March 9, 2001

Sen. Alpert Names Dr. Stephanie Rico Woman of the Year

Sacramento, Ca. — In recognition of her commitment to students and learning, Dr. Stephanie Rico has been named Woman of the Year for 2001 by Senator Dede Alpert (D-San Diego).

"Dr. Rico represents scores of committed and selfless educators who are dedicated to unlocking the potential of their students," Alpert said. "Her hard work serves as a model to others who want to make a real difference in the lives of young people."

Rico, a resident of Imperial Beach, teaches biology two periods a day at San Diego High School while doing post-doctoral work at the University of California, San Diego. She majored in philosophy and math at St. John's University in Santa Fe, N.M., and in Annapolis, Md. As a Fulbright Scholar she studied education at the University of Tubington in Germany and received a master's degree in education from Harvard. She earned her doctorate from Stanford and became a national board certified teacher in November.

Recognizing her high school students might flounder in biology, chemistry and physics classes, Rico collaborated with her colleagues to create and teach Science Research Techniques, a special elective course which prepares students for rigorous science classes. Recently, she rewrote the course for use in middle schools.

In addition to her regular teaching duties, Rico is part of a team of teachers who tutor students on Saturdays. Committed to making a difference in the life of her students, she spends more than three hours each Saturday during the school year tutoring as many as two dozen students.

Rico will join other Woman of the Year nominees from across the state to be honored by the State Legislature on March 12. This marks the 15th annual Woman of the Year celebration during which of the 40 senators and 80 assembly members honor a woman from their district during a special ceremony.

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