One of SSU's alumni awarded Sonoma County Teacher of the Year for the second year in a row

November 16, 2020
Ross Hause

By Nate Galvan |

Rohnert Park, CA — For the second year in a row, an alumni from Sonoma State University has been recognized by the Sonoma County Office of Education for being an outstanding teacher in the county.

Ross Hause, a Sonoma State University alumnus who graduated with a degree in Liberal Studies from the Hutchins School in 1998, was recently selected as Sonoma County Teacher of the Year. Hause is a sixth grade teacher at Luther Burbank Elementary School in Santa Rosa, where he has taught for his entire 22 year teaching career.

“I’m obviously humbled and honored,” Hause said. “When you’re authentically in love with what you're doing it can feel really fulfilling, especially when you feel that what you’re putting out there is making a difference.”

Hause, who grew up in Sonoma County, said he always had a feeling growing up that he would be a teacher. But, he also had a passion for playing soccer, he said. It wasn’t until the summer after graduating from Santa Rosa Junior College that an unfortunate soccer injury resulted in him focusing his efforts in obtaining a teaching credential at Sonoma State University.

“I collided with the goalie, and my leg snapped basically in half. They could hear it all the way across the entire field,” Hause said. “I was originally planning to attend and play soccer at San Francisco State, but it was clear my soccer career would have to be put on hold after that.”

Despite being on crutches for his first semester at SSU, Hause was able to graduate in two years, completing the Multiple Subject credential program the year after. While at SSU, he coached girls soccer at a local high school, and since 1998 Hause has been a soccer coach at Montgomery High School in Santa Rosa.

“It’s interesting how life funnels you down a path and sometimes you need life to break your leg for you to pay attention,” Hause said.

In recognition of his achievement, Hause has received a $3,000 award from Community First Credit Union. On top of that, he was selected as a finalist for California Teacher of the Year along with the more than 100 other county Teacher of the Year winners. He was among the final 12 teachers nominated for the award. 

“At the end of the day, it’s just great to be acknowledged among the many other teachers that are in Sonoma County,” he said.

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Julia Gonzalez