Updated October 2 @ 12:35 p.m.
Joey Sutera of Santee's Carlton Oaks School is among 42 public-school teachers to be honored as 2012 San Diego County Teachers of the Year nominees.
The nominees will be honored at a black-tie, Academy Awards-style ceremony Saturday at Balboa Theater in downtown San Diego this weekend.
The top prize: being named one of five county Teachers of the Year.
The 22nd Annual Cox Presents: A Salute to Teachers—sponsored by Ashford University and others—ultimately recognizes the county's 26,000 public school teachers, organizers say.
This is Sutera’s ninth year as a teacher at Carlton Oaks School. He was first introduced to the Santee school as a student teacher while earning his credential at San Diego State University.
Sutera was also named one of nine Santee School District 2012 Teachers of the Year in the spring.
“I get to see a lot of laughter and smiles and a lot of tiny victories all the time,” said Sutera in a 2011 profile on his teaching published at Santee Patch
“This makes them (his students) happy, and it makes them smile, and it makes them confident and it wears off on me. It makes me happy, and it makes me smile and it makes me confident," he said.
One of the special things he does with the students involves bringing music to the classroom.
“Music is one of the few things that I want to do in my off time, and if I can bring it here to the classroom and share that passion and knowledge and inspire some of these students to go on and be musicians, that’s probably better than me doing it myself,” Sutera said.
In 2011, Carlton Oaks Principal Stephanie Pierce praised Sutera’s creativity.
“He’s just one of these individuals that’s not only a natural with kids and a natural in the classroom, but he has compassion and a passion for learning,” Pierce said.
Promoters of the award ceremony say: “San Diego County school districts have nominated 42 of their best and brightest teachers, who were selected based on student achievement, teaching philosophy, familiarity with current issues in education and community involvement.”
Five Teachers of the Year will be announced during the live awards show.
These five will go on to compete for state and national Teacher of the Year honors.
This year’s event will feature musical and dance performances by local students and videos that highlight “the wonderful work our local teachers perform each and every day,” promoters say.
The show will be on Channel 4 San Diego and in high definition on Channel 1004.
Sutera was featured in the Santee Patch "Schooling Santee" column in 2011
Correction: An earlier version of this article stated the award ceremony had already been held, in fact it happens this weekend and Joey Sutera is still in the running to be a 2012 San Diego County Teacher of the Year.
Kristina Houck contributed to this story