DanvilleSanRamon.com

Newsfront - May 18, 2007

Kathy Moore named district's Teacher of the Year

Special assignment teacher has a passion for helping students succeed

by Jordan M. Doronila

And the winner is: Kathy Moore!

Officials recently named Moore the 2007 Teacher of the Year in the San Ramon Valley Unified School District. She currently works as a "teacher on special assignment" and will represent the district in the Contra Costa County Teacher of the Year Program.

Moore will be recognized by the school board trustees at their meeting Tuesday evening, June 5.

"It's an honor to work with Kathy and a pleasure to nominate her for county Teacher of the Year," said Superintendent Rob Kessler. "She is one of a kind. She is having a lasting impact on teachers and students in our district."

Moore has been teaching for nearly 20 years and currently trains other teachers in the district in the New York Reading and Writing Project methods. Prior to being a teacher on special assignment, she was a second-grade teacher at Sycamore Valley Elementary School; she also taught seventh- and eighth-grade English at Charlotte Wood Middle School.

"Everyday, I am astounded by kids," she said. "They have the most powerful things to say when we just take the time to listen. The students that I see in our classrooms are curious, creative and willing to rise to any challenge."

"They make me proud to be a teacher," she added.

The Writing Project, developed at Columbia University, shows students how to come up with ideas and be aware of their thought processes when they write. Moore uses an overhead projector to give examples of how to start writing, such as poetry. In turn, her students follow her as a model.

Moore noted that through the Writing Project, students develop a personal relationship with a teacher and create a curriculum, which tailors to their unique needs.

"I model lessons for teachers," she said. "It's pretty varied."

She has been working as a special assignment teacher for the past six to seven years.

She also teaches writing at Del Amigo High School, and she is involved in the district's "Student Recognition Project," which helps coordinate a partnership with the California Shakespeare Theatre. Additionally, she conducts "poetry slams" for students in the area, writes a weekly column for a local publication, and still finds time to write her own fiction and poetry. And she has raised two daughters.

Moore originally came from Albany, N.Y. She received her high school teaching credential from State University of New York at Albany in 1978. She met her husband, Bob, a Long Island native, in New York. Meanwhile, she was raising two daughters.

She and her family relocated to Danville when her husband found a job in California.

Moore said her husband misses the East Coast.

"He's still a New Yorker at heart," she said.

However, she enjoys California.

"It's been a fabulous experience," she said. "I'm a true Californian."

She received her California single subject and multiple credentials from St. Mary's College in 1997. Now, she is working toward her master's degree in teaching leadership from St. Mary's.

Last year's Teacher of the Year was Monte Vista High School science teacher Patti Carothers. Each year, all of the public school districts in the county select teachers of the year. A committee, composed of educators, chooses one of these candidates to represent Contra Costa County in the State Teacher of the Year Program.

District officials are excited about their recent choice.

"Kathy is an amazingly thoughtful and caring person and has an uncanny ability to tap into an endless supply of energy and passion for helping kids succeed," said district spokesman Terry Koehne.

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