David Peay, the choral music director at Foothill High School and Hewes Middle School, both in Santa Ana, has been named Tustin Unified School District's Teacher of the Year.
Peay will represent the district in the 1997 Orange County Teacher of the Year awards, the winner of which goes on to state and national competitions.
Peay, who has taught in the district for five years, was cited for establishing the Choral Boosters Club, which has raised thousands of dollars to buy equipment, lighting and sheet music at a time when budget cuts have hurt music programs.
He also organized the "Dickens' Carolers" group, which helps raise extra money by singing at community functions, churches, shopping centers and private parties.
"I am extremely honored," Peay said. His goal, he said, is "to be the kind of teacher who makes a difference in the lives of students."