Chris Hansen, a Lincoln Middle School teacher, and I'Asha Warfield of the Oakland Unified School District were named Alameda County's Teachers of the Year Thursday night. Both will move on the compete for the California Teacher of the Year title.
The winners were announced during the Alameda County Office of Education's annual Teacher of the Year Award ceremony, which honored 19 teachers from school districts throughout Alameda County.
ACOE has also recognized Mr. Hansen for his anti-bullying work helping to spearhead the Wall Breakers Project for Lincoln Middle School and aiming to foster an accepting school environment where students safely address difficult issues of bias and discrimination.
Reflecting on his selection as an Alameda County Teacher of the Year, Hansen said, "It is truly humbling to be recognized by the County as Teacher of the Year.
"The message I’d like to share with this gathering of educators is ‘let’s open windows’ into our classrooms and build the infrastructure to help us learn from one another.
I decided to pursue the Teacher of the Year nomination process because I wanted to create more awareness about an anti-bullying program called The Wall Breakers Project. I wanted to share this project with other students, teachers, and schools. This project empowers students to find their voice and has made Lincoln Middle School a safer learning environment for all of our students.
"However, I know that my project is just one of many transformative initiatives developed by the teachers being honored here tonight as well as many others educators in Alameda County. The challenge, as I see it, is that some of the most innovative ideas are confined to the students in our own classrooms rather than being shared with others. We need to open those ‘classroom windows’ by developing an infrastructure, which might include peer observations, discussion boards, and workshops.
"We know that transformative projects we heard described tonight are changing students’ lives. The challenge is how we as teachers, administrators, and citizens can collaboratively work to promote the outstanding work that is happening in our county.”
Hansen teaches history, language arts and tolerance to seventh and eighth graders at Lincoln. He has coached Lincoln's boys basketball and Ultimate Frisbee teams, according to his district web page. He is a native of new York and a graduate of Skidmore College.
Hansen talks about teaching in this ACOE video on vimeo.com.
Alameda Unified School District selected Hansen as its district teacher of the year and its candidate for county and statwide awards. The award was announced at the May 22 Board of Education meeting.