Butte County's own Christine Santerre, special education teacher at Sycamore Middle School in Gridley Unified School District, was selected Wednesday night as the Region 2 California League of Middle Schools' Educator of the Year. Santerre, along with the other six middle school and two high school nominees, were honored at the regional Educator of the Year banquet at the Win River Casino in Redding. Natalie Behr from Princeton Junior/Senior High, was selected as the High School Educator of the Year.
The selection process leading to this event started in the fall when these nine educators were nominated by their principals. These nominations along, with letters from colleagues, parents or students, were submitted to a regional panel as the beginning of the competitive process to select our regional award winners. A speech, presented at the banquet, was the second part of this process.
In his letter nominating Christine, Sycamore Principal Clint Johnson says of Santerre, "If someone were to look at the foundation of this school and the improvements that have happened at Sycamore Middle School, it is not uncommon to find Christine Santerre's handprint on it. Christine's handprint touches more than the kids in front of her each day; it touches the entire school community."
This passion and commitment to the students and Sycamore community was evident in the speech Christine delivered to those attending the banquet. Her words about her students and colleagues left many damp eyes as she shared that she entered education to inspire students to love learning and she remains in education because she learns and is inspired by those around her each day.
Santerre will be honored at the state California League of Schools' Conference in February in Sacramento. She, along with the other regional award winners, will speak and a state Educator of the Year will be selected at that time.
Michelle Sanchez, Butte County Office of Education Administrator, who attended the event commented: "We are proud to recognize Christine as an example of the dedication and passion our Butte County teachers provide to our community each and every day. We are fortunate to have her be the face of excellence for our county."
Gridley Unified School District Superintendent Rick Rubino stated, "The entire Gridley community is proud of Christine Santerre and her recognition as the Region 2 Teacher of the Year. Christine represents what's best about the teaching profession. She is the heart of the intervention program at Sycamore Middle School."