The Coast News Group
Carlsbad teacher
Carlsbad High School music teacher Peter Manzi is one of San Diego County’s teachers of the year. Courtesy photo.

Carlsbad music teacher named county teacher of the year

CARLSBAD — A Carlsbad High School music teacher is one of five educators in the region who were named San Diego County Teachers of the Year.

Through the transformative power of music, Peter Manzi has helped students learn to become better musicians, students and young adults. 

In his band and music theory classes, Manzi gives students the tools they need to be successful leaders and collaborators – whether it’s through composing, picking music for the next performance, or creating the next viral music video. 

“The students in the band room know we are always here for them,” he said. “We’ll be there to pick them up when they fail and to praise their successes when they succeed.”

carlsbad teacher of the year
Carlsbad High School music teacher Peter Manzi is surprised to learn he has been chosen as a teacher of the year by the San Diego County Office of Education and Cox Communications. Courtesy photo.

Giving back to the community through music is an important part of Manzi’s teaching. The Carlsbad High bands often perform around the community through a partnership with the Carlsbad Village Association. The students in Manzi’s band classes also invites middle school students to perform at activities before football games, where they teach them to march and lead rehearsals. 

Manzi also recently worked with the school’s choir director to start a group of students he calls the Tri-M Honors Society that volunteers for everything from taking tickets to performing with elementary students. 

The San Diego County Office of Education and Cox Communications worked together to surprise Manzi and the other teachers as part of the 34th annual Cox Presents: Salute to Teachers program. 

Besides Manzi, the other teachers of the year are Jennifer Ekstein of Bonita Vista High School in the Sweetwater Union High School District, Mackenzie Levine of Perry Elementary School and Maria Miller of Morse High School in the San Diego Unified School District, and Kirsten LoPrell of Grossmont High School in the Grossmont Union High School District.

Judges chose the five teachers out of 51 district teachers of the year, all of whom were honored in April during a special event in April.

Carlsbad teacher of the year
eter Manzi’s students congratulate the CHS music teacher while he is named a San Diego County Teacher of the Year. Courtesy photo.

“We had such an inspiring group of educators this year, and it was important to honor each and every one of them with the Cox Present: Salute to Teachers event,” said Paul Gothold, San Diego County superintendent of schools. “This group of educators highlights the passion and diverse expertise that teachers across the county have. I know the judges had a difficult time picking only five Teachers of the Year.”

SDCOE and Cox Communications have collaborated on saluting local teachers for more than 30 years. 

“Cox Presents: Salute to Teachers is our way of saying ‘thank you’ to all our teachers throughout San Diego County,” said Chanelle Hawken, West Region vice president of government and public affairs for Cox Communications. “As the spouse of a high school teacher, I see every day firsthand how committed teachers are to helping their students realize their full potential. Congratulations to all the teachers of the year.”

Sponsors of “Cox Presents: Salute to Teachers” include SDCCU, Murray Lampert Design, Build, Remodel, Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation, University of San Diego, Procopio, iHeart Radio, The Mightier 1090 and The San Diego Union-Tribune.

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