Celebrating Education's Finest

County Teacher of the Year named at event honoring top teachers and classified school employees

The San Joaquin County Office of Education (SJCOE) announced that Lodi Unified School District teacher Jeff Simpfenderfer as the San Joaquin County Teacher of the Year.  The surprise announcement was the culminating moment at the Ninth Annual San Joaquin County Classified Employees and Teacher of the Year Awards Celebration Dinner held at the SJCOE on Thursday, June 6.

As San Joaquin County Teacher of the Year, Simpfenderfer received $1,000 from Premier Community Credit Union, a longtime supporter of educators in San Joaquin County and co-sponsor of the event.  Simpfenderfer’s nomination was submitted to the state for consideration as California Teacher of the Year.

Simpfenderfer, a 20-year teaching veteran, teaches English, horticulture, and family living at Liberty High School, a continuation school. Simpfenderfer – or “Mr. S” to his students --  was nominated by Liberty High Principal Tamara Dillon for his ability to meet both the academic and emotional needs of his students, from providing a supportive classroom for students of all abilities to finding relatable literature to help students understand that they are not alone. “His intellect, humor, heart, understanding of curriculum, and ability to do anything with technology all combine into making him an incredible educator,” Dillon wrote.

Four other outstanding teachers were recognized as San Joaquin County Teacher of the Year finalists. Each received $400 from Premier Community Credit Union.  They are:

  • Lisa Dahlin, Weston Elementary School, Ripon Unified School District
  • Phorn Hem, George W. Bush Elementary School, Stockton Unified School District
  • Monica Hill, George Kelly Elementary School, Tracy Unified School District
  • Renee Mendez, Mountain House High School, Lammersville Unified School District

Also recognized at the awards dinner were the four San Joaquin County Classified Employees of the Year winners in four different categories.  They are: 

  • Jeremy Walton, Maintenance, Operations, and Facilities, Bohn Elementary School, Tracy Unified School District
  • Kim Camara, Office and Technical, Ripona Elementary School, Ripon Unified School District
  • Christina Ramirez, Para-Educator and Instructional Assistance, Glenwood Elementary School, Linden Unified School District
  • Benito Torres,* Support Services and Security, Stockton Public Safety Academy, Stockton Unified School District

 *Torres was named the California Classified Employee of the Year in the Support Services and Security category.

Posted: 6/10/2019