Orange County Teachers of the Year


The Orange County Teachers of the Year (TOTY) program provides recognition for outstanding teachers in Orange County. 

Each school district may nominate one to three teachers (depending on district size). Each community college may nominate one teacher per accredited college. 

Candidates are honored at an annual recognition banquet hosted by the premier sponsor, SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union.

California Teachers of the Year

The five Orange County finalists who teach pre-kindergarten through grade 12 are eligible to compete in the California Teachers of the Year program. This prestigious statewide competition involves county offices of education nominating winners from their regional Teachers of the Year competitions. A state selection committee then reviews candidates' applications and conducts site visits for up to twenty applicants to evaluate the teachers' rapport with students, classroom environment, presentation skills, and teaching methods, among other criteria. A select group of up to ten teachers are interviewed by  California Department of Education representatives. The State Superintendent then names five teachers as California Teachers of the Year.

Congratulations to Gregory Paul Gardiner, a science teacher from Edison High School in the Huntington Beach Union High School District, who was named by the state Department of Education, as one of five 2018 California Teachers of the Year.

Two other Orange County teachers were semifinalists for the statewide honor. Congratulations to James Blackie, a science teacher at Horace Ensign Middle School in Newport-Mesa Unified; and Tiffany Badger, an English language development teacher at El Dorado High School in Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified.

For more information, click on the articles below.

For additional information, please contact Kristin Rigby at (714) 966-4435 or