For most teachers, hearing the words "thank you" makes for a red-letter day. Well, a biotechnology company in Thousand Oaks has found its own way of thanking educators across Ventura County.
On Tuesday, Amgen announced the six recipients of the 1996 Amgen Award for Teacher Excellence. For the fifth anniversary of the awards, the company is giving $10,000 each to an assistant principal and five teachers.
"Teachers have a profound effect on the future of our children," said Gordon Binder, Amgen's chairman and chief executive officer.
"Through their dedication and passion, exceptional teachers motivate students to perform to the best of their abilities."
Apparently, there are a considerable number of gifted teachers and administrators in Ventura County. In all, 1,300 nomination letters recommending 198 teachers and 62 principals and assistant principals were submitted.
The 1996 winners are:
* Mary "Coco" Aguirre, a first-grade teacher at McKevett Elementary School in Santa Paula.
* Patricia Doerr, who teaches third and fourth grades at Meadows Elementary School in Thousand Oaks.
* Shelly Fletcher, who teaches seventh- and eighth-grade special education and yearbook journalism and sixth- through eighth-grade drama at Los Cerritos Middle School in Thousand Oaks.
* Randall Porter, a special education teacher at Newbury Park High School.
* Kristin Simmons, a sixth-grade teacher at Los Nogales Elementary School in Camarillo.
* Carroll Holly, assistant principal at Los Cerritos Middle School in Thousand Oaks.
Cash awards and Steuben apple trophies will be distributed at a reception in May at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library near Simi Valley.