Sonoma County Teacher of the Year Meaghan King Recognized at SCOE
Herbert Slater Middle School educational specialist Meaghan King, who serves as a model and advocate for inclusive education, was celebrated on Sept. 28, 2023, as Sonoma County’s Teacher of the Year for the 2022-23 school year.
King has taught students who receive special education services at Herbert Slater since 2012 and chairs Santa Rosa City Schools’ Extensive Support Needs department, where she works with teachers who serve students with disabilities or special learning needs and require a high level of support.
"What Meaghan is presenting on Slater's campus is a work of art," said Katya Robinson, a program manager within the district’s Extensive Support Needs department. She cited King's leadership and status as a mentor for new teachers within her district and through the North Coast School of Education. NCSOE is a department of the Sonoma County Office of Education (SCOE) that operates state-approved credentialing programs and services for teachers and administrators across Northern California.
King underscored her commitment to cultivating inclusivity in her classrooms and across the broader school campus and district community in her application for the Sonoma County Teacher of the Year program. Her purpose as a teacher is to build a foundation that allows every student to attain success as an adult, she said.
“I attempt to foster a sense of belonging in my classroom with high standards and rigorous support,” King said in the application. “My students know they have the safety to be wrong, mistakes mean they are being ambitious and growing.”
Every year, SCOE names a local educator as Sonoma County’s Teacher of the Year. The program recognizes exemplary teachers who eﬀectively and creatively educate students to prepare them for future success. The winner of the local contest is celebrated during an award ceremony at SCOE and is subsequently nominated for the State of California's Teacher of the Year program. Awardees of the statewide contest will be announced in October.
SCOE additionally recognized a group of exemplary teachers as finalists in the Sonoma County Teacher of the Year program.
Coleen Bixby, a 6th-grade teacher at J.X. Wilson Elementary in the Wright Elementary School District, thanked her family "for their sacrifice in allowing me to do this job in the way I want to do it."
Windsor Middle School Principal Angela West said that when she thinks of Patricia Murphy, who teaches science and design and engineering classes at the school, "I think of good vibes and positivity for all of us who work with her, and her kids, as well."
Quinn Riggins, a 1st-grade teacher at Thomas Page Academy in the Cotati-Rohnert Park Unified School District, was described by Principal Lynzie Brodhun as "like a duck, paddling really hard under the surface of the water, but she and her kids are calm."
King and the three finalists each received a check from Community First Credit Union, with King receiving a check for $3,000 and each of the finalists receiving $1,500. Each teacher also received a bottle of wine from sponsor Kendall-Jackson.
Learn more about the Sonoma County Teacher of the Year program at scoe.org/toy.