Dunsmuir High School graduate Zachary Swan, who lost his battle with a rare form of cancer on April 28, 2010 at the age of 28, is one of five finalists for Comcast SportsNet’s All-Star Teacher Award.

Online voting for the award is continuing through July 9. Anyone with a valid email address is eligible to vote.

Now in its fourth year, the All-Star Teacher Award recognizes middle and high school teachers in Northern and Central California for their extraordinary dedication to their students in school and in the community, according to a press release.

The winning All-Star Teacher will be announced Wednesday, July 28 during an on-field ceremony prior to the San Francisco Giants vs. Florida Marlins game at AT&T Park in San Francisco and live during Comcast SportsNet Bay Area’s telecast of Giants Pregame Live.

The winner will be awarded $10,000 for his or her school.

Zachary Swan taught physical education for three years at Jefferson High School in Daly City. His page for the All-Star Teacher Contest is http://www.csnbayarea.com/pages/allstarteacher_swan

According to information provided by Comcast SportsNet, Swan “was an avid Bay Area sports fan and assisted Jefferson High’s football and basketball teams. Mr. Swan was an exemplarily model of personal strength and perseverance to his students and colleagues. On April 28, 2010, at the age of 28, he lost his courageous battle with neuroblastoma, a rare form of cancer.  His dedication and passion as an educator reached far beyond the gymnasium and will live on in the hearts and minds of all those in which he touched.

“His ideas and wisdom went beyond physical education, helping students plot life-long goals and educating them on how to become leaders in their communities.  Regardless of his personal battles, he constantly placed his love for his students ahead of his own accord.  Even while being treated with chemotherapy, Mr. Swan would find the energy and will to work and engage his students similarly to any other day. When he was physically unable to be present on campus, he would intently e-mail colleagues to follow up on his students’ progress and achievements in both academics and athletics.

Mr. Swan’s students valued him as a coach, a teacher, and as a friend.  One student remarked Mr. Swan treated them like, ‘we were his brothers.’ He devoted his life to the success and happiness of his students, and they truly admired him for this.  An underlying theme to Mr. Swan’s philosophy was to never give up, no matter how hard the road may get. This was evident by his class mantra, ‘It doesn’t matter if you fail or succeed, what matters most is that you try.’

“Mr. Swan left an undeniable legacy at Jefferson High School: to work harder, stay committed, and embrace life.  Both staff and students of Jefferson High School remember him for his positive attitude, infectious smile, and his passion for teaching. He showed an infinite level of dedication to his students, his school, and his community by developing young minds whenever possible. Mr. Swan exemplified all the characteristics which are inherent in an individual who truly loved and embraced their life’s calling. The school hopes to create a scholarship in his name.”

The "Rest In Peace Mr. Swan" Facebook page is at: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=113185888719487&ref=ts

A recent article about Zach was published on MercuryNews.com: http://www.mercurynews.com/peninsula/ci_15290106?nclick_check=1