General information

2013 Honoring Educators Awards

Outstanding Students 

Gianna Zappettini (Credential ’12, MA ’13)

In 2013, Gianna Zappettini was a multiple subject teacher credential candidate in the School of Education’s Teacher Education program. She completed her student teaching in a first grade classroom at Cambridge Elementary in Vacaville. As an undergraduate at UC Berkeley, Ms. Zappettini volunteered as a mentor to 6th – 8th graders and became a team leader with the Youth Support Program. She continues to volunteer as a member of the Sugarloaf Station Foundation, a fine arts summer camp in El Dorado County that she attended as a youth.

Orlando Carreón (PhD Candidate)

Orlando Carreón is a PhD candidate in the UC Davis School of Education. He pursues the PhD within the Language, Literacy and Culture emphasis area. He also serves as a teaching assistant in the School’s Teacher Education program where he supervises student teachers. Mr. Carreón’s service to the School is significant, including helping to form the student-led Social Justice Committee and initiating and organizing the Critical Consciousness Speaker Series that brings scholars and activists to UC Davis to speak with students and the public about issues critical to educators.

Rising Star Alumna

Gatee Esmat (Credential ‘07, MA ‘09) 

Gatee Esmat teaches at Franklin Elementary School in Alameda, California. She came to the United States as a child and strived to succeed in every way. A 2006 graduate from UC Berkeley with a degree in sociology, Ms. Esmat realized she had a passion for teaching. Early in her career she is already a leader among her peers, serving as a model for superior teaching, best practices, and organization. In the last five years, she has taught three different grade levels and taught English learners in middle school. Her principal says administrators throughout her school district consider Ms. Esmat a model teacher.

Outstanding Faculty

Douglas Minnis, Professor Emeritus 

Douglas Minnis was born in Trinidad, Colorado, in 1928. After high school, he served in the United States Marine Corps. After his military service, he completed his BA at the University of Denver with high honors and Phi Beta Kappa. After teaching in Colorado and Menlo Park, California, Dr. Minnis received his MA from San Jose State University and was a district administrator in Cupertino, California. He earned his PhD in higher education in 1963, after coming to UC Davis in 1959 to found the UC Davis elementary teacher preparation program.

In 1963, Dr. Minnis assumed the role of Head of Teacher Education. In 1974, he was named associate dean for admissions and student support, but continued to teach half time in the Education Department. He retired in 1991. During his career, Dr. Minnis served as president of The California Council on Teacher Education, helped start the professional journal of that organization, and served on their Board of Directors for a decade. He was active in regional in-service work with public school colleagues. After retirement the School of Education asked him to co-direct its joint doctoral program in educational leadership in collaboration with California State University, Fresno. Dr. Minnis “completely retired” in 2001 and enjoys gardening, swimming, and writing poetry and letters to his many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He still works diligently to promote a scholarship specifically designed to honor emeriti faculty members. Dr. Minnis’s dream is to see this fledgling fund grow to support a student for a full year in the School of Education.

Distinguished Alumni

Daniel D’Agostini (BA ‘71, Credential ‘72)

Daniel D’Agostini received his elementary credential through the campus’s teaching internship program in Dixon. While a student at UC Davis, he served as the first student adviser to a UC Davis Chancellor and graduated with honors in rhetoric. In addition to his respected work in the classroom, Mr. D’Agostini extended his expertise and caring to include providing afterschool care and learning. He founded many school garden sites and applied his expertise to help draft a statewide school gardens plan.

Rozanne Helms (BA ‘76, Credential ‘77)

Rozanne Helms has been teaching at the same elementary school in the Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District for over 30 years. Today, she teaches kindergarten. She was the first teacher in her district to establish a full-day kindergarten class and received her district’s Teacher of the Year award in 2010. She has mentored many aspiring kindergarten teachers during her career and has left a lasting impression of hard work and professionalism on her mentees, students and colleagues.

Outstanding Education Advocates

Sandi Redenbach (BA ’72, Credential ’73) and Ken Gelatt (BS ’67, Credential ’68)

Sandi Redenbach and Ken Gelatt know the power of teachers to shape young lives. As teachers they have led by example for more than 40 years, guiding students to imagine a better future and providing the tools they need to reach their goals. Leading by example is one reason Ms. Redenbach and Mr. Gelatt wanted to be the first alumni to include the School of Education in their estate plans. In addition, Ms. Redenbach established the Student-At-Promise Endowed Scholarship to support students who are committed to improving education for those at risk of not succeeding in school. The award also recognizes the importance of teachers who act as advocates for their students. Ms. Redenbach serves the School of Education as the founding chair of its Alumni Council, serves on the School’s Words Take Wing committee, and is a member of the School’s Board of Advisers. Ms. Redenbach’s and Mr. Gelatt’s belief in the power of education to change lives guides their commitment to leave a legacy for the future and lead the next generation on the path to a lifetime of success. 

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