Rogelio Adame, a Cesar Chavez Junior High School teacher who says education is his lifelong passion, was selected as one of four Teachers of the Year for Stanislaus County.

Others receiving the honor are: Angela Freeman from Medeiros Elementary School in the Turlock Unified School District; Lynda Griblin of Standiford Elementary School in the Sylvan Union School District; and Ruben Modesto of Pitman High School in the Turlock Unified School District.

Currently a seventh-grade math teacher at Cesar Chavez Junior High School, Adame said he wanted to become a teacher so that he could change students' lives.

"Rogelio provides a learning environment rich in connections and real-world experiences," said Principal Jose Beltran. "Students and staff depend on Rogelio both inside and outside of the classroom. He opens his door to students during breaks and meets with them, encourages them and provides them with the extra support needed for their academic success."

Adame says that teaching is his true passion in life. "I believe that educators influence their students in many ways, and this is why it is vital for us to guide our students toward the path of success, while at the same time being aware that every student is unique."

Each recipient was awarded $1,000 cash at a May 8 luncheon hosted by Modesto Rotary, which co-sponsored the annual award with the Stanislaus County Office of Education (SCOE).

Eight finalists honored at the luncheon included: Lori Stitt of Whitmore Charter School in Ceres; Patricia Giron, a special education teacher with SCOE; Wendy Petroni of Fair Oaks Elementary School in Oakdale; Darlene Pierson of Sherwood Elementary in the Modesto Sylvan Union district; Angela De Tomasi of Dutcher Middle School in Turlock; Dawn Pitcock of La Loma Junior High School in Modesto; Lisa Barker of Central Catholic High School in Modesto; and Lindsey Bird of Davis High School in Modesto.

Teachers were nominated by their principals and finalists were selected from 83 nominees representing 20 school districts in Stanislaus County. A selection committee, composed of local Rotarians and educators, narrowed the nominations through a paper screening process and then visited the classrooms of the 12 finalists.

Two of the four Teachers of the Year will be selected, through an interview process, to represent Stanislaus County in the state Teacher of the Year program. One state winner then proceeds to the national level.

"Someone once said, 'Good teachers are to education what education is to all other professions - the indispensable element, the sunlight and oxygen, the foundation on which everything else is built,'" said County Superintendent Tom Changnon. "It is truly an honor to partner with Rotary to recognize these outstanding teachers - each who has helped shape the lives of young students in our county."