People are the most important part of any organization and, in education, that couldn’t be more true. Though May is officially Teacher Appreciation Month, we aim to appreciate our teachers year-round. One small way we do this is through an employee recognition program called the RAVE (Recognizing All Valuable Employees).
Thanks to people submitting RAVE nominations, I get to read heartwarming testimonials about our teachers written by parents, students and co-workers. In honor of Teacher Appreciation Month, I want to share some of the great things people are saying about teachers in the San Francisco Unified School District.
Sandra Navarro, Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy
“Sandra is always in support of the students she is assigned and makes time for all others, too. She creates the most beautiful bulletin boards; these boards are not just visually wonderful to take in, but they are also filled with meaning. Sandra makes each student feel cared for, and at the same time she is supportive and uplifting for parents. Furthermore, she supports her fellow teachers without question year after year, after year.”
Rosemary Kamkar, Abraham Lincoln High School
“Rosemary works with students of every ethnicity after school developing performances that showcase their individual cultures and heritages. The first performance was an incredible success and the tradition continues to this day. For the last 21 years and counting, she has coordinated what is now called the Lincoln’s Brotherhood/Sisterhood assembly. Rosemary exemplifies quiet leadership that earns the respect of her students and staff.”
Merri Besden, Presidio Early Education School
“Merri’s work as a Special Education teacher supports each classroom on a daily basis, providing leadership and mentoring, as well as hands-on experiences with all of the students. She is a pioneer in best practices and is an incredible colleague and mentor.”
GABRIEL DE LA CRUZ, THURGOOD MARSHALL ACADEMIC HIGH SCHOOL
“Gabriel is the perfect embodiment of a Swiss Army Knife. Not only is he clearly well-versed in his content, but he leverages his own network of community activists to make social justice as palpable as possible for his students. He is unwaveringly dedicated to building relationships both in and out of the classroom and is relentlessly committed to putting students first. He will strongly advocate for them in conversations with educators and administrators alike.”
MANUEL YOUNG, BURTON HIGH SCHOOL BAND TEACHER
“Manuel organized a trip to Disneyland for the band through the Heritage Festival program, where students got to bond as well as compete. The band received a Silver Award, which means their scores are within the top 10-20 percent of high school bands — nationally. To receive this as a first time participant at Heritage is a major accomplishment.”
PETER SROKA, DRAMA AND MUSIC TEACHER AT MULTIPLE SITES
“Peter has blown me away with his creativity and passion for teaching. He lights up so many students faces with joyful learning and singing. The songs he creates foster learning and fun. I consider it a privilege to hear our students sing about finding a healthy balance in life and cultural history.”
The list goes on and on. These teachers and thousands of others bring their creativity, care and intellect to our city’s public schools every day. Please join me in celebrating and thanking our incredible teachers.
May is National Teacher Appreciation Month. Want to thank a teacher? Go directly to your child’s teacher and let the teacher know what you appreciate about them. Drop a note at the school or to directly nominate someone visit www.sfusd.edu/rave.
Richard Carranza is superintendent of the San Francisco Unified School District.