Students name Teachers of the Year

Based on a survey of students, the Sonoma Valley Education Foundation has named Dave Neubacher, Kathy Eshelman, and Andy Gibson as Teachers of the Year.

Sonoma Valley High School’s Andy Gibson, who has been teaching for nine years, is Chief of the History Department and one of a dozen graduates who now work at the school. He attended Saint Mary’s College of California followed by Sonoma State University. Between 2005 and 2012 he coached the freshman football team at SVHS.

In survey comments, Gibson was described as, “very positive and enthusiastic about what he’s teaching. He seeks to understand our needs.” “He shows us that he cares about his students. He works very hard to make his class exciting.” “Mr. Gibson has been my favorite teacher of all time. He influenced my decision to be a history teacher.”

With 32 years in education, Kathy Eschleman is a favorite of students and staff. She has taught 6th-8th graders for the past 21 years. Kathy currently teaches an AVID class, 7th and 8th grade Language Arts, and Social Studies Projects for the multi-age program. She was instrumental in creating the multi-age program at Adele Harrison Middle School in 2001.

Students noted Eschleman as, “always excited to teach and she’s full of energy.” “Her activities made me like going to her class. Hands on activities were awesome.” “She made her class a great environment for learning. She was always supportive.”

Dave Neubacher teaches 5th grade at El Verano Elementary. He has taught every grade level (K to 6th) at El Verano, for 38 years. He is married and said he is proud to that he lives in the El Verano attendance area. All three of his children have attended El Verano School and his two grandchildren are El Verano students.

Neubacher’s former students said, “He was an amazing teacher who helped out on everything. He made school more fun.” “He cared about his students and showed us the importance of a healthy environment.” “He taught me to go after what I love and that there is always time.”

These teachers will be honored at the Red & White Ball on September 6.


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