Congratulations to our 2022 OC Teachers of the Year Nominees Cypress College Professor Tony Sanchez Duran, Fullerton College Professor Jodi Balma, and NOCE Professor Lee Lassetter!
Traditionally celebrated in person, this year, the nominees were surprised and honored by their colleagues on Zoom. These instructors were nominated by students at each of their campuses and selected to represent their institution as the District's nominees for the 2022 OC Teachers of the Year Program.
A 16 year Cypress College Professor, Sanchez Duran teaches Human Anatomy and Human Physiology to students pursuing careers in the healthcare industry, including our future nurses and doctors. A good teacher, in his opinion, is one who "helps students achieve their goals" and adjusts to meet their needs as much as possible. Professor Sanchez Duran sees his students as individual human beings first and asks them to do the same of him. By breaking down this barrier Sanchez Duran is able to better reach his students and serve as their guide, so that they can be active participants in their own learning.
Balma, Political Science Professor at Fullerton College, rose to the top among her peers with nominations from current and former students recognizing the positive impact she has made on their lives and academic journeys. Professor Balma is an adviser for the college's Queer People of Color and Political Science Student Associations, serving as a supportive mentor to her students. Her teaching philosophy centers on helping students understand the role they can play in their own communities and government.
Lassetter has taught Senior Chorus and Tone Chime Choir as an adjunct faculty member in NOCE's Emeritus Program since June 1995. Professor Lassetter's students characterize her as upbeat, patient, considerate, encouraging, and gracious. Lassetter's teaching philosophy is about more than just delivering the content; she strives to build relationships and involve her students in the community. Professor Lassetter and her students have shared their talents over the years with performances at various community centers, as well as faculty and staff holiday celebrations and Board of Trustees meetings.
Professors Sanchez Duran, Balma, and Lassetter will join nominees from 28 K-12 school districts, three regional occupational programs, and 10 community colleges in Orange County for a recognition banquet hosted by SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union on April 25, 2022 at the Disneyland Hotel.