2016-17 Teachers of the Year


    Oakland Unified School District has named Tina Byrd-Linarez, of Carl Munck Elementary School, Diana Culmer, of Grass Valley Elementary School, and Randy Porter, of Westlake Middle School, as the 2016 OUSD Teachers of the Year.


    We applaud these teachers for their dedicated service and support to OUSD's vision that every student graduate ready for success in college, career, and community.

  • Tina

    Tina Byrd-Linarez
    Carl Munck Elementary School


    Tina Byrd-Linarez is a TK/K teacher at Carl Munck Elementary and has worked in Oakland since 1996.


    Tina, a graduate of Skyline High School, considers herself the "lead learner" in her classroom and demonstrates to her students the benefits of inquiry, curiosity and lifelong learning.


    Her aim is to ensure that our youngest learners - and their parents - understand the importance of a quality education and the feel success that it can bring. To support her students and families she brings the world to her classroom, making connections for students to attend Art and Science focused summer camps, exhibiting their artwork in Oakland Art Galleries. 


    Tina also helps families open bank accounts to begin saving for college.

    DC TOY

    Diana Culmer
    Grass Valley Elementary School

    Diana Culmer is a 4th/5th grade special day class teacher at Grass Valley Elementary and has worked in Oakland since 2006.


    Diana is committed to 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.


    Diana'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 PEC, the Blended Learning PLC, the school ILT and much more.

    Randy Porter Randy Porter with students
    Westlake Middle School

    Randy Porter is the music director at Westlake Middle School. He has been active in the Bay Area music community for over 30 years, as both an educator and a performer.  

    As an instrumental music teacher, Mr. Porter is known for his innovative teaching methods. He has presented numerous workshops for his fellow educators on the subject, and his students have been invited to demonstrate and perform at functions across the country.


    In 2000, Mr. Porter decided to work full time at Westlake Middle School, which didn't have a music program. He has served as music director at Westlake ever since. Randy's students have received many awards over the years and Westlake now has a formidable list of alumni who have forged careers as high level musicians. While working at Westlake, Randy has been instrumental in the creation of the annual OUSD Jazz Festival, String Festival, and Honor Band, and he also created and served as director of Big O, the big band of OUSD Music Teachers.