The Heritage School’s Todd Anton is among 27 nominees, representing 12 school districts, for San Bernardino County’s 27th annual Education Medal of Honor Award.
Recognizing individuals, groups, businesses and partners for their outstanding support of public education in San Bernardino County, the Education Medal of Honor, will ultimately be awarded to six recipients, and those honorees will be announced at the spring meeting of the County School Boards Association in April.
Nominees for the Education Medal of Honor can be selected for each one of six categories – Volunteer in Action/Community Volunteer; Volunteer in Action/Service Group; Partners in Education/Small Business or Franchise; Partners in Education/Corporation or Government Agency; Excellence in Education/Education Professional; and Excellence in Education/Student Alumni.
Judges from Riverside County who work in school public relations will select this year’s Education Medal of Honor recipients. The six recipients of the award will be honored at a banquet on April 30 at the Sierra Lakes Golf Club in Fontana.
Anton, the US History teacher at Heritage School in Phelan, is well-known for his love of the Constitution and for teaching civics to his students. Last year, his students held the 22nd annual “We the People” civics program which is affiliated with the Center for Civics Education, a bipartisan program to educate students in American civics and government. “We the People” is a public speaking event for 8th grade students in front of a panel of judges. Students learn about the foundations of our government, and our founding documents.
Anton serves as advisor to the Builders Club, a youth service organization sponsored by the Kiwanis. Under his direction, students are excited to learn about veterans’ issues, and to help make their lives better. The annual Veterans’ Dinner and the recent dedication of a Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial Plaque on the Heritage campus are just two examples of projects dear to Anton’s heart. His enthusiasm is contagious, and students are eager to get involved, following his lead.
According to Dan Evans, County Superintendent of Schools Communications Manager, Heritage Principal Shawn Premo nominated Anton for the award.
Among other qualifications for the award, Mr. Premo cited Todd’s strong passion for teaching history, and his work in the community to support veterans, including the longtime Veterans Dinner event held at Serrano High School in November.
Todd is indeed passionate about teaching. In a recent email communication, he commented, “I get to spend time with some great kids who teach me to love, laugh, care and forgive better than any adult can. I get many former students who visit and that’s the best. It very satisfying and is more enriching to me than any award or salary. My students and families here at Heritage mean so much to me. It’s a second home. I’m here enough; ask my own kids! Teaching is a mission, not a job.”
Surprised and honored by his nomination, Todd recognized his colleagues, “I was touched since I know so many other teachers in Snowline serve, sacrifice, and put the needs of others ahead of themselves every day too. I’ve seen sacrifice from my colleagues at Heritage and throughout Snowline that are remarkable. We have amazing teachers and I learn from them all the time.”
Todd has been teaching for 27 years, five of those were at Pinon Mesa Middle School, and he’s been at Heritage for the past 22 years. He said he would love to teach high school one day, as his passion is WWII history, which is taught at the high school level. Todd is also a huge Dodgers fan, and enjoys spending time at the stadium, watching his team, “destroy the SF Giants!”
Asked how he feels about the nomination, Todd answered candidly, “Such recognition is nice since in education we really do not get see the end results of our efforts. When a person builds a house, you see the house. When you teach you just see the student for that season and you end up wondering if you made a difference or what they became as they grow up or move away. I guess the most prized section in my classroom is the collage of student pictures over the years they’ve given me. When I get frustrated I go over to that wall look at the faces of years gone by and I know that choosing to teach is worth it. “You don’t have to have money to be rich.”
Serving Wrightwood, Phelan, Pinon HIlls and West Cajon Valley Since 1961