News Releases
California State University, Sacramento

Posted: May 19, 1999

West Sac Educator Named CSUS Outstanding Alumni Teacher

Patty Waggoner-Yamat, who has taught first-grade in West Sacramento Schools for 38 years, has been selected the CSUS Outstanding Alumni Teacher.

She and other CSU alumni will be honored in Long Beach, Sept. 13-15, and throughout 1999-2000 as part of a year-long CSU theme of "Celebrating Teachers."

Waggoner-Yamat, a Sacramento native, teaches at Bryte Elementary School. She graduated from CSUS in 1961 and immediately went to work in West Sacramento's Washington Unified School District.

Her accomplishments include developing the district's mentor teacher program and being named the district's 1997 Teacher of the Year. Her work on Bryte School's Leadership Team is credited with helping the school earn a 1995 Distinguished School Award, a 1995 California and National Achieving School Award and a 1997 California Achieving Award. She is currently president of the Washington Teacher's Association.

But those who know her say that what truly distinguishes Waggoner-Yamat is her relationship with students. Every year former students return to visit her, and many insist that their children and grandchildren enroll in her class. She has even officiated at the weddings of two former students.

Diane Cordero de Noriega, dean of the CSUS College of Education, called Waggoner-Yamat a "special representative of the wonderful teachers educated at CSUS." Washington Unified Superintendent Dennis K. Kelleher wrote of her: "I have had the privilege to know hundreds of marvelous teachers, but none can surpass Patty."

"Celebrating Teachers" is the first in a planned series of themes recognizing the achievements of more than 2 million CSU alumni. Teachers are being recognized first because of the heritage of many CSU campuses as Normal Schools for future teachers. That tradition continues today, as the CSU system educates more than 60 percent of the state's schoolteachers.

In addition to the Outstanding Alumni Teachers, the CSU system will use "Celebrating Teachers" to honor its 29 alumni who have been named a California Teacher of the Year. Three CSUS graduates have earned the distinction; Michelle Craig of Yuba City in 1994, Vicky Vigario of Elk Grove in 1995 and Debbie Vigil of Natomas in 1999.

More information is available by contacting the public affairs office at 278-6156.


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