April Egusquiza Finalist, San Joaquin County Teacher of the Year

April Egusquiza, a 27-year veteran educator, teaches first grade at Farmington Elementary School in Escalon Unified School District.

"I set the bar high for every student, regardless of who they are, where they come from, their level coming into my class."
"Every child has the bar set high for them. I just gently guide them along the path."
"Everyone has something to learn ..."
"If the bar is not set for them, they flounder. There has to be some sort of bar set ..."
"So, we celebrate the smallest of successes in the classroom ..."
"When there are struggles, there's just positive encouragement, which allows -- a lot of the time -- boulders for a student to shrink to pebble-size because they've had some small successes along the way ..."
"And you really have to sometimes look for those and find them and celebrate them."
"When I build a relationship with a student and their family, that relationship generally sets the bar for the accountability ..."
"When you've got the relationship, that bar just kind of sets itself in place."
April Egusquiza connects with students and families, and her own commitment to lifelong learning and self-improvement serves as a model to students, Farmington Principal George Megenney said when nominating her for Teacher of the Year. He also noted that she rose to the challenge when schools closed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"April has stepped up to the challenges of shifting learning from within the classroom into a virtual space. Her focus continues to be maintaining equity, using pre-established relationships with parents to ensure that her students receive and make best use of learning materials, and learning about the technological tools available to provide her with the means to continue positively impacting students."