San Diego Unified
Eugene Brucker Education Center is headquarters of the San Diego Unified School District. Photo via @KPBSNews

Three local educators representing schools throughout the city have been named the San Diego Unified School District’s 2023 Teachers of the Year, it was announced Friday.

Leann Samek from Audubon Elementary School, Lee Yepiz from DePortola Middle School and Trishaa Camp from Scripps Ranch High School are the 2023 honorees.

Jillian Salazar from Tierrasanta Elementary School, Julie Rick from Marshall Middle School and Laurisa Murray from Mira Mesa High School have been named this year’s runners-up. 

Officials named the honorees as part of National Teacher Appreciation Week, May 8-12, where educators will be celebrated at the Day of the Teacher ceremony on May 9. More than 150 Teachers of the Year from individual schools will also be recognized. 

“Every year in May, I am reminded of the immensely loving, caring, talented and dedicated educators we employ within San Diego Unified,” said Superintendent Dr. Lamont  Jackson. “It never ceases to amaze me how fortunate we are to be the home of so many life-changing educators.”

Teacher of the Year candidates go through a rigorous selection process, first being selected by the staff members at their school, then a panel including former Teachers of the Year.  San Diego Unified’s teachers of the year and runners-up may advance to compete for San Diego County Teacher of the Year honors.   

During Teacher Appreciation Week, San Diego Unified encourages the community to honor teachers by sharing a post, image or video of a special educator in their life. The district challenges San Diegans to thank a teacher either in person, or on social media using the hashtag #ThankATeacherSD. 

For information on this year’s winners and the San Diego Unified Teacher of the Year celebration, go to the district’s website.