Antioch School Board honors district 2020 Teacher of the Year Becky Barnett

Dallas Ranch Middle School teacher Becky Barnett is the Antioch Unified School District 2020 Teacher of the Year. Photo courtesy of Leslie Scudero.

But, she’s retiring so Runner Up Robert Vieira will represent the district and compete at the county level

Antioch Middle School teacher Robert Vieira. From AMS webpage.

By Allen Payton

During their online meeting on Wednesday, May 13, 2020 the Antioch School Board honored the district’s 2020 Teacher of the Year Becky Barnett and Runner Up Robert Vieira. Barnett is a teacher at Dallas Ranch Middle School and Vieira teaches at Antioch Middle School.

In an effort to acknowledge and honor the contributions, commitment, and excellence of its most outstanding teachers, the Antioch Unified School District participates in the Teacher of the Year program sponsored by the Contra Costa County Office of Education and the California Department of Education. Individuals selected as the District’s Teacher of the Year and Runner Up are initially nominated by their peers. After the District Teacher of the Year is selected, his or her application is forwarded to the Contra Costa County Office of Education for consideration as the 2020 Contra Costa County Teacher of the Year.

“Ms. Barnett’s passion for teaching…is second to none,” said Christine Ibarra, Associate Superintendent for K-12 Education Services. “I’m sending you a virtual hug and we’ll have a plaque for you in recognition.”

“Yeah, 39 and this is my last one and I’m going out with a bang,” said Barnett. “It’s bittersweet, really just to go out this way. I’ve been teaching 39 years and 38 in Antioch.”

“Wonderful, wonderful. On behalf of the board I’m very excited for you. Congratulations and best to you in your next chapter,” said Board President Diane Gibson-Gray.

“I will just say, when I started in this district 21 years ago, Becky, you were my idol,” said Superintendent Stephanie Anello. “You really are remarkable.”

Trustee Gary Hack said, “We shared a lot of jokes and good times. You’ve been a sweetheart from day one. You’ve done a lot of good work for kids over the years. Enjoy retirement.”

“Congratulations and I commend you for all your years of teaching,” said Crystal Sawyer-White.

“I can’t even tell you how honored I am to have you be our Teacher of the Year, not just for the site but for the district,” said DRMS Principal Bridget Spires. “You’ve helped so many students have success. I appreciate you, the staff appreciates you. We love you and wish you the best in retirement. But today is about congratulating you for your hard work.”

Mary Rocha said, “You’ve done a great job with the young people in giving them mentorship. You certainly are a person we admire.”

“I just want to thank you for your years of service,” said Trustee Ellie Householder.

In her bio on the district’s website, she wrote, “I have been teaching for 39 years, 17 of which have been here at Dallas Ranch.  I am currently teaching 6th grade students and all subject areas.  I have a cat, Felix.  I love teaching and really love being home with my critter.  Any questions, please email me or phone me at DRMS.”

Vieira was honored next.

“Mr. Vieira is a gamechanger for our site,” said Principal Lindsay Wisely.

“I’m extremely humbled,” Vieira said. “Thank you for those kind words. Coming over from a small district to a larger district has been a challenge. I’m just kind of blown away in this honor. So, thank you very much. I appreciate the respect and honor bestowed on me.”

“I came over from River Delta,” he said in a response to a question by Gibson-Gray. “I’ve been in Antioch…this will be the end of my fourth year.”

Each of the board members congratulated him.

“Let me just congratulate you for making the best decision in your life for coming to Antioch Unified School District,” said Anello. “I remember hearing about this new teacher at DRMS and all the wonderful things you’re doing. I’m still hearing about it. We’re so happy you’re here…and congratulations.”

“You build that trust and safety in the classroom,” he added.

“The next level is for the teacher of the year to be forwarded to the county,” said Ibarra. “Ms. Barnett, in her retirement has graciously decided to remain local. So, we will be forwarding Mr. Vieira to the county for consideration.” (See related article)

“It’s a great honor to be able to go on, so thank you,” Vieira added.

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Dallas Ranch Middle School teacher Becky Barnett AUSD 2020 Teacher of the Year


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Robert Vieira


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