South Bay Teacher named among San Diego County Teachers of the Year

Imperial Beach Charter School fifth grade teacher Benjamin Swearingen was named among the five San Diego County Teachers of the Year during the 27th annual Cox Presents: A Salute to Teachers. The annual award ceremony, sponsored by San Diego County Credit Union and the San Diego County Office of Education, was broadcast live from Balboa Theatre on September 16, 2017, and celebrates the work of San Diego County’s 22,000 public school teachers.

The five teachers honored were selected from 10 finalists, out of a field of 44 nominees from districts throughout the county.  A panel of judges including former county teachers of the year and school administrators evaluated the nominees on criteria including student achievement, teaching philosophy, and ability to serve as ambassadors of education, among others. The five county recipients will represent San Diego in the California Teacher of the Year program, which will announce a winner later this fall.

Ben was honored for his ability to turn challenges into opportunities. His classroom is a welcoming place to explore ideas, nature, community, and the world. “Making students feel welcome as who they are and with what they bring to the classroom is the foundation for effective education,” Swearingen said. “Once a person feels accepted and valued, they are open to learning, creativity, and risk taking.” Swearingen has taken on leadership roles over his 12-year teaching career, inspiring and collaborating with students, colleagues, parents, and administrators. Compassionate and dedicated, he is a “true believer in the power of teamwork,” said Principal Melissa Griffith. His passion for gardening led to a school garden, which serves as an outdoor learning lab. For Swearingen, teaching isn’t a call; it’s a “call of duty, a sense of moral obligation to do my part to make the world a better place.”

Superintendent Katie McNamara is thrilled by the recognition.  “This is South Bay’s first Teacher of the Year recipient.  Our District has many talented and dedicated teachers and I know that Ben will serve as an outstanding representative of our team.”

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About the South Bay Union School District:

The South Bay Union School District proudly serves over 7,500 students in Imperial Beach, San Ysidro, and south San Diego. The District is comprised of twelve campuses, including nine K-6 schools, two K-8 charter schools, and one Preschool. South Bay offers several specialized programs including Dual Language, Instrumental Music, Visual and Performing Arts, and a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) Academy.

Media Contact
Company Name: South Bay Union School District
Contact Person: Amy Cooper
Email: Send Email
Phone: (619) 628-1605
Address:601 Elm Avenue
City: Imperial Beach
State: CA
Country: United States