Sonoma County Office of Education


Bellevue teacher named County Teacher of the Year

05/22/2013 - Pattie DawsonSCOE today announced that Pattie Dawson, a second-grade teacher at Bellevue School in southwest Santa Rosa, has been selected as Sonoma County’s Teacher of Year. She was among a strong and highly competitive pool of candidates nominated for this recognition by their districts.

Pattie Dawson has been a teacher for 15 years and worked at Bellevue School throughout her tenure. She has shown extraordinary dedication and skill in her efforts to help narrow the achievement gap at her school, where 90 percent of students are economically disadvantaged and 75 percent are English learners. Her classroom is a place where creative, stimulating, and interactive learning takes place and she is highly resourceful in helping her students succeed.

In addition to her role in the classroom, Mrs. Dawson has consistently sought out opportunities to expand her expertise as a teacher and to serve as a “teacher leader” for her district. For the past three years, she has been a facilitator for Project LEAD, an initiative designed to improve mathematics instruction and achievement across the county. She has also served on a collaborative committee to create new standards for evaluating teachers at her district and is currently piloting new instructional programs aligned to the new Common Core State Standards. Mrs. Dawson has mentored new teachers in the district and served as advisor to student teachers from Sonoma State University.

Pattie Dawson was selected for the Teacher of the Year honor following a review of nominations and site validation visit. She will represent Sonoma County in the 2014 California Teacher of the Year program.

Other Finalists

Five other teachers were also recognized by the Sonoma County Teacher of the Year selection committee.

Dean Knight, Science Teacher (runner up)
Sonoma Valley High School, Sonoma Valley Unified

  • With over 40 years of teaching experience, Mr. Knight’s positive impact on students and his commitment to constantly reinvigorate learning by bringing new programs to his school and classroom are seen as hallmarks of an accomplished professional teaching career. He is also known for reaching out into the community to engage local experts in the education of his students.

Michelle Franci, Resource Specialist Teacher
Mark West Elementary School, Mark West Union

  • Ms. Franci has led the implementation of a blended service intervention model to address student needs and “catch them before they fail.” By collaborating with other teachers, she ensures that struggling students at her school have every opportunity to succeed.

Judy Sovel, Fifth-Grade Teacher
McNear Elementary School, Petaluma City Schools

  • Her conscientious attention to student progress, use of instructional strategies that reflect best practices, and support of 21st century learning skills have made Judy Sovel a beloved teacher and leader in her school and district.

Elizabeth Street, Eighth-Grade Teacher
Kenilworth Junior High School, Petaluma City Schools

  • Known as “Ms. Kenilworth” by her colleagues, Beth Street has demonstrated leading-edge knowledge and leadership in implementing the Common Core State Standards and effective instructional practices in mathematics.

Lynette Williamson, English Teacher
Analy High School, West Sonoma County Union High

  • A published author and staff developer, Mrs. Williamson delivers an engaging curriculum that balances literature, writing, and speaking. Her love of speech and debate inspires students in her popular rhetoric class and on the award-winning debate team.