A Pitman High School teacher is in the finals to be named an “All-Star Teacher” on-field at a San Francisco Giants game, earning a $20,000 prize for the school in the process.
And at 6:30 p.m. tonight, he will be a featured guest on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area's “Giants Pregame Live.”
Ruben Modesto, the band director at Pitman High School, is one of just five finalists for the “All-Star Teacher Award” – and the only finalist from the Central Valley. No Central Valley teacher has ever won the award.
But Modesto deserves to break that trend, students told Comcast SportsNet, because of his dedication. He drives students to competitions, stays after class to help them practice, and helps them become better performers.
“Because he is so dedicated, and he really wants to help everyone,” said student Trevor Speckman. “And it's not like he comes here because he has to. He really wants to be here and wants to help everyone progress with their music.”
Modesto has taught for 13 years, building the Pitman High School music program into one of the region's finest. In 2012, Modesto led the Pitman Marching Pride band to Washington, D.C., where they participated in the prestigious National Independence Day Parade.
And it's not just music that his students are learning, according to Pitman High School Principal Rod Hollars.
“Not only has he made them a better musician,” Hollars said. “He's made them a better person”
Modesto takes little credit for his students' successes, turning the focus on his pupils' hard work.
“I try to put them into positions to be successful,” Modesto said.
Modesto faces stern competition in his quest to win the seventh annual “All-Star Teacher Award,” presented by Comcast SportsNet and Provident Credit Union: Aaron Colacion of Richmond's John F. Kennedy High School; Jessica Lee of Berkeley's Willard Middle School; Dan Kirwan of San Jose's Ida Price Middle School; and, Bridgit McGarry of San Jose's Sacred Heart Nativity Schools.
The five finalists were selected by a panel of Oakland A's, San Francisco Giants, BART, Comcast SportsNet, and Provident Credit Union executives, from hundreds of nominees.
The winner will be announced June 19, on-field at AT&T Park in San Francisco, prior to a Giants/Padres match-up.
To see Modesto on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area's “Giants Pregame Live” at 6:30 p.m. tonight, prior to the San Francisco Giants' game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, tune to channel 29 on Charter cable, channel 696 on DirecTV, or channel 419 on Dish Network.
For more information on Modesto, visit http://www.csnbayarea.com/page/ruben-modesto-all-star-teacher-finalist.
To vote, text “Modesto” to 82653, or vote online at CSNBayArea.com/allstarteacher2013. Voting concludes on June 2.