​​Placer County Teacher of the Year​ Awards Program

Each year, the Placer County Office of Education honors three Teachers of the Year – Elementary School, Middle School and High School – through a process that highlights educational innovation, student learning, a commitment to professional development and empathy for all students to ensure equity in education. Further, the program highlights the positive aspects of our educational system.

This year, 19 teachers from all across the county were nominated from their respective districts, making this year the highest number of nominations in the history of the recognition program.

"Teachers like these are what makes Placer County gold in education," said Placer County Superintendent of Schools Gayle Garbolino-Mojica.

Learn more about the statewide program at https://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/sr/ct/.

Congratulations to our 2019 Teachers of the Year:

Ashley Rue

First Grade at Blue Oaks Elementary School
Roseville City School District

Ms. Rue has a strong passion for education and it shows in her interactions with her students, aides, administration and with parents. She is described as a patient mentor for her students who helps them discover gems of wisdom within themselves. She is intentional in her approach to learning and has the ability to recognize when a change is needed to meet the needs of every student. She seeks out and adapts to the diversity of learners in her classroom and strongly believes in the importance of social emotional learning.

Ms. Rue has a growth mindset based on the philosophy that “we should be better teachers today than we were yesterday.” She continues to seek out new strategies, tools and tactics. She attends professional development workshops, contributes to her Professional Learning Community of first grade teachers and takes time during her prep period to observe other teachers in order to gain new insights into instruction. Additionally, she organizes a writers workshop for students and directs the school musical with enthusiasm.

John-Paul Gonzalez
Middle School
Physical Education, Placer Elementary School (K-8)
Loomis Union School District


By all accounts, Mr. Gonzalez beat the odds. He had a tough upbringing and couldn’t read until third grade. But, with the support from a caring mentor and teacher, he eventually went on to earn a master’s degree in adaptive physical education which has become his life’s passion. Mr. Gonzalez believes anything is possible if you work hard, believe in yourself and strive to get better – and that’s the message he brings to his students each and every day.

Mr. Gonzalez has a strength for boosting student confidence and independence, and focuses on building student character. He understands the connection between physical activity and learning and strives to ensure class activities are adaptive to meet the needs of all students.

In addition to leading the Loomis Union School District physical education department and peer mentor program, Mr. Gonzalez also coaches more than eight sports and volunteers his time serving students with disabilities throughout the community. Specifically, Mr. Gonzalez leads a team of middle school students each year to volunteer as student coaches for the Jessie Baker School Special Olympics in Elk Grove. Students describe this as a life-changing experience.


Erin Granucci
High School

Science and Project Lead The Way, Roseville High School
Roseville Jount Union High School District

 With more than two decades in the classroom, Ms. Granucci describes herself as a life educator rather than a teacher. Through the Project Lead the Way (PLTW), she sees her students develop, grow and thrive not only in the classroom, but in their self-esteem, confidence and ability to make an impact in the world. She takes every opportunity to mold coursework fit into real-world experiences through project-based learning. Her students come into the classroom, put on their lab coat and “go to work.” She provides her students with instruction and guidance, but then gives them room to explore concepts and experiment with their own solutions. In fact, one of her students has already been offered a career internship after graduation for their work in assessing art therapy for Alzheimer’s patients.

“I am amazed at what my students accomplish and the innovative and creative ideas they come up with in order to solve today's medical problems and to make our future better,” said Ms. Granucci.