Sherri Shepherd of “The View” will host this year’s “Salute to Teachers,” but the real star of the show will be Satya Meyer Fleck, the Valley Center High School English teacher who will be named a Teacher of the Year.
The 25th annual gala salute to San Diego County’s 26,000 teachers will be televised on San Diego NBC Channel 4 live from the Balboa Theatre on Saturday, October 10 at 8 p.m.
Fleck has to be unique among the winning teachers. As a child she started school late, very late. She grew up in rural Plummer, Ida. “My parents did their best, but the were not very dedicated to seeing that I got the schooling.”
“I didn’t get to go to school until I was the age of a seventh grader,” she said.
She was put in the sixth grade class not knowing how to read.
“I mean the second I got there, even though it was tough, really not knowing how to read, really embarrassed and doing all the coping strategies not to embarrass myself, I knew right away that education was where it’s at,” she said.
She learned fast and soon excelled in school. She attended MiraCosta College in Encinitas and earned a Bachelors degree and a teaching credential at Cal State San Marcos.
She brings to bear technology and modern teaching methods in her English classes at Valley Center High. Armed with iPads and graphic interface software, Fleck’s students are busy, probing and eager to learn.
“I use a lot of collabortive learning, really. Students work together with different pairs and groups. Helpful strategies like using graphic organizers,” she said. “We definitely use the technology to their advantages.”
She described an exercise in which students were called on to find clues to a puzzle using “context clues” in sentences. Students began to find the answers and she then paired up students to work on further solving the problem.
“They’re working with one another, learning from one another, while I’m guiding them, of course,” she said.
“I’m also having them reflect on their own learning, analyzing whether they did well on that and (asking themselves), what do I need to grow on for the next time and this is what I’ll try to be better at,” she added.
Fleck received Valley Center High’s awards for “Dream Team” Collaboration, “Android Technology” “21st Century Technology” and the “Willy Wonka” honor for creative teaching.
About the Android award, she said she “was not the greatest” at technology, “but I know kids enjoy it and get a lot from it. I made it available to them so they could use different apps and websites.”
“Cox Presents: A Salute to Teachers” will spotlight five winning teachers, who were chosen from 44 nominations from San Diego County school districts. The top five teachers are selected based on student achievement, professional development of the teaching profession, accountability and ability to serve as ambassadors of education.
Sherri Shepherd, who will emcee the show, won an Emmy for daytime talk-show host on “The Veiw” and has appeared on “Dancing With the Stars,” and played Tracy Morgan’s wife on “30 Rock.” Joining her as hosts will be Kyra Phillips, CNN correspondent from San Diego, and veteran San Diego broadcast journalist Dennis Morgigno.
The Salute to Teachers has won more than 20 Emmy Awards for Channel 4 San Diego. The live show is backed by San Diego County Credit Union and produced by Cox Communications in cooperation with the San Diego County Office of Education.