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May 1, 2012 > Two local teachers among SportsNet finalists

Two local teachers among SportsNet finalists

Submitted By Paul Rippetoe

Comcast SportsNet, recently announced five finalists for the 2012 All-Star Teacher Award, presented by Provident Credit Union. In its sixth year, the All-Star Teacher Award recognizes middle and high school teachers in Northern and Central California for their extraordinary dedication to their students and significant presence within their respective communities.

In our local area, two teachers, Dr. Paul Ricks of Fremont's Hopkins Junior High School and Ronnie Cato of Mt. Eden High School in Hayward are included among the five finalists. The other three finalists are Todd Higashi of Alameda Science and Technology Institute (Alameda), Claudia Natale of Cupertino Middle School (Sunnyvale) and April Silva of John F. Kennedy Junior High School (Hanford).

The winning All-Star Teacher will be announced Wednesday, June 27 at an on-field ceremony prior to the San Francisco Giants/Los Angeles Dodgers game at AT&T Park and live during Comcast SportsNet Bay Area's telecast of Giants Pre-game Live. For a second straight year, Comcast SportsNet has teamed with Provident Credit Union to award the winning teacher's school $20,000, up from $10,000 in past years.

Members of the public can vote for who they think should be the 2012 All-Star Teacher by texting in their vote or voting online at through Sunday, June 3. Anyone with a valid email address is eligible to vote. Limit one vote per valid email address and one per phone number.

Biographies of the finalists, along with videos and photo galleries, will be featured online at and. In addition, the finalists will be interviewed on select Giants Pre-game Live and A's Pre-game Live shows.

Nomination forms were mailed to over 200 Northern and Central California schools and were available online at and at all Provident Credit Union branch locations. Many teachers were nominated by peers, students, parents and principals, and the finalists were chosen by an elite panel of community leaders.

Finalists were selected by a panel of community leaders based on four categories: Overall Commitment, Excellence in Teaching, Rapport with Students and Level of Distinction. This year's elite panel of judges consists of Doug Bartlett, Senior Marketing Director, BART; John Haggarty, AVP Marketing of Provident Credit Union; Lorena Hernandez, Director of Community & Media Partnerships, Comcast California; Detra Paige, Director of Community Relations, Oakland Athletics; and Sue Petersen, Executive Director of the Giants Community Fund.

For more information, visit the All-Star Teacher Award on Facebook at or vote at

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