The Bee's Knees Teacher Awards

Recognizing Scotts Valley's Most Influential Educators

Celebrating Scotts Valley Teachers Who Exhibit “The Height of Excellence” in Teaching

Nominate a Teacher Today Who You Believe is Deserving of The “Bee’s Knees” Designation and $250 for their Classroom!


Scotts Valley CommunitySponsored by Community Real Estate, The “Bee’s Knees” teacher award program recognizes outstanding Scotts Valley teachers.  The saying “The Bee’s Knees” became popular in the United States during the 1920s.  Bees carry pollen back to the hive in sacs on their legs.  It is believed that the origin of the phrase refers to the concentrated goodness that can be found around a bee’s knee.  As we use it today, the phrase “The Bee’s Knees” means “The Height of Excellence”.

We owe an enormous debt of gratitude to the amazing teachers that make Scotts Valley schools the best in the County.  These teachers work tirelessly and often go without the recognition they deserve.  Their efforts improve not just the lives of their students, but of all us.

Please join us in showing our appreciation for these special teachers.  Write to us ( to nominate a teacher that has made a difference in your life, or the life of your children.  Each time a teacher is nominated they will be entered into a drawing to win a donation for their classroom.  Once a month Community Real Estate will select one of these teachers at random.  The lucky winner will receive $250 from us and the designation as “The Bee’s Knees” in teaching.  We look forward to hearing from you!

Brook Knoll Elementary

October 2019 – Jen Woelfel, 1st Grade

Jen Woelfel has always loved working with kids! As a teen and young adult she enjoyed babysitting, teaching swimming and working at afterschool programs. It is through these experiences that she knew she wanted to be a teacher. For 17 years, she has had the pleasure to teach children at the elementary school level. As a first grade teacher, one of her favorite things is to do is help children discover the love of reading. She has taught in Scotts Valley for the past 8 years and loves being able to teach in the community where her family lives. When Jen is not teaching, she enjoys spending time with her family, hiking, traveling, going to the beach and gardening.

Click here for past Brook Knoll Award recipients.


Vine Hill Elementary

November 2019 – Sarah Hannaleck, Transitional Kindergarten

Sarah Hannaleck teaches Transitional Kindergarten at Vine Hill Elementary.  She grew up in Ben Lomond and met her husband, Josh, in high school.  They have been married for 15 years and have twins, Mason and Linnea, who are nine years old.  Their family enjoys hiking, traveling, reading, gardening and crafting.  Sarah attended Santa Clara University and spent a semester studying abroad in Alicante, Spain.  She received her teaching credential at San Jose State University and started working for Scotts Valley School District in 2005.  Sarah loves working with the youngest students and they make her laugh every day.  Her goal is to give her students a positive introduction to school and to create a love of learning.  Sarah feels very fortunate to work in such a supportive and special community.  Her colleagues are all passionate and dynamic educators who inspire her to constantly try new ideas and challenge herself.

Click here for past Vine Hill Elementary Awards.

Scotts Valley Middle School

July 2019 – John Magliato, English

I was born in Trenton, New Jersey but moved at least nine times in my youth.  My grandparents immigrated from Sicily, but sadly, I do not speak Italian.  I’ve been teaching at Scotts Valley Unified School District for 29 years. I started at Vine Hill as a fourth grade teacher.  After three years, I moved to the middle school and have taught all grade levels here, but mostly eighth grade English, which I love.  My wife, Melissa, is a successful teacher at San Lorenzo Valley Middle School, and my daughters Alicia (21) and Sophia (19) are successful college students.  Besides my family, bike riding is my passion, and I have been enjoying the sport seriously since I was fourteen.  I’ve ridden from Canada to California twice and participated in all of the SVEF century rides when that was a fundraiser here.   A dream of mine would be to visit France and ride some of the mountainous routes of the Tour de France.  Students may know that I am obsessed with Ray Bradbury, especially his novel Fahrenheit 451.  It has been an honor to share it with so many students throughout the years, and I hope that its message continually resonates with all of those who read it.

Click here for past SVMS Award recipients.

Scotts Valley High School

September, 2019 – Kevin Dewey, Social Sciences

Kevin Dewey is a teacher of Social Science (11th grade US History & Geography and 12th grade Government/Economics) at Scotts Valley High School. A transplant to the area, Kevin grew up in Orange County in Southern California before attending UC Berkeley graduating with Distinction in 2016. After a series of sales and telemarketing jobs with OpenGov and the Oprah Winfrey Network, Kevin found his passion for teaching and went to Cal State Long Beach to receive his teaching credential. Today he is making everyday count and living his best life educating and inspiring students. Seize the day and make your life extraordinary!

Click here for past SVHS Award recipients