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2022 District Teacher of the Year


Two Paso High faculty members receive recognition for their efforts brought to campus

Geoffrey Land, a PRHS social studies teacher of 25 years, won the District Teacher of the Year Award. Land also won the Teacher of the Year award held at PRHS on April 4 and had previously won in 2002 as well.

New counselor Cesar Barajas won Rookie of the year, who is heavily involved with the ELD population.


“I help with their academics, social emotional problems and career readiness, that’s college application or anything related to college”

Cesar Barajas

 Getting more ELD students involved around campus and making them feel comfortable have been two main goals of Barajas.

Through his efforts to incorporate more representation on campus he has created a club called Expedition club, anyone is welcome but is primarily ELD students, to get them more familiar with the area. He is constantly engaging with the students, by always going out to the classrooms, and checking in with students. One of his greatest accomplishments was bringing Loteria Night on campus where 25 families played against one another.

On the outskirts of the east side of Paso Robles: Pear Valley Winery; a ceremony for the District Employees of the Year 2022 was held on May 3. More than 100 attendees were there, all friends and family members of district employees that received some kind of recognition. Teachers were given speeches and later rewarded with plaques. Superintendent Jennifer Gaviola was the MC.

The event was only for teachers and their families from 5:00-7:00 p.m. The PRHS Jazz Band and choir performed throughout the night as wine and cheese were served.

Other district winners included: Damien Capalare won administrator of the year. Kelly Roth won support services. Jerome Jackson won Classified employee of the year.

Although very humbled by his recognition, Land also has mixed emotions, because he feels like teaching is a collaborative effort from teachers, students, and others in the community, not individuals.

The reason I am accepting that I’ve shared this in class is because I think it is a recognition that the work to address marginalized students like first year students, English learners, or dreamers who don’t even know if they can go to college, or students of color who are more internalized in the curriculum and in history, and progressive students who want to have their voice be heard, you know, at climate strike or other things that all the things that we’ve been doing that if it’s a recognition of that, then I say, great, I’m glad the district values that yeah, because that is important work.

Geoffrey land

Land & Gav selfie


“I’m very proud of Mr.Land not only for our school but as well as the district because he is a perfect example of a catalyst who is promoting and really making the change by taking action for all students and all groups who have for many years been marginalized and are now feeling represented. Not only in their homes but they bring that home and life culture and their stories to school and he is creating a platform and a microphone for us to voice that,” senior Jenny Ayala said.

Jenny Ayala

Junior Eder Velasco, student of Land for the past two years, Social studies and now Ethnic Studies states that Land has influenced him.


“He has helped me by helping me find out what I want to be when I am older and he’s helped teach me who I am.”

Eder Velasquez
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