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Message from Contra Costa County

Superintendent of Schools Lynn Mackey

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Dear Community Members,

As we celebrate the end of the school year, I hope that you were able to enjoy the graduation ceremonies and other end-of-the-year events that help us usher in the summer months. As we celebrate students for their accomplishments and I want to thank all of the educators and school employees in the county for their hard work over this past school year and ask you to join me in expressing gratitude for their work. They have persevered through challenges none of us imagined taking place at schools. Their dedication and commitment to students and their families deserves the gratitude of this entire county.

Their commitment takes on an even more poignant note when we reflect on what took place at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. The deaths of 19 students and two teachers in yet another senseless act of gun violence in this country hit all of us hard. Please join me in demanding common sense laws that can better protect us all.

As we recognized this nation's history and the idea of freedom on Independence Day, I hope that we were also able to acknowledge the celebrations of historic significance that took place in June, LGBTQIA+ Pride Month and Juneteenth. Pride Month is a time for us to recognize the presence and contributions of members of our community who have long been ignored and harassed. Juneteenth is the celebration of when African American slaves in Texas received word of the Emancipation Proclamation in 1865. Recognition of these cultural touchstones are important pieces of this nation's history and should be remembered as 

These recognitions are not solely people who identify as LGBTQIA+ or African American. These celebrations should be respected by all of us and uses as an opportunity to learn about this country’s troubled and challenging history.

Thank you for reading and I hope you have a great summer!

In Partnership,

Lynn Mackey

Four Finalists Named for 2022-23 County Teacher of the Year Program

The Contra Costa County Office of Education recently announced the four teachers who have been selected 2022-23 Contra Costa County Teacher of the Year finalists: Serina Culleton (Moraga School District/Donald L. Rheem Elementary School), Chavonta Edington (San Ramon Valley Unified School District/Diablo Vista Middle School), Natasha Paul (Mt. Diablo Unified School District/Mt. Diablo High School) and Paula L. Rathert (Walnut Creek School District/Murwood Elementary School). The announcements came on National Teacher Appreciation Day which celebrates educators in classrooms throughout the country.

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ROP Students of Excellence Honored at Annual Event

Students from Contra Costa and Alameda counties who have excelled in their Career Technical Education classes were honored by the Contra Costa County Office of Education at the annual Students of Excellence Awards ceremony. A total of 38 students were nominated to be Students of Excellence and 34 won the award based on recommendations from their teachers.

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Three County Students Win Awards at State Science Fair

Three Contra Costa County students received individual recognitions at the 71st-annual California Science & Engineering Fair held last month. There were over 850 participants that presented 720 projects and represented 343 schools from throughout the state.

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Local Schools Host Special Olympic Track & Field Events

Superintendent Lynn Mackey helped kick off the Special Olympics at Liberty High School last month. More than 1,400 student athletes from the Contra Costa County Office of Education and local school districts participated in the track and field events at Liberty and Acalanes high schools.

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County Schools, Districts Win Pivotal Practice Award

Five schools and four school districts in Contra Costa County were named winners of the newly created 2022 California Pivotal Practice (CAPP) Award Program by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond. The award program is being utilized by California in 2022 in place of the California Distinguished Schools Program. The award celebrates schools and districts that implemented an innovative practice during the 2020–21 school year, when California required schools to offer distance learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Local Schools Host Special Olympic Track & Field Events

Junior Achievement (JA) of Northern California named four teachers in Contra Costa County as 2022 Educator of the Year award recipients. 

The 2022 Educator of the Year award recipients from Contra Costa County are: Cheryl Keller, Iron Horse Middle School (San Ramon Valley Unified School District); Nancy Klinkner, Westwood Elementary School (Mt. Diablo Unified School District);  Amber Martin, Antioch Unified School District; and Mitzi Perez-Caro, Kennedy High School (West Contra Costa Unified School District). 

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