Just before most Santa Rosa-area schools return next week, teachers and administrators sat down to be honored at a  breakfast hosted by the Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce.

Among those receiving top recognition at the 29th annual event  were Piner High School’s Kurt Kruger, who was instrumental in the creation of a planetarium and science research center which opened last year at his school; and Carol Kovatch, a Rincon Valley Middle School Spanish teacher who “year after year is mentioned by kids and parents alike as the best teacher they’ve ever had.”

Social Science Teacher Art Horner, from Santa Rosa High, shared with Kruger the high honor for high school teacher.

Two top elementary school teachers were chosen, too:  Debbi Crapeau, a 6th grade teacher at Luther Burbank Elementary for her “positive energy and ceaseless drive to do the right thing” and Mary Anny Azhderian, a reading teacher at Abraham Lincoln Elementary who spends her lunchtime  helping new readers.

College educators were honored too: Santa Rosa Junior College’s Laura Aspinall was recognized for her work with students with disabilities and Sonoma State University’s Eric Williams for his mentorship of criminal justice students.

Many more teachers were nominated, and each of them received $200 along  with a certificate recognizing their work.