Brinker, who imparts science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) concepts, as well as robotics to her students, also teaches advanced science through her extra-curricular STEM Explorations classes.

Brinker will go on to compete in a statewide competition along with Victor Doan, a biology teacher at San Leandro High School, who also won teacher of the year honors. Doan has been chairman of San Leandro High's science department for the past five years.

More than 300 people attended the awards ceremony -- held at the Castro Valley Center for the Arts -- where 20 teachers from school districts throughout Alameda County were recognized for their achievements by the county's Office of Education.

Contact Jeremy Thomas at 925-847-2184. Follow him at Twitter.com/jet_bang.