Ygnacio Valley High School engineering teacher Joseph Alvarico has been named one of five 2024 California Teachers of the Year.

California State Superintendent of Schools of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced the honors on Tuesday.

“I am proud that one of our Contra Costa County teachers of the year has been named one of the state’s top educators,” Contra Costa County Superintendent of Schools Lynn Mackey said, in a statement. “Joseph is a great example of the high-quality teaching and learning going on in Contra Costa County schools every day and it’s a great honor for him to be selected as a California Teacher of the Year.”

“Congratulations to him, his colleagues and MDUSD for the support they have given him throughout this process and his career.”

Alvarico is the only Northern California teacher to receive the honor this year, as the other four teachers reside in Los Angeles and Santa Barbara counties. He was named a Contra Costa County Teacher of the Year in September and one of Mt. Diablo Unified School District’s Teachers of the Year this past spring.

“I am both thrilled and humbled at the same time to have been selected as one of the 2024 California Teachers of the Year,” Alvarico said, in a statement. “This distinction is a reflection of the long hours and unwavering commitment that I have put into my teaching career.

“My gratitude extends to multiple people in my life who have guided me along my professional path and supported my classroom every step of the way. Maraming salamat sa inyong lahat! Without you, I wouldn’t be able to give my students the greatest service that I possibly could. I am excited to continue making a positive impact on the lives of my students, our local community, and the educational world at large.”

Born in the Philippines to a family of educators, Alvarico has a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and a Bachelor of Secondary Education degree.

I am excited to continue making a positive impact on the lives of students, our local community, and educational world at large.

Joseph Alvarico, one of california's 2024 teachers of the year awardee

After immigrating to the United States, he has spent many years instructing middle school and high school students in the subject of robotics at Mt. Diablo Unified School District. With his on-the-job experience in the tech industry, he combines real world experiences into his lessons while also focusing on community building with his students.

The district said Alvarico “strives to show all his students their potential and the possibilities available when they leave high school, no matter their economic status.”

The Contra Costa County Office of Education nominated Alvarico through its county-level competition. The California Department of Education says the selection committees reviewed applications; evaluated teachers’ rapport with students and their classroom environments, presentation skills, and teaching techniques; and interviewed the teachers.