Meet Fresno County's Educator of the Year

CENTERVILLE, Calif.

Hundreds of people came together Tuesday night to celebrate the best of our Valley's richest resource -- our educators.

Sanger Unifed Teacher, /*Jill Delano*/, took home the honor at Fresno County's annual Educator of the Year awards.

After visiting her classroom at Centerville School, it's easy to see why Principal Lisa Houston nominated Delano and why she was chosen as the top teacher out of 32 school districts. "Jill has been a phenomenal force at our site. Nine years ago we were slipping into P.I. Status and Jill helped us recognize that and now we're one of the top schools in the country."

Delano brings a certain enthusiasm and love for learning into the classroom.

Delano said, "I expect every child that walks through that door, whether they speak English, whatever their background is - I have the same expectations."

She started teaching nearly 40 years ago, first as a first and second grade teacher, then kindergarten. Now she works as a part time intervention instructor - focusing on helping at-risk kids become successful students.

"When you see these little kids come and hang on those poles there and I have to pry them off screaming and yelling, and I get them in here and on the last day they go marching out there with their stories they've written in hand. I see that change and I cannot do that without a chill every year."

It's that "chill" - she says - forced her out of retirement last year and back into the classroom - working in a profession she loves.

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