Excelsior Middle School -2012 Winner
Kathy Tickner has taught art and drama at Excelsior Middle School in Byron since 1990. Her lively personality and gift for relating to students as individuals and involving them in the arts has had a significant and positive impact on her school.
Ms. Tickner started the school drama program. She has instituted an anti-bullying campaign on campus. She even volunteered in 2012 to be the after-school detention teacher so she could talk to kids there.
Ms. Tickner teaches seven different classes at Excelsior with 36 students each – 252 different middle schoolers, day in and day out. She builds a healthy classroom environment for her students – one where students can find trust, respect, laughter and camaraderie.
For students who come to school hungry, Ms. Tickner makes sure they are fed. For students who arrive feeling dis-spirited, she gives them a hug. And for students who come to school laden with troubles from home… she gives them an ear.
It’s little wonder she has twice been named the Byron Unified School District’s teacher of the year… and in 2007 was selected as Contra Costa County’s teacher of the year.