East Bay school lays off their 'best' teacher

June 11, 2009 6:21:19 PM PDT
There was an emotional farewell to a California teacher of the year -- the "best of the best" being forced to leave her East Bay school.

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The kids practically exploded out of Bohannon Middle School in San Lorenzo Thursday; they could not contain their joy.

"Last Day of School," the sign in front of the school says, "Early Release."

It had a double meaning for eighth-grade teacher Samantha Terrasas. Make that, laid off eighth-grade teacher.

"As a beginning teacher, I know what to expect," Samantha said.

It is all about numbers. Samantha is not the only teacher laid off by the district, 70 received pink slips. But her story has an extra twist of irony, because just one month ago, the district gave her an award naming her "best new teacher of the year."

"That's my fighting thing; I keep thinking it will look fantastic on a resume, if people take the time to read my resume," Samantha said.

Packing up her room, Thursday, Samantha had help from her mom and dad. Joe and Ann are also teachers. The family profession has never seen tougher, leaner times.

"We have two daughters that are both in teaching; last week we moved out Stephanie and now this week we're moving out Samantha," Ann said.

So as the kids go off to vacation, roughly 20,000 of their newest, most inspired educators enter a summer of doubt. Samantha Terrasas will be among them -- the most outstanding new teacher who is now out of work.

"Well getting the job was easy, getting the next job is going to be hard," Samantha said.

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