NU & The San Diego Padres Honor Local Teachers at Teacher Appreciation Night

May 19 event celebrates exceptional teaching by recognizing San Diego County District Teachers of the Year, including eight National University alumni; A National University alum who is State Teacher of the Year will throw honorary first pitch

San Diego, Calif. – In recognition of the region’s exceptional PreK-12 teachers, National University joins the San Diego Padres in honoring San Diego County teachers as the presenting partner of the Padres’ Annual Teacher Appreciation Night at their May 19 game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Petco Park. Throwing an honorary first pitch on behalf of National University will be Shaun Bunn, a 2016-2017 California State Teacher of the Year.

Shaun Bunn, Teacher of the Year
Left to right: Chancellor Michael Cunningham, Teacher of the Year Shaun Bunn, NU Sanford College of Education Dean Judy Mantle, NU President Dr. David Andrews.

The private, nonprofit National University has a strong tradition of educating the region’s teachers, and is also involved in leading a nationwide initiative to support the work of inspiring teachers, Sanford Inspire. During an on-field presentation, the Padres and National University will recognize San Diego County’s 44 newly named District Teachers of the Year, as well as the reigning 2017 Teachers of the Year. Eight of them are graduates of National University’s Sanford College of Education – which is among the top ten largest schools of education in the country.

“The tireless work of talented and inspiring teachers fosters a classroom environment where children find learning fun, challenging and engaging,” said Dr. David Andrews, president of National University, who will greet the Teachers of the Year during the pre-game ceremonies. “We are committed to supporting the professional development of teachers, and we are pleased to have this opportunity to celebrate our exceptional alumni and others who have been selected to represent the best of San Diego County.”

Joining Dr. Andrews on the field – for the honorary first pitch – will be 2016-17 California State Teacher of the Year, Shaun Bunn, who teaches mathematics at Chase Middle School in the Romoland School District in Riverside County. Bunn was the 15th alum of National University’s Sanford College of Education to receive the state’s highest honor for teachers.

During Friday’s game, the University and Dr. Andrews will be hosting teachers and educational leaders who are alumni of its Sanford College of Education, which is known for its commitment to quality teaching, as well as its prominence in serving a diverse student population. Over the past 20-plus years, more than 100 National University alumni throughout the state of California have been recognized as teachers of the year at the local, state and national level, and the College ranks fifth nationally in terms of total minority graduates who have earned a master’s degree in education.

“We have so many extraordinary teachers in San Diego County, and the Padres are pleased to once again join National University in celebrating and thanking our outstanding teachers for their dedication to the success of our students,” said Padres vice president of community relations, Sue Botos. “Education is a pillar of the Padres Foundation’s commitment to the community.”

In addition to its teacher education programs, National University is also supporting ongoing teacher development through its role leading the national expansion of two research-based programs that address student development and achievement. The programs are Sanford Harmony (PreK-6), a social emotional learning program, and Sanford Inspire (PreK-12), which offers more than 60 video training modules, developed in collaboration with Arizona State University, that feature research-based teaching approaches to create inspiring classrooms. Both programs are being disseminated nationally through National University.

About National University
Founded in 1971, National University is the second-largest private, nonprofit institution of higher education in California. With more than 230,000 alumni, National University is the flagship institution of the National University System. National University is dedicated to making lifelong learning opportunities accessible, challenging, and relevant to a diverse population of students. Four schools and two colleges – the Sanford College of Education; the College of Letters and Sciences; the School of Business and Management; the School of Engineering and Computing; the School of Health and Human Services; and the School of Professional Studies – offer more than 75 graduate and undergraduate degrees and 13 teacher credentials and licenses. Programs are offered at locations throughout California and across the nation, and are also available online. National University is headquartered in La Jolla, California. To learn more, visit

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