BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — The Kern County Superintendent of Schools has announced their 2020-21 Teachers of the Year. 

This year’s finalists are first-grade teacher Jolie Brouttier from Downtown Elementary, physical education teacher Richard Ribaudo from Sierra Middle School and English teacher Jason Spitzer from Desert Junior-Senior High School in Muroc.

“These amazing honorees represent excellence in teaching from Kern’s school districts and are reflective of the education heroes who are working diligently to continue to help our students achieve during these unprecedented times,” said Malaika Bryant, director of Educator Development & Data Support at KCSOS. 

The three are now eligible to apply for the California Teacher of the Year program. The two most competitive applications as determined by the Kern County Teacher of the Year Selection Committee will be submitted to the California Department of Education to be considered for the statewide honor, KCSOS said. 

The winners received a cash award of $500 and an engraved plaque, and all 48 of the district honorees received engraved plaques and certificates.

Normally, Teachers of the Year are announced at an in-person celebration at the Bakersfield Museum of Art, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the physical event was canceled this year and there was a virtual presentation instead.