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Kern County's Teachers of the Year


Stockdale High School health teacher Sloan Holmes and Sunset School music teacher Louis Yuen were honored as Kern County's Teachers of the Year for 2007-08. They will represent Kern County in the California Teacher of the Year competition along with alternates Carrie Atkin, a preschool special education teacher with the Kern County Superintendent of Schools (KCSOS) Office and Rick Francis, Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) and English teacher at Golden Valley High School. The California Department of Education (CDE) sponsors the annual California Teacher of the Year program.

Holmes has been teaching for 17 years and was selected by the CDE to serve on the committee that formalized guidance standards for state health instruction. Her classroom curriculum includes anti-tobacco lessons and information about HIV and AIDS, along with nutrition, hygiene, and drug prevention. Holmes' students learn about cultures, stereotypes, stress, and respect.

Yuen has spent 36 years teaching music. He says his biggest challenge, and eventually his biggest accomplishment, was coming to Sunset School in 1986, where he started the school's first band with 17 students, none of whom owned an instrument. Today the Sunset's band has a rating of "Superior" from the California Museum Educators Instrumental Rating Festival.

Atkin came to her teaching position after volunteering with the elderly. As a young adult, she began working with children at the Jamieson Children's Center, which inspired her to teaching preschool special education children at the Claude W. Richardson Child Development Center.

With teaching as his second career, Francis previously spent 22 years as a full-time pastor. He began teaching at Maricopa High in 2000, after encouraging members of his congregation urged him to do so. He moved to Golden Valley in 2004.

For more information, please call 636-4522.

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