Mission Elementary’s Crystal Van Dyke is Antioch Teacher of the Year

Runner up is Nicole Matsutani of John Muir Elementary

Crystal Van Dyke 2021 AUSD Teacher of the Year. Photo: AUSD

By AUSD

The Antioch Unified School District 2021 Teacher of the Year is Crystal Van Dyke.  Mrs. Van Dyke was nominated by a fellow Mission colleague who opened his recommendation with, “Crystal is the straw that stirs the drink, the glue that holds everything together for us.  She has been a godsend for us during this distance learning, not only keeping us together and focused with our teaching but also troubleshooting all of the technical issues that we and our students have.”

As amazing as Mrs. Van Dyke has been in supporting the Mission staff, she goes above and beyond her own classroom and school walls to support the district at large.  Mrs. Van Dyke actively serves as a mentor in our pre-induction programs, and she is an outstanding professional developer who always steps up to the plate and provides engaging and relevant workshops and support sessions for all AUSD teachers.  She leads our elementary SETLs with grace and confidence, has been the key person for Seesaw support for the entire district, and will undoubtedly be the go-to for state testing this spring for all elementary teachers and administrators.

Beyond her incredible support skills, Mrs. Van Dyke is an incredible classroom teacher.  She makes lifelong connections with her students, with many coming back to visit her years after leaving her classroom and Mission.  Crystal never gives up on students and is a shining example of an educator who truly believes “all students can learn.” She is rigorous, caring, engaging, and most importantly she’s the role model so many of our students need in their lives.

Nicole Matsatani 2021 AUSD Teacher of the Year Runner Up. Photo: AUSD

This year’s runner-up for Teacher of the Year is Nicole Matsutani.  Ms. Matsutani is a K-2 Special Day Class Teacher at John Muir Elementary.  Nicole Matsutani began at Muir as a Resource Teacher.  During the 2019-20 school year, Nicole moved over to become Muir’s K-2 SDC teacher.  Nicole grew as a teacher during this time, adjusting to working with students across the spectrum, including mild/moderate students to students with extreme learning difficulties.  With the arrival of COVID-19, Nicole continued to engage deeply with her students and families.  Nicole goes above and beyond what is required of her.  With empathy and love, she makes sure her student have the supplies, work, and other necessities designed to meet the students’ IEP goals.  Nicole is caring, hardworking, and extremely dedicated to her craft.  Each student’s success is her number one priority, so much so that Nicole spends long hours lesson planning, developing IEPs , and reaching out to families daily.  Nicole’s sweet and outgoing demeanor brings warmth to all who encounter her.  She is always optimistic and seeks positive outcomes in any situation.  Nicole’s knowledge and passion for the classroom and students with disabilities truly make her a valued member of Muir’s staff and a proud AUSD employee.

There were so many wonderful nominees, it was extremely difficult to narrow down the list of finalists and even more difficult to select the Teacher of the Year and Runner-Up.  Please join AUSD in congratulating these exemplary educators!

 

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Nicole Matsatani Runner Up 2021 AUSD TOY


Crystal Van Dyke 2021 AUSD TOY


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