Encinitas Union School District (EUSD) has named Scott Leonard, fifth and sixth grade Dual Language Immersion teacher at Paul Ecke Central Elementary School, the 2019 Teacher of the Year, and Denise “Denny” Cope, Instructional Assistant at Paul Ecke Central, the 2019 Classified Employee of the Year. They were both chosen as the representatives of their school site, and were then selected by a district panel to represent EUSD.

Scott is a passionate teacher who brings learning to life for his students by getting in character, singing, and playing music. He also organizes social events and leads the student film guild. “On top of everything else, he does it in both English and Spanish!” said Paul Ecke Central Principal Wesley Sechrest.

Denny works tirelessly to help school families and others in need. She has led several campaigns to fund school supplies, provide gifts during the holidays, and food drives for families. “She makes a connection with each student and staff member by personalizing her interactions,” said Principal Sechrest, “and is always a bright light.”