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Local educator Chuck Taylor in the running for San Joaquin County Teacher of the Year award

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Chuck Taylor

Posted: Thursday, June 2, 2011 12:00 am | Updated: 11:59 am, Thu Jun 2, 2011.

Who: Chuck Taylor has been named by the Lodi Unified School District as its Teacher of the Year for 2010-11 for his teaching style and qualities.

He was first chosen as the Christa McAuliffe Middle School representative, but was selected to represent the district and is now one of five finalists for the county Teacher of the Year recognition.

That anouncement will be made at an awards ceremony today. Whoever wins the title goes on to compete for the state award.

“The staff subsequently voted and he was the overwhelming choice,” Christa McAuliffe Principal Randy Malandro said. “He was chosen as he truly cares about each of his students. He believes that all students can reach the high expectations he sets for them.”

Taylor, who grew up in Oakdale, was influenced by an uncle who was a teacher and an important part of his life, according to Taylor’s wife, Jessica Brennan. They married a year ago next month.

He has been teaching for about a decade and in Lodi Unified School District since 2002.

At Christa McAuliffe, he is the adviser for the school newspaper, co-adviser for the humanities club, debate coach, co-adviser for a recent Washington, D.C. trip, and also helps run both the morning and afterschool programs.

Taylor was also part of a district contingent that recently made a presentation to Google about how Lodi Unified is using its technology in the classroom and offering ideas about what can be done better, Brennan said.

At home, his hobbies are reading “constantly,” writing and cooking, she added.

“He makes the best barbecue. He also loves comic books and ‘Star Wars,’ and his entire class is filled with posters,” Brennan said.

Why: Taylor, who is also chairman of the Christa McAuliffe social studies department, is held in high esteem among his peers.

Social studies teacher Kathi Yeager has known him for four years and believes his students hold a special place in his heart.

“(His) interpersonal qualities are one of his strengths, especially as he has adjusted to students who come from very diverse backgrounds,” she said, referring to various socioeconomic levels, ethnic differences and academic skill levels and the way Taylor motivates each student. “I see him rise to this challenge every day through his lessons and relationships with his students.”

Malandro said Taylor utilizes multiple instructional strategies to provide students with the maximum opportunity to learn. Parents and students alike appreciate his organization, creativity, communication, utilization of projects and technology which combined make history come alive, he added.

As a mother of a school-age child in Stockton, Yeager said she could wish for no one better to shape, guide and mentor students.

“He is nurturing while maintaining high expectations. Did I mention (that) he also knows how to have fun with his students and learn what their outside interests are as well?” she said.

What: The annual award is sponsored by the district’s personnel department.

When/where: He will be publicly recognized at the June 7 school board meeting at the James Areida Education Support Center, 1305 E. Vine St.

Contact reporter Jennifer Bonnett at jenniferb@lodinews.com.

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