Encinitas educators to be honored during ‘Salute to Teachers’ Oct. 10


Two Encinitas teachers will be honored for their commitment to teaching and learning at this year’s “Cox Presents: A Salute to Teachers.”

Entertainer Sherri Shepherd will host this year’s Academy Awards-style extravaganza, which begins at 8 p.m. Oct. 10 at the Balboa Theater.

In its 25th year, the show will highlight the county’s 26,000 public school teachers and feature celebrity presenters, musical and dance performances, and the announcement of the 2015-16 San Diego County Teachers of the Year who will go on to represent the region at the California Teacher of the Year program later this year.

The San Diego Teacher of the Year candidates who live in the Encinitas area are: Scharonne Jones, who teaches at Capri Elementary; and Jeffra Becknell, who teaches at Monarch School in San Diego.

Scharonne Jones has been at Capri Elementary for close to 20 years. The school is a mix of students who have never wanted for anything and disadvantaged English language learners. As a former Title I student, Jones is able to relate and works closely with those students to close the achievement gap. She developed a relationship with the San Diego Botanical Garden horticultural department and a local florist to start a living wreath program, which connects students to Encinitas’ farming culture. Money from sales provides scholarships for Title I students going to sixth-grade camp.

Encinitas resident Jeffra Becknell is a Columbia Law School-educated former attorney who teaches students affected by homelessness at Monarch School. She likes to collaborate to bring students together; her World History class presented a history of anti-Semitism to eighth-graders on the verge of reading “The Diary of Anne Frank,” and government and biology students drafted genetic engineering legislation and held a hearing. She also founded and advises the Monarch Comedy Improv team to provide students a chance to express their comedic creativity.

Also appearing will be Kyra Phillips, a CNN correspondent and San Diego native, and veteran San Diego broadcast journalist Dennis Morgigno.

Tickets can be purchased online at, by calling the Balboa Theatre box office at 570-1100 (all San Diego area codes), or at the Balboa Theatre box office, 868 4th Ave. in downtown San Diego. A 10 percent discount is available by mentioning title sponsor San Diego County Credit Union. Visit