Oak Ridge High School's Steve Seely is the best high school teacher in the state, according to the California League of High Schools.
Seely, a social studies teacher and tennis coach at the El Dorado Hills high school, has been been named Educator of the Year by the statewide organization.
The veteran reform-minded teacher said he's "embarrassed and shy" about the award.
"I've never been comfortable with the idea of teachers competing for awards ...," he said in a prepared statement. "Teaching is a democratic, egalitarian profession, and what I would highlight is that what teachers do is special. I feel honored to have the profession be honored."
Seely integrates technology into his courses, continually refines instructional strategies, mentors new teachers, facilitates professional learning meetings and instituted a service learning program that has been successful for two decades, according to a press release from the California League of Schools.
Before being bestowed with the state title, Seely was nominated by his principal and selected by a panel to be the Educator of the Year for District 3, which includes Alpine, Colusa, El Dorado, Nevada, Placer, Sacramento, Sierra, Sutter, Yolo and Yuba counties. He was then selected from among 90 educators statewide to be Educator of the Year.
Seely also has created over a dozen programs for a social studies publisher and has written books for coaches on valuing both winning and teaching life lessons.
He was honored at a dinner in Sacramento earlier this month.