A trio of the “very best of the best” educators in West County were honored last week as Teachers of the Year by the Sebastopol Rotary Education Foundation.
Honored was a female Twin Hills instructor who likes to play with live worms, a veteran male elementary grade teacher from Sebastopol’s Brook Haven who is known to don silly and salutory costumes and an El Molino coach and teacher who once played professional football in the NFL.
The awardees were selected from a field of 20 nominees for the seventh annual SREF teacher recognition award.
“These are the most phenomenal three from a very outstanding group of nominees,” said Rotarian Sally Ewald in announcing the winners, later introduced by Rotarian Keller McDonald, who is also the superintendent of West Sonoma County Union High School District.
Sunny Galbraith, an independent studies and science teacher of Orchard View School at Twin Hills was honored for her “positive, supportive, intelligent and pro-active” approach to teaching. At Orchard View she leads the campus recycling, gardening, compost and other community service and environmental projects.
She is a graduate of UC San Diego and she has been teaching at Orchard View for 10 years.
Greg Corby is a 34-year teaching veteran and currently teaches multiple grades at Brook Haven School. In nominating him, a colleague said, “Greg is the consummate professional. He is tireless, passionate, dedicated, responsible, knowledgeable, innovative, kind and considerate.”
Corby is involved with almost every activity on campus, including the annual Much Ado About Sebastopol festival, field trips and senior citizen classroom volunteers.
He earned his degree in early Childhood Development from San Francisco State University and a multiple subject teaching credential from San Jose State University. He has been teaching in Sebastopol schools since 1990.
Also honored was Mike Roan, the student activities and athletic director at El Molino. He also teaches physical education and leadership classes.
The former NFL player for the Houston Oilers and Tennessee Titans was instrumental in developing El Molino’s “Integrated Athletics” program that encourages student-athletes to participate in multiple sports, train together in the off-season and attend after-school tutoring and study groups.
Each of the teachers received a $1,000 check from the local Rotary Club’s special education foundation. SREF also supports various student and in-school programs, including partial funding for Learn To Swim, Read To Me and dictionary donations.
SREF is a nonprofit, tax-exempt foundation and accepts donations or bequeaths from any community member. To contact SREF write to PO Box 213 Sebastopol, Calif. 95472 or telephone 823-4332. The SREF website is at www.sebastopol-rotary-education-foundation.org.