Pitman High band teacher in Turlock wins award

naustin@modbee.comJune 19, 2013 

DN Pitman Band

DEBBIE NODA/dnoda@modbee.com Pitman band director Ruben Modesto at band practice. The Pitman High School band hope to raise funds to go to Washington D.C. to participate in the national Independence Day parade July 4. 2012. (10-17-11)

DEBBIE NODA — Modesto Bee Buy Photo

    alternate textNan Austin
    Title: Education reporter
    Coverage areas: K-12 education, Yosemite Community College District
    Bio: Nan Austin has been a copy editor and reporter at The Modesto Bee for 24 years. She has an economics degree from CSU Stanislaus and previously worked at the Merced Sun-Star and Turlock Journal.
    Recent stories written by Nan
    On Twitter: @nanaustin
    E-mail: naustin@modbee.com

— Pitman High School band teacher Ruben Modesto hit a high note, winning the Comcast SportsNet 2013 All-Star Teacher Award on Wednesday 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, after he was 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 schedule 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 www.csnbayarea.com/article/comcast-sportsnet-announces-2013-all-star-teacher-award-winner.

Bee education reporter Nan Austin can be reached at naustin@modbee.com or (209) 578-2339, on Twitter, @NanAustin, www.modbee.com/education.

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