Joe DiOrio at work

Healdsburg High School’s Joe DiOrio has emerged from a pack of award-winning area high school teacher to be honored as the California League of High Schools Region 1 Panel Educator of the Year.

DiOrio is a seven-year veteran with the Hounds and teaches math. He was honored Friday night.

In the nomination form, DiOrio, principal Chris Vanden Heuvel credit DiOrio with being a forward thinker who engages students and colleagues through technology and is dedicated to being a lifelong learner and professional.

“His strong rapport with students and approach to making mathematics relevant result in high levels of student engagement,” Vanden Heuvel wrote. “When administration encounters other staff looking for ideas for class room management, checking for understanding and active participation strategies, we hand them a copy of Lemov’s ‘Teach Like a Champion’ and send them to observe Mr. DiOrio.”

DiOrio serves as chairman of both the math department chairman and the WASC committee and is a regular contributor to staff dialogue, according to Vanden Heuvel. DiOrio is also active with the AVID program at Healdsburg High.

Take a closer look at DiOrio at his website:


Nominees were chosen for their leadership, support of current high school reform efforts and professional collegiality among other qualities.

The state is comprised of 10 regions. Winners from those regions will be celebrated at a dinner in February in Sacramento at which the teacher of the year will be announced. Piner High’s Simone Spearman took home the state prize last year.

Here is the full list of area nominees:

Jo Thinnes Casa Grande High School
John Quintrell Montgomery High School
Stephanie Moore Elsie Allen High School
Joseph DiOrio Healdsburg High School
Willie Swindle Santa Rosa High School
Mary Kay Pedersen Maria Carrillo High School
Kristi Erickson Piner High School
Amy Cortese Windsor High School
Deborah Fitch Petaluma High School
Jay Goldberg Analy High School