Originally published May 28, 2019 by the East Bay Times.
By Roni Gehlke
What better way is there for a physical education teacher to celebrate being appreciated as a teacher of the year than having a free day at a baseball game?
Earlier this month Pittsburg Unified School District and Pittsburg High School Teacher of the Year Maureen Mattson had a chance to hang out on the field during batting practice with the San Francisco Giants. The event was part of the Giants’ Teacher Appreciation Day. All the instructors who had received teacher-of-the-year awards were also offered the chance to spend some time with the players on the field before the game.
“It was really a fun experience,” Mattson said. “To be fair we also had an afternoon with the A’s a couple of months back as well.”
Mattson has been teaching physical education and coaching students at Pittsburg High School for 33 years. Most recently she has taught ninth grade weight training and physical education. She also coaches a program called Unified Sports in which she works in partnership with Special Olympics on a sports program that includes general education and special education students in soccer, bowling, basketball, track and cheer. Mattson followed in the footsteps of her father, who was also a physical education teacher in Hollister, where he taught for 38 years for Hollister High School. She is one of the four countywide finalists being considered by the County Office of Education for Contra Costa County Teacher of the Year.
“This is a big honor for me to be acknowledged, recognized and awarded by the students, the high school and the community,” Mattson said. “Sharing what I love and my passion for sports in an educational setting with my students is the best thing about teaching.”