UPPER LAKE, Calif. – Erica Boomer, an agricultural education teacher and Future Farmers of America advisor at Upper Lake Union High School, has been selected as the 2013-14 Lake County Teacher of the Year.
Tim Gill, senior director of Educational Services at Lake County Office of Education, announced Boomer’s selection on Wednesday.
Boomer will represent Lake County in the upcoming California Teacher of the Year competition.
Each year the school districts in the county select one exemplary teacher as their District Teacher of the Year. A committee of community leaders then interviews these candidates.
The criteria for selection of the Lake County Teacher of the Year is based upon the state and national requirements, which include professional development activities, commitment to the improvement of the educational system, personal attributes, creativity and ability to communicate ideas effectively, and professional skills in delivering curriculum and instruction to students.
This year’s selection committee members included Gill, along with Pamela Bordisso, Nyla Norris, Richard Smith and Wally Holbrook.
Boomer holds a degree from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, where she majored in agricultural education with a minor in forestry and natural resources.
For the past eight years she has been an instructor at Upper Lake High School, where she helped develop AESA, a California Partnership Academy, which is a hands-on interactive, academic approach to Alternative Energy and Sustainable Agriculture.
She started the ag program at Upper Lake Elementary School in 2005 and has successfully gained grant funds to establish the program.
“My students have found great success in the ag program,” she said. “Through my ROP Agricultural Mechanics class, students have had a part in building the school farm. They have learned construction principles while building the barn; they can build a fence, trench water lines, and weed-whack and rotor-till like champs!”
“Erica is more than just a teacher; she is the single reason why students succeed. Erica has that amazing ability to take her subject matter and make it come to life for her students,” said Patrick Iaccino, superintendent and principal of Upper Lake High.
Boomer best describes her passion for teaching. “Sometimes I wonder, ‘Why am I doing all of this?’ Then the bell rings and my students come in excited to see if the chicks have hatched yet, and I remember I am doing this because I love seeing the spark of interest in them. Agricultural education is more than growing food and fiber; it’s developing and nurturing a love for country life and respect for those around you. I love Lake County and I love my job.”
The outstanding district teachers of the year for 2013-14 are Travis Lyons, Konocti Unified School District; Sharon Olson, Kelseyville Unified School District; Louise Owens, Middletown Unified School District; Hank Smith, Upper Lake Union Elementary School District; Tresa Thorley, Lakeport Unified School District; and Doreen Walstad, Lucerne Elementary School District.
Boomer and the district teachers of the year will be honored for their exceptional achievement at an event this fall.
For more information on the upcoming award ceremony, please contact Shelly Mascari at the Lake County Office of Education, firstname.lastname@example.org .