Pitman High teacher wins Comcast prize

naustin@modbee.comJune 19, 2013 

— Pitman High band teacher Ruben Modesto hit a high note, winning the Comcast SportsNet 2013 All-Star Teacher Award this afternoon. “Ruben’s at the Giants’ game — he won! He’s doing handstands!” said Rod Hollars, principal of the Turlock school.

Modesto won a $20,000 donation for the school, chosen out of 300 nominated middle and high school teachers across Northern and Central California. Five finalists were nominated for overall commitment, excellence in teaching, rapport with students, and level of distinction.

This year’s five finalists were Modesto; Aaron Colacion of John F. Kennedy High School in Richmond; Jessica Lee of Willard Middle School in Berkeley; Dan Kirwan of Ida Price Middle School in San Jose and Bridgit McGarry of Our Lady of Grace Nativity Schools in San Jose.

The selection depended on online votes, something silicon valley districts normally sweep, Hollars said. He gave a shout-out to the contest at this year’s commencement.

Modesto kept up his high-energy teaching style and full schedules despite a family medical emergency this year, Hollars said. “It couldn’t have happened at a better time to a better guy,” he said.

“If I’m ever going to toot somebody’s horn, it’d be his.”

See the award being given at the Comcast website.

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