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A profile of California Teachers of the Year, 1972-1992

Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)



First Advisor

Dennis Brennan


The purpose of this study was to: (1) develop a profile of the California Teachers of the Year, (2) describe how these award winning teachers were able to share their teaching expertise with their colleagues and the general public, and (3) explore the impact of selection as California Teacher of the Year and its affect on the professional careers of the recipients. A survey questionnaire was sent to eighty teachers who were either a finalist, or who received the award as the California Teacher of the Year, between 1972 and 1992. In addition to the questionnaire, the researcher conducted interviews with selected respondents. The typical California Teacher of the Year is: forty-four years old, married, Caucasian, and has no dependent children. This teacher of the year will teach for twenty-eight years as a high school teacher in a school with a student population between 501-1000. Changes that occurred to the professional careers of the recipients were requests to speak to educational and non-educational groups, to speak at various conferences, and present at an array of different workshops. California Teachers of the Year were able to share their teaching expertise through presenting at various conferences/workshops and serving on numerous educational committees. Recommendations to the California Department of Education and the sponsors of the California Teacher of the Year program are: provide a monetary award, expand the program in order to recognize more teachers every year, involve more teachers in the selection committee, and conduct a more elaborate ceremony to announce the finalists. Other suggestions include: intensive public relations training, mentors to provide support and guidance, and increased publicity.



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