Atascadero High School teacher Tom Hollis was recently recognized as one of the best teachers in the state.
Hollis received the California League of High Schools Teacher of the Year award for Region 8, which consists of Los Angeles, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, at a Dec. 20 award ceremony in Woodland Hills.
Hollis worked as an environmental geologist for a decade before becoming an educator.
Hollis also served as an associate instructor for Allan Hancock College in Santa Maria from 1995 to 2002.
He holds bachelor and masters degrees in geology from Long Beach State University.
In a letter recommending Hollis for the Teacher of the Year award, Atascadero High Principal E.J. Rossi described the science department chair as a tireless instructor who uses fun classroom experiments, camping trips and late-night star parties to get his students excited about science.
He is a teacher that is not bound to either the classroom or the work clock, Rossi wrote.
Hollis is slated to attend in the California League of High Schools Annual Conference North in March in Sacramento.