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MEDIA ADVISORY: San Diego Unified 2019 Day of the Teacher Celebration

MEDIA ADVISORY: San Diego Unified 2019 Day of the Teacher Celebration
Posted on 05/06/2019

San Diego Unified School District


San Diego Unified 2019 Day of the Teacher Celebration

Hundreds expected to attend annual celebration in honor of National Teacher Appreciation Day

WHAT: Coinciding with National Teacher Appreciation Day, the district's Day of the Teacher celebration recognizes the outstanding work of more than 6,000 San Diego Unified School District teachers.

The Day of the Teacher celebration honors three outstanding educators who have been named San Diego Unified Teachers of the Year at the elementary, middle and high school levels for 2019. The three Teacher of the Year runners-up, and more than 130 teachers selected as Teachers of the Year by their individual schools, will also be recognized.

New to this year's celebration is a Wellness Hour during the pre-ceremony reception that will focus on the district's commitment to teacher wellness throughout the year. With a district-wide Wellness Initiative, San Diego Unified is committed to providing resources and services that promote health and wellness among teachers and all employees.

This year's reception will feature interactive wellness booths hosted by San Diego Unified's Wellness committee , and will offer teachers healthy living tips and prizes. The reception will also feature entertainment from San Diego Unified student musicians, and food prepared and served by students enrolled in Culinary Arts programs at schools throughout the district.

The annual celebration offers an opportunity for Superintendent Cindy Marten, Board of Education members, district officials, administrators and members of the community to thank teachers for their exceptional work, and commitment to equity and excellence.

WHEN: May 7, 2019

“Wellness Hour” Reception: 4 p.m.

Ceremony: 5 p.m. - 7 p.m.

WHERE: San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts (SCPA)

2425 Dusk Dr, San Diego, CA 92139

DETAILS: Nominees for Teacher of the Year are first selected by their school sites. These individuals have the option to apply for District Teacher of the Year, a process that includes written essays, interviews, and classroom observation. The Teacher of the Year winners and runners-up are selected by a six-member committee made up of previous District Teachers of the Year. All district winners have the option to apply for the county-wide award program.

This year's winners are:

  • Hilda Martinez, RTI Resource Teacher, Zamorano Fine Arts Academy.
    It's no surprise that Hilda Martinez's formative years have shaped her teaching profession. By the time she entered fifth grade, Martinez had attended several different schools—in the United States and in Mexico—sometimes attending only two or three days a week. Her childhood longing to be welcomed and embraced by her teachers has fueled her teaching experience at large Title I elementary schools with high populations of English Learners. “As a teacher, I always try my best to make my new and returning students feel welcomed to the learning community, their learning community,” said Martinez. She shares her knowledge and experience with others, helping plan professional development for staff, presenting parent/child learning workshops for families, and designing and demonstrating lessons for grade level teams. To improve English Learners' (EL) English proficiency levels, Martinez led staff on how to use CELDT data to teach better, with the goal to lift children's English proficiency levels before they leave elementary school. As a Response to Intervention (RTI) teacher at Zamorano, Martinez works with students who are having difficulties reaching literacy benchmark goals.
    DOWNLOADABLE VIDEO/BROLL: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1rawoEQn9bKG-dqWaicQZBzUZZkYPIgfi

  • Roosevelt Johnson, eighth-grade Math/ Special Education, Wilson Middle School.
    Roosevelt Johnson draws from his own life experience growing up in the rough, gang-ridden neighborhoods of South Central Los Angeles, to teach students about choices and consequences. “I spend a lot of time teaching students how to think instead of what to think. I challenge students to become aware of their surroundings.” He recognizes the importance of a safe, fun, positive, inviting approach when teaching, but emphasizes how vital it is to teach outside of the curriculum. “Before you can teach them reach them” is a quote Johnson learned from a veteran teacher early on; it is what resonated with him when he started the ManUP club at Wilson seven years ago. He started ManUP to reach African-American and Latino male students who were at-risk and struggling, not only with academics and inappropriate behavior, but with life itself. Johnson's colleagues—especially new Special Education teachers—appreciate the support he offers through demonstration lessons, observations, constructive feedback, and coaching. His leadership roles at Wilson include his participation on the Special Education Team, Specialized Advisory, and other afterschool clubs and sports programs.

  • Jenny Lieu, Integrated Math 1, Lincoln High School.
    “What can I do to be a better teacher for you?” is not a question teachers commonly ask their students. But that's exactly what Jenny Lieu asks each of her students, giving them a voice for what they need to be successful. Beyond teaching math concepts, Lieu instills in her students valuable lessons that will assist them in being successful in life. “Once my students find confidence in themselves and their abilities to learn, their success is limitless,” Lieu noted. “I want to show my students the value in learning. Learning how to problem solve, struggle, persevere, use structures and tools to be successful. These are all skills that are not limited to math, but can be applied throughout a student's life.” A colleague described what makes Lieu such a special and successful teacher: “It is Ms. Lieu's humility combined with dedication, drive, and her relentless pursuit to evolve beyond the classroom so she can better serve our students.” Lieu is actively engaged in her school community, serving as the Math Department Chair, on the School Site Council (SSC), and participating in the Adventure Club, AVID, and AESA. Last year she undertook one of her most rewarding challenges, diligently coordinating the many details of Lincoln's graduation ceremony. She also spearheaded the efforts last year to successfully renew Lincoln's WASC accreditation.
    DOWNLOADABLE VIDEO/BROLL: https://drive.google.com/open?id=16iVWaYwIkM5AdTK_6bMR7MG-jSYT11yo

This year's runners up are:

  • Michelle Sullivan, TK-5 Science, Balboa Elementary School.

  • Julie Latta, sixth-grade Science, Muirlands Middle School.

  • Kris Rodenberg, Grades 8-12 English AP Art History, Psychology, Language & Literature, Mt. Everest Academy.
    Bios and photos are available for Teachers of the Year and runners up upon request.

    San Diego Unified's Day of the Teacher Celebration would not be possible without the generous support from our sponsors:

California Coast Credit Union, California Schools VEBA, Calmios, Camilla Magaña Party Décor & More, Dave's Flower Box, Kaiser Permanente, Mission Federal Credit Union, San Diego Education Association, San Diego Education Fund, San Diego Unified - College, Career and Technical Education, San Diego Unified - Wellness Committee

ON-SITE MEDIA CONTACT: Isabella McNeil, San Diego Unified Communications, 619-341-2343