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June 18, 2010 > Leo B. Murphy Awards

Leo B. Murphy Awards

By Simon Wong
Photos By Frank De Smidt

On Monday, June 14, the Milpitas Rotary Club hosted its annual Leo B. Murphy Awards Luncheon to honor 11 Teachers of the Year from individual schools and the Milpitas Unified School District (MUSD) Teacher of the Year.

The event was organized by Dr. Karl Black, Past President of Milpitas Rotary Club and MUSD Superintendent. Former Mayor of Milpitas Denny Weisgerber presented the Leo. B. Murphy story. Leo B. Murphy was a MUSD educator and Rotarian who is regarded as a true humanitarian. He was the first principal of Samuel Ayer High School and instrumental in laying a solid foundation on which MUSD's reputation of excellence has been built.

Susan Borer, who teaches 4/5th Grade at Burnett Elementary, has three years of experience. She is described as energetic and supportive of colleagues and administrators and engages students using a wide-range of tools and strategies.

Nancy Anderson, Special Education teacher at Curtner Elementary, has taught for 31 years. She is efficient, adaptable, focused, innovative and dedicated. Her passion for her work and students is evident when she discusses her students' successes.

Nancy Johnson, Kindergarten teacher at Pomeroy Elementary, has 30 years of teaching experience. She constantly seeks new and exciting experiences for her students and is considerate, offering her help before it is requested.

Xuanthao Tran teaches Kindergarten at Rose Elementary and has eight years experience. She serves beyond her own classroom for the greater good of the student body and staff. She regularly volunteers her time and resources, is organized, efficient, industrious and energetic.

Optimist Deborah Hullings-Le is a 6th Grade teacher at Sinnott Elementary with 28 years' experience. She is competent, always ready to help, has a positive attitude and maintains the highest personal standards.

Juanita Ayala, Special Education SDC teacher, Zanker Elementary, has taught for 12 years. She is known for her good judgment, perseverance, work ethic, self-discipline, intelligence, endless patience, high standards and kindness.

Karen Brown teaches English at Calaveras Hills High School and has 31 years' experience. She has created the English curriculum for 27 years at Cal Hills, mentors new teachers, is regarded as a mother/grandmother figure and counselor to many students. Her demeanor is positive and she has time for all students and staff.

Henry Robinson, At-Risk Program Specialist teacher, has belonged to the profession for 40 years. His dedication to his students means he will make that extra effort for them. He is highly respected and always available to assist staff and the community.

Chauncey Douglas, Speech Therapist teacher, has taught for 34 years. His professionalism is unquestioned and he is a man with whom it is easy to speak. He has superb "kid skills," constantly planning quality activities for students to promote their linguistic development.

Beverley McCarter, who has 13 years' experience, teaches 4/5th Grade teacher at Weller Elementary and was honored as Milpitas Unified School District Teacher of the Year. Each day begins with a 7.30 a.m. intervention class for 18 "Far Below Basic" students with individual tuition in Read 180. She inspires new teachers and has the highest standards.

Milpitas Rotary also honored the following Teachers of the Year who could not attend the Awards Luncheon:

Kathy Galde (3rd Grade, Randall Elementary), Rozina Kapadia (Special Education SDC, Russell Middle School), Anna Winston (3rd Grade, Spangler Elementary), Brenna Dimas (English, Rancho Middle School), David Holland (Art, Milpitas High School), Laura Marshall (Rose Child Development Center teacher), Thao Nguyen (ESL, Adult Education) and Reva Larson (ESL, Elmwood Correction Center).

These outstanding teachers will be recognized in perpetuity with the addition of their names to the Leo B. Murphy Honors Plaque at Milpitas Library. Frank De Smidt, representing Milpitas Rotary Club, and Dr. Karl Black, MUSD Superintendent, presented the idea for the plaque to the city's Library Commission which approved the request on January 11, 2010.

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