Every year the San Luis Obispo County Office of Education (SLOCOE) selects from district nominees that complete the California Department of Education State TOTY application by July. District nominees must meet the criteria established by the CDE for this program to be eligible. SLOCOE is proud to participate in this program to recognize the contributions of the teachers and the excellence in instruction and educational support that teachers strive to provide the students.
Geof Land has been a PRHS social studies teacher of 25 years, he is a teacher with true record of student devotion, concrete campus impact, and lasting influence. Boundless energy, intelligence, wit, creativity, and humility typify Land’s remarkable presence. He is unmatched in creating significant, inclusive student events that spotlight relevant cultural concerns and safely give students a voice: he has organized Coming Out Against Hate (Oct 2021), A Night for DACA Dreamers (Apr 2018), the first PRHS Baile (Mar 2022), Passage to Paso (Mar 2016), and similar protests, walk-outs, teach-ins, and celebrations. Students in his classes credit him with boosting their sense of identity and their faith that they can make a difference in the world by listening, organizing, and speaking for change. Land modeled these ideals when he gracefully lobbied across multiple board meetings for an Ethnic Studies elective course (Feb through April 2021); he was convinced that students wanted and needed a fair chance to examine inequalities latent in American culture and study sources not found in traditional coursework. Land’s dedication to PRHS shows in the plethora of his roles: activities director, ACT Club adviser, department chair, GEO class trip leader x 100, faculty band leader (he plays almost every instrument), and faculty compliments leader. He led the Williams Wing renaming campaign (2015) in honor of his beloved colleague Gregg Williams. He was a founding planner of the PRHS Field Studies Collaborative, a five-spoked program sending students to work- and science-based projects with professors and field experts such as Santa Cruz Island, Joshua Tree NM, even the Walmart parking lot that paved over a Native American sacred site. Land’s teaching reflects a true love for his students and their background, a love that’s made incredibly deep given his profound intellect, poetic verbal skill, and infectious faith in the human spirit.
Mr. Land is now a State Teacher of the Year nominee! We wish Geoffrey Land all the best of in the running and we hope to see his name announced as the State TOTY in late October.