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July 5, 2011 > Diane Shepherd named Hayward Teacher of the Year

Diane Shepherd named Hayward Teacher of the Year

Story and photo by Robin Michel

Plans are underway to salute eighteen Alameda County educators at the Alameda County Office of Education's Annual Teacher of the Year event, which will be held October 6 at the Arts Education Center in San Leandro. Included in that select number, is third grade teacher Diane Shepard, who teaches at Bowman Elementary School in Hayward. In May, Hayward Unified School District recognized Shepard for this honor at a Board meeting where her colleagues, who nominated her for this well-deserved honor, turned out to cheer her on. Shepard was described as "the consummate educator" and lauded for her classroom management strategies, curriculum plans, and masterful teaching.

An educator for 32 years, Shepard volunteers her lunchtime to tutor students who have fallen behind in a particular area. Her class achieved the highest math scores on the 2008 STAR test of all of third grade classes in Hayward and she continues to run a strong math program.

"Diane is the kind of teacher who builds a strong community in the classroom, drawing students in with activities that include class songs, chants, and creative projects," said fellow educator Susan Day.

She gave examples of Shepard's extra effort, citing opportunities for students to decorate their own unique hats to wear for special events, take part in rich experiences, special field trips and plays, and how she provides "Lunch in the Garden" as a reward for students who have earned special time with their teacher.

In addition to providing extras for her students, Shepard has served on many school and District committees throughout the years, including the Curriculum Council, School Site Council, Amenities, and the Literacy Committee. Colleagues commend her "consistently high level of commitment, thoughtful suggestions, challenging questions, and willingness to take on extra work."

A leader and mentor to other Bowman teachers, Shepard keeps up with the most current research in order to find the most effective strategies and methods to assist her students' learning.

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