School: Newark Junior High School
District: Newark Unified School District
County: Alameda County
Region: Northern California
Grade: Elementary School, Middle School, High School
Subject: Science, Physical Education
Award Year: 2012
“Students need to feel connected to their teacher, which makes them brave, enthusiastic, and eager to learn.” — Tom Collett, from his 2012 California Teachers of the Year application
Mr. Collett taught Earth Science for 17 years at Newark Memorial High School, and then moved to Newark Junior High school where he taught Physical Science for seven years. He is now teaching elementary physical education at Lincoln Elementary School in Newark, California.
An eclectic mix of magician and scientist, Mr. Collett keeps his students actively engaged through a treasure trove of strategies that include hands-on learning and the use of new educational technology, like a student response system where responses to questions are sent directly to his computer.
Superintendent Torlakson: “Tom is a wonderfully effective teacher who employs a wide array of teaching techniques tailored to increase student motivation, achievement, and engagement. I appreciate his remarkable ability to prepare students for an increasingly competitive, scientific world.”
Tom Collett earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Performance with a minor in Biology from California State University, San Jose; and a Clear Single Subject Credential in Physical Education with Supplementary Authorization in Introductory Science.