Temecula Valley Unified School District Superintendent Timothy Ritter was among nine educators who were honored Tuesday at the annual Celebrating Educators Luncheon in Palm Springs.
Ritter, who has served as the district's superintendent since 2010, has worked in the education field for 29 years, starting as a high school biology teacher and football/softball coach at Etiwanda and Rancho Cucamonga high schools. He also served as the principal of Chaparral and Great Oak High School in Temecula and assistant superintendent of education support services.
"I and every Great Oak graduate owe a great deal to Mr. Ritter," he said. "He created an environment that fostered our growth through synergy that will prepare us for any of the tumultuous twists and turns that life throws in our path."
Other honorees who were named the 2013 Riverside County Educators of the Year:
- Michael Fine, deputy superintendent of business and governmental relations at Riverside Unified School Distict
- Mary Walters, principal at Murrieta Mesa High School
- Neician (Nikki) Thaxton, administrative assistant at San Jacinto Unified School District
- Julie Roe Smith, instructional assistant at Orange Grove High School
- Donnette Tanner Wheat, speech and language pathologist at McKinley Elementary School
- Tim Bedley, a fourth and fifth grade G.A.T.E. teacher at Wildomar Elementary School
- Tommy Stokes, a ninth and 12th grade AVID teacher at Moreno Valley High School
- Amyleen Tuiza, special education teacher at Riverside County Office of Education