Dawn Arbogast, a 46-year-old teacher at Monte Vista Middle School, was recognized during the third annual San Joaquin County Classified Employees and Teacher of the Year Awards Celebration.
A teacher for 24 years, Arbogast said she was shocked by the award after hearing the accomplishments of the four other finalists during the dinner.
“We heard about all the other ones and everyone seemed pretty deserving,” she said. “It’s important for every teacher (to make a difference).”
At Monte Vista, Arbogast works as a sixth-grade teacher for gifted and talented education and teaches general education science. She coordinates the Math Counts team, two Math Olympiad teams and two Science Olympiad teams.
She is also known to attend school functions and activities that involve her students.
“I enjoy being around the students, especially the G.A.T.E. students,” Arbogast said. “It’s fun to be around them and to help them grow academically and socially. It makes you feel good that you did something positive.”
According to Monte Vista Principal Susan O’Hara-Jones, Arbogast is more than deserving of the award.
“She is an outstanding teacher in her classroom,” O’Hara-Jones said. “The kids thrive in her classroom. She’s got it all.”
The principal said the key to Arbogast’s success has been her philosophy of helping students prepare for their futures.
“She really has that big-picture concept,” O’Hara-Jones said. “I know we have a treasure, but it’s nice for the county to see it, too. We’re very proud of her.”
James Mousalimas, deputy superintendent of the San Joaquin Office of Education, said Arbogast stood out from the other “outstanding” finalists for three reasons — her impact in the community, her leadership while instructing her peers and her teaching philosophy.
“She was the best of the best,” he said.
Arbogast received $1,000 and had her name submitted to the state Department of Education for consideration as the California Teacher of the Year. That honor will be announced in October.
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