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downloadRISMEDIA (June 18, 2013) – Better Homes and Gardens Mason-McDuffie’s Education Foundation honored 52 outstanding teachers from the Northern California communities that are served by its offices. The company hosted three grant ceremonies. The East Bay event held on May 17th in Martinez honored 32 teachers. Families, peers, community leaders and BHG agents honored the teachers at the Foundation’s 21st annual ceremony.

“The Education Foundation began in 1992 with a vision to honor teachers for their tireless work on behalf of our children, our schools and our communities,” said Kathy Ollerton, Executive Director of Charities.  With this year’s grants, the Education Foundation has awarded more than $818,000 in grants to 1,365 exceptional elementary, middle and high school teachers since its inception.

 This year’s award recipients are:

 Anne Geis, Bay Farm Elementary, Alameda

Taj Simmons, Ruby Bridges Elementary, Alameda

Lisa Shurtz, King Middle School, Berkeley

Marlo Wawrburton, Longfellow Middle, Berkeley

Laurie Laprade, Heritage High School, Brentwood

Tyler Rust, Heritage High School, Brentwood

Erica Bauuan, Canyon Middle School, Castro Valley

Shauna Shoptaw, Canyon Middle, Castro Valley

Joy Supplee, Concord High, Concord

Erik Bertelson, Wells Middle School, Dublin

Adam Gelb, Fallon Middle School, Dublin

Thomas Birbeck Hopkins Junior High, Fremont

Shiloh Burton, Irvington High, Fremont

KayMaria Daskarolis, Hayward High, Hayward

Victoria Schmidt, Ochoa Middle School, Hayward

Michael Meneghetti, Stanley Middle, Lafayette

Colin Dean, Livermore Valley Charter Prep, Livermore

Tom Jones, Granada High, Livermore

Suzanne Fischer, John Swett Elementary, Martinez

Rona Zollinger, New Leaf Collaborative, Martinez

Serina Culleton, Donald Rheem Elem., Moraga

Perry Bellow-Hanelman, Coliseum College Prep.

Kris Bradburn, Oakland School of Arts, Oakland

Cava Menzies, Oakland School of Arts, Oakland

Devin Carberry, ARISE High, Oakland

Mary Kelly, ARISE High, Oakland

Lynn Cronin, Walnut Grove Elementary, Pleasanton

Sarah Hillegass, Mira Vista, Richmond

Kristi Draluck, Prestwood Elementary, Sonoma

Monica Schoonmaker, Buena Vista, Walnut Creek

Beth Upland, Buena Vista, Walnut Creek

Andrew Schreiber, Las Lomas High, Walnut Creek

“The grantees are teachers who made an exceptional contribution to their students during the past year,” added Ollerton. “This is our opportunity to acknowledge their effort with grants that will help them continue their great work,” she added.

Each year, teachers receive $600, which they can use however they like. The Education Foundation grants do not come from corporate funds, but directly from the personal donations of the REALTORS®, owners, managers and staff as a way of acknowledging and thanking teachers in their communities.

To nominate a favorite teacher for 2014, visit our website at under ‘About Us.’ The company will begin accepting nominations for 2014 beginning in January of 2014.

About Better Homes and Gardens Mason-McDuffie Real Estate

Our heritage began with the founding of Mason-McDuffie Real Estate in 1887. In 2010, the company was named the 19th largest real estate services firm in the nation (REALTrends 500), and Number Two in the San Francisco East Bay (SF Business Times). The company provides comprehensive solutions to home buyers and sellers, and handled 6,500 transactions in 2012, generating $2.8 billion in sales volume. Better Homes and Gardens Mason-McDuffie Real Estate includes joint ventures with partners Highland Partners in Piedmont and Montclair, Wine Country Group Realtors in the North Bay, and Tri-Valley Realty in Pleasanton-Hopyard and Ruby Hill, and Bahay Co. in Concord. Better Homes and Gardens Mason-McDuffie Real Estate is locally owned and has more than 1,200 real estate professionals with 30 offices in eight counties in the Bay Area and the Tahoe/Truckee region. For more information, go to