Congratulations To Teacher Of The Month Vanessa Costello!


Vanessa Costello, a fourth grade teacher at McDowell Elementary School in Petaluma, has been named Sonoma County Teacher of the Month for May 2022.

The award honors one of Sonoma County’s most outstanding teachers from October through May. It is sponsored by the Sonoma County Office of Education (SCOE), K-Hits 107.9, HOT 101.7, and Community First Credit Union.

“So many teachers have stepped up in incredible ways to support students and families during these unprecedented times,” said Steven D. Herrington, Sonoma County Superintendent of Schools. “The Teacher of the Month program this year seeks to honor, support, and thank those teachers who have given so much of themselves and sacrificed so much to support students during the pandemic.”

Ms. Costello received multiple nominations from community members and students. She was described as a courageous, graceful, and exceptional teacher who is a talented mentor.

“Ms. Vanessa Costello is the hardest working and most dedicated teacher I know. I am a retired teacher and have never seen anyone like her…Ms. Costello is very kind, patient and is the perfect mentor for a teacher in training. She is willing to share what she finds that might be fun or helpful with other teachers,” the nomination read.

Ms. Costello was presented with the honor by representatives from SCOE and K-Hits 107.9/HOT 101.7 on Wednesday, June 8, during a surprise classroom visit. Ms. Costello was brought to tears of joy during the unexpected recognition. She accepted the award with amazement and joy. Ms. Costello was given a special plaque and a $500 gift card for teacher resources and supplies as part of the recognition.

Learn more and nominate a special teacher in your life by going to