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Leading the Learning Curve

 Grass Valley Elementary School Teacher Named
Alameda County Teacher of the Year


OAKLAND, CA -- Diana Culmer, a 2016 Oakland Unified School District Teacher of the Year, was announced as the Alameda County Teacher of the Year on Thursday, Oct. 6.


She was surprised during the 27th Annual Alameda County Teacher of the Year Award Ceremony hosted by the Alameda County Office of Education. Culmer now advances to the California State Teacher of the Year Competition.


“I was shocked but I’m also deeply honored to represent Oakland Unified School District because I think OUSD has the best students, staff, families and leadership,” said Culmer, who's taught 11 years in Oakland and 26 years overall. “This award is a collaborative effort because it took a whole team of people to make me the teacher I am today.”


Culmer is a 4th/5th grade special day class teacher at Grass Valley Elementary, and has worked in Oakland since 2006. She is passionate about helping her students grow into lifelong learners and supports them in exceeding their own expectations. Students in her classroom meet and even often surpass the achievement of general education classes at Grass Valley, growing three to four academic years in one school year.


Culmer’s commitment to the students of Oakland goes beyond her classroom. She is a teacher-leader at the district and school level, serving as a lead teacher for Special Education, the Blended Learning PLC, the school Leadership Team and much more.


“Diana’s dedication and leadership in the classroom provides the students and families in her school community with invaluable support,” said Supt. Antwan Wilson. “Diana is an example of always striving to do your best and her selection for this award represents the great work happening every day by our teachers across the district.“


Tina Byrd-Linarez, a TK/K teacher at Carl Munck Elementary, is the other 2016 OUSD Teacher of the Year, and was also eligible for selection to the county honor. Byrd-Linarez has worked in Oakland since 1996 and is a graduate of Skyline High School. 


Heading into the state competition, Culmer could join two other OUSD teachers to recently be named California Teachers of the Year - Ann Park (2015) and I’Asha Warfield (2013).


PICTURED: Above, Diana Culmer (middle with award) is gathered with (from left) Tina Byrd-Linarez; Supt. Antwan Wilson; and Devin Dillon, Deputy Superintendent, Academic Social Emotional Learning.


Diana Culmer, of Grass Valley Elementary School, is joined by Supt. Antwan Wilson after she received the Alameda County Teacher of the Year Award.