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Teachers celebrated by county
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Sinclear Elementary School teacher Craig Tornquist and Hughson High teacher Kelly Larson are among the 12 finalists in the 2017 Stanislaus County Teacher of the Year awards program.

The Modesto Rotary Club and the Stanislaus County Office of Education (SCOE) will celebrate the 12 and announce the selection of four as 2017 Stanislaus County Teachers of the Year at a May 2 luncheon at the DoubleTree Hotel at noon. The four selected as Teachers of the Year will each receive a $1,000 award from the Modesto Rotary Club Foundation and a $700 Nasco gift card. Mocse Credit Union also sponsors the event and provides funding for the awards, decorations and lunch for the student entertainers.

Teachers were nominated by their principals and finalists were selected from 83 nominees representing 16 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 24 semi-finalists before narrowing it down to the 12 finalists.

This is the 19th year that Modesto Rotary and SCOE have joined efforts to honor teachers in Stanislaus County. The program not only honors local teachers and celebrates excellence in education, but also provides an opportunity for teachers to receive state and national recognition. 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.

"A good teacher inspires students, ignites imaginations, and instills a love of learning," said County Superintendent Tom Changnon. "It is truly an honor to partner with the Rotary to recognize these outstanding teachers - each who helps inspire and shape the lives of young students in our county on a daily basis."

Sponsors of the Stanislaus County Teacher of the Year program include the Modesto Rotary Club Foundation, Stanislaus County Office of Education, Nasco and Mocse Credit Union.