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Teacher of the Year Award Winners

The Mayor's Teacher of the Year Award, formerly known as the Mayor's Teacher of the Month Award, is an annual award that recognizes outstanding San Francisco public school teachers for their dedication, professionalism, and work on behalf of our City's young people. The awardees were selected based on their outstanding ability to promote innovative teaching, accountability, and equity and access in the classroom and school site.


Please click here to see photo's of our teacher winners!

2014-2015 Teacher of the Year Award Winners


Mayor's Teacher and Principal of the Year Award Press Release

Ms. Vera Diane Williams, Pre-K, Theresa S. Mahler Early Education School
Ms. Lisa Tsukamoto, Kindergarten, Rosa Parks Elementary School
Ms. Maria Yip, 2nd Grade, Robert Louis Stevenson Elementary School
Ms. Karen Hadley, Physical Education, Claire Lilienthal K-8 Alternative School
Ms. Heidi Hubrich Seretan, 12 Grade+/Transition, AccessSFUSD: The Arc

Vera Diane Williams, Pre-K, Theresa S. Mahler Early Education School
Vera is a native San Franciscan, graduated from Balboa High School, and attended San Francisco City College. Upon completion of her degree at City College, Vera attended San Francisco State University, earning her BS degree, Elementary Teaching Credential with an Early Education Emphasis, and a Child Development Site Supervisor clearance. Her personal educational experiences led her to a career teaching in San Francisco, where Vera has taught for over 42 years. She is part of an amazing family comprised of a great husband, Ernest Jones, and a magnificent son, Ernest Jones II, who is currently an employee at SFUSD.

Lisa Tsukamoto, Kindergarten, Rosa Parks Elementary School
Lisa teaches kindergarten in the Japanese Bilingual Bicultural Program at Rosa Parks Elementary School. Teaching is in her blood. Her mother, a long-time principal in the district, instilled in Lisa a love of learning. She received her B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley in Japanese and her Multiple Subject CLAD Teaching Credential from San Francisco State University. Lisa previously taught English in Nagoya, Japan for two years through the YMCA. She has been teaching in the JBBP for sixteen years and is the first alumna that has come to teach in the program. She is a member of the Rosa Parks School Site Council, a representative to the Japanese Language Pathway in the district’s Multilingual Pathways Department, helps coordinate the program’s participation in the Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival, and is a proud mentor in the Mentoring for Success program.

Maria Yip, 2nd Grade, Robert Louis Stevenson Elementary School
Maria is an enthusiastic 2nd grade teacher. Her early childhood memories of listening to her mother's stories about teaching in Hong Kong inspired and shaped her career path. Maria enjoyed studying Child Development and Psychology, and later earned a Multiple Subject (BCLAD) Teaching Credential. She has taught 2nd grade for 15 years with "WORK HARD, PLAY HARD & BE A BUCKET FILLER" as the class motto. Her passion is in developing the whole child and specifically learning to help students discover their strengths, talents, and learning styles. Some of her students' favorite multi-sensory activities and learning experiences are from the following professional development programs: The American Conservatory Theater Educator Institute-Back to the Source, Davis Learning Strategies Workshop, Greater Good Science Center Summer Institute for Educators at U.C. Berkeley, and Mindful Schools Curriculum Training. The children have interest in Social-Emotional Learning because they understand the importance of learning lifelong skills. Maria challenges her students to "think outside the box" and encourages daily mindfulness practice with self-reflection to promote pro-social behavior and academic success. The school community is delighted that she helped bring Heart-Mind Education, a mindfulness program, to RLS. A highlight for Maria's class was when they collaborated to choreograph dance performances which they proudly performed at the SFUSD Arts Festival.

Karen Hadley, Physical Education, Claire Lilienthal K-8 Alternative School
Karen is in her 18th year as a Physical Education teacher and Athletic Director in the San Francisco Unified School District. During her tenure she has had the opportunity to create a very successful Physical Education and Athletic Program at Claire Lilienthal with a focus on the 6th, 7th & 8th grade students. She is passionate and committed to teaching children about character building, healthy fitness and nutrition habits both in and outside of the classroom and athletic environment. The success of her program stems from instilling in her students the respect for lifelong healthy fitness habits, and maximum participation for all.

Heidi Hubrich Seretan, 12 Grade+/Transition, AccessSFUSD: The Arc
Heidi is a Special Education Transition Teacher and Department Head for AccessSFUSD: The Arc, serving students 18-22 with moderate to severe disabilities teaching functional life skills and vocational skills in the community. Heidi has a Masters in Special Education, and is the recipient of the Helen Keller Fellowship, a national fellowship for leadership in deaf-blindness. As an advocate, Heidi serves as Chair of the Muni Accessible Advisory Committee advising SFMTA on accessibility in public transportation. Heidi is passionate about access to the arts in the Bay Area and is the co-founder of the Bay Area Arts Access Collective, providing training and support to cultural organizations around serving customers with disabilities and inclusive hiring.

2013-2014 Teacher of the Year Award Winners



Mayor's Teacher and Principal of the Year Award Ceremony Press Release

Marissa Miller, Pre-K, Special Education, Paul Revere Elementary School
Judy Viertel, 1st Grade, Spanish Immersion, Marshall Elementary School
Kelly Clark, 5th Grade, Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy
Jeanna Chavetta, 7th Grade, Spanish Language Arts and Social Studies, Buena Vista Horace Mann K-8
Michael Ferraro, 10th Grade, Geometry and AP Computer Science, Balboa High School

Marissa Miller, PreK, Special Education, Paul Revere Elementary School
Marissa Miller is a Pre-Kindergarten Special Education Teacher at Paul Revere Elementary School. She earned a Bachelors of Arts degree in Child Development, Masters of Arts in Special Education and is currently a PhD candidate, studying Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health and Developmental Disorders. Her passions lie in helping students and families build healthy relationships, based on a strong developmental, interdisciplinary foundation. She is a northern Californian native, deeply committed to respecting differences, tapping into strength, and sharing her love for learning with her students.

Judy Viertel, 1st Grade, Spanish Immersion, Marshall Elementary School
An educator for twenty-six years, Judy Viertel has worked for San Francisco Unified School District since 1999. Early in her career, she taught in Durango, Mexico, and then in Watsonville, California. Ms. Viertel’s current teaching position is first grade at Marshall Elementary, a Spanish Immersion school in San Francisco’s Mission District. Having always believed that good schools go beyond the basics, several years ago she took on the role of Art Coordinator at Marshall. She also developed Marshall’s chess program in conjunction with Mechanics’ Institute Library Chess Club. In 2005, she became a National Board Certified Teacher.

Kelly Clark, 5th Grade, Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy
Kelly Clark is a fifth grade public school teacher at Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy, in the Castro District of San Francisco Unified School District. In addition to being a full-time public school teacher, Kelly has developed and facilitates a series of lectures for the professional development of educators at the Museum of the African Diaspora; MoAD. Kelly has been a fellow with San Francisco Education Fund, and with the Yale National Teacher Initiative. Kelly has written liberation curriculum for Stanford University Martin Luther King Jr. Research and Education Institute. Kelly is an advocate for equitable education, and expresses her advocacy by initiating and completing daunting physical tasks; she walked from San Francisco to Sacramento in-order to bring attention to the lack of funding in public schools. She also rode her bicycle from San Francisco to Washington D.C to interview everyday Americans about the importance of equitable public education. In addition to her commitment to public education Kelly enjoys poetry, long walks, great coffee, sea salt ice cream, and smart conversations.

Jeanna Chavetta, 7th Grade, Spanish Language Arts and Social Studies, Buena Vista Horace Mann K-8
Jeanna Chavetta grew up in San Rafael, California. She went to Wesleyan University for college where she majored in Spanish Literature. In the fall of 1997, she began working in SFUSD after having received her teaching credential at Mills College in Oakland. Jeanna have worked in SFUSD ever since and have taught at the following schools: Cleveland Elementary, Sanchez Elementary, Buena Vista Elementary. She currently teaches 7th grade Spanish Language Arts and Social Studies at Buena Vista Horace Mann K-8. Her daughter is a second grader at BVHM as well. She is very proud to be a teacher and parent in San Francisco’s public schools and very proud to be part of a dual language program.

Michael Ferraro, 10th Grade, Geometry and AP Computer Science, Balboa High School
After studying Computer Science at MIT and working in the tech industry for a few years, Michael Ferraro took a year off to teach math at Balboa High School. After realizing that teaching was his true passion, he decided to remain in the classroom and is currently in his tenth year at Balboa. He currently teaches Geometry and AP Computer Science, and also coaches the school's robotics team. Mr. Ferraro takes great pride in his students' progress and is especially proud of those he has inspired to study Computer Science at various UCs and CSUs.

2012-2013 Teacher of the Year Award Winners

Ms. Andra Young, Pre-K, Presidio Early Education School
Mr. Andres Tobar, Spanish Immersion Kindergarten, Marshall Elementary School
Ms. Jennifer Moless, Kindergarten, El Dorado Elementary School
Mr. Joel Austin, 7th & 8th Grade Science, Roosevelt Middle School
Ms. Constance Walker, Grades 9-12 English and Special Education, Woodside Learning Center – San Francisco Juvenile Justice Center

Andra Young, Pre-K, Presidio Early Education School
Andra has been a public school preschool teacher since 1999. Her mother was a public school teacher for 30+ years and prior to going to City College to major in Early Childhood Development; she participated for several years working with preschool age children in her mother’s classroom (parent co-op). This is when she discovered that teaching would be her “life’s calling”. She has come to realize that no matter what country you are from or if you are a teacher in preschool or school age classrooms- the same basic important values of a deeper meaning of quality education, making genuine connections and bonds within one’s classroom community of children, parents, and teachers is what supports building the positive disposition towards learning for not only children- but for adults as well.

Andres Tobar, Spanish Immersion Kindergarten, Marshall Elementary School
Andres Tobar has been a kindergarten teacher at Marshall for 16 years. He came from El Salvador when he was 10 years old. He attended Fairmont Elementary School, James Lick Middle School and graduated from McAteer High School. He received his degree at San Francisco State University. He loves teaching because it gives him the satisfaction to see his students succeed. It is incredible to see them at the beginning of the year with different levels of knowledge and skill sets, then to see them reading, writing, adding, subtracting and communicating in Spanish and English by the end of the year. He loves to see students come to school with a happy face because they really want to be there. He can truly say that his students love to come to school.

Jennifer Moless, Kindergarten, El Dorado Elementary School
Living and teaching in Visitacion Valley gives her insight into our community’s strengths and needs; it drives her work at El Dorado Elementary. She knows that her neighbors want to be involved in their children’s education, but don’t always know how – so she helped create the first Parent Teacher Organization at El Dorado. She knows that our neighborhood has few safe places to play and is in a food desert, so she incorporates healthy eating into classroom and school activities and was selected as a P.E. Champion by Shape Up San Francisco. She knows that budgets are tight in Vis Valley (especially for our families living in Sunnydale), so she has written grants and planned fundraisers to support our school and our students, especially in the arts and sciences. And she knows that her neighbors have hopes, dreams, and high expectations for their children, so she worked hard not only to help her student’s master. Kindergarten standards, but to feel safe enough to try new things, make mistakes, ask questions, and believe that they can succeed in Kindergarten all the way through college. She recently bought a house in VisValley so she can be close to school and be part of the community she serves.

Joel Austin, 7th & 8th Grade Science, Roosevelt Middle School
Joel has been teaching middle school for 39 years; 27 in New York City and 12 in San Francisco. When people ask him when he’s going to retire, he tells them "when teaching stops being fun." Actually, teaching is more fun than ever: He loves sharing Science with students and in turn sharing in their insights, enthusiasm and good-heartedness. Someone once said that if you enjoy your job, it isn't work. Joel feels that teaching is hard work, but it's also incredibly enjoyable and rewarding.

Constance Walker, Grades 9-12 English and Special Education, Woodside Learning Center – San Francisco Juvenile Justice Center
Constance Walker is an exceptional needs specialist who is a National Board Certified Teacher specializing in inclusive instruction at the Woodside Learning Center in the San Francisco Juvenile Justice Center. She has been working with this population for 15 years. She co-authored the article, Songs of the Caged Birds: Literacy and Learning with Incarcerated Youth. She also started the first garden program at JJC. She has the opportunity to teach some of the most talented but misunderstood students in our district. She is constantly amazed by their perseverance in the face of crisis and chaos. They demonstrate daily their capacity for compassion as they struggle with poverty, trauma, and violence. Although many have not had a successful experience in school, have switched schools multiple times or have been habitually truant, she has seen that each one craves opportunities to learn. As they gain academic skills here, many say they feel more confident and better equipped to return to school on the outside. She loves seeing students demonstrate a real professionalism in the classroom and she lives to see students’ joy when they master a skill or able to share their work in front of the class.

2011-2012 Teacher of the Month Award Winners

Debra Netkin, Lawton Alternative School
Dieter Rogers, Rooftop Burnett Campus (K-4)
Elissa Matross, Gordon J. Lau Elementary School
Hana Huang, Miraloma Elementary School
Jason Murphy-Thomas, George Washington High School
Keith Carames, Ruth Asawa School of the Arts
Laura Chinn-Smoot, Spring Valley Science School
Marcia Coleman, Argonne Year Round Alternative School
Marisa Martinez Lusinchi, El Dorado Elementary School
Robert Sautter, Leonard R. Flynn Elementary School

Debra Netkin, Lawton Alternative School

Debra has worked as a first-grade teacher at Lawton Alternative School in San Francisco since 2001, and has been teaching since 1998. She is a previous recipient of the San Francisco Mayor's Teacher of the Month Award (2009-10 school year).

Debra recently worked as a course instructor for the Bay Area Teacher Training Institute, specializing in teaching science and literacy skills to English Language Learners. She is currently on the advisory board of the film, “American Teacher.” In 2005, she won the 826 Valencia Writers Workshop Outstanding Teacher of the Month Award.

Debra's classroom is lively. She embeds the arts into all areas of learning and believes that they are key to developing a community of enthusiastic learners. The children sing daily, and her class performs a musical every year. She invites speakers from all over San Francisco to visit the classroom and share their expertise with the children. Her first graders go on 10-15 trips a year all over the Bay Area.

Much of her work focuses on educating children on environmental issues, and she is currently developing an educational environmental TV show. At Lawton School, she organizes yearly events such as Endangered Species day (her invention) and the Trashy Fashion Show. She dreams of replicating these community-building events at schools everywhere.

Outside of school, Debra has written and performed solo theatre pieces under the direction of David Ford. She also enjoys painting, writing, producing short films, playing guitar, hiking, and practicing yoga.

Dieter Rogers, Rooftop Burnett Campus (K-4)

Dieter Rogers is a 4th grade teacher at Rooftop. Dieter received his BA from UCSB and his teaching credential at San Francisco State University. His wife, Becky, is also a teacher in San Francisco. He is the proud parent of two children, Ander and Colby. During his free time Dieter enjoys bike riding, live music, cooking, and being outdoors. Dieter would like to thank the Mayor's office for this recognition. He would also like to thank his family, friends, colleagues at Rooftop, and the parent community at Rooftop for their roles in his career. Most importantly, Dieter would like to thank his students who constantly remind him that teaching is much more than a job or a paycheck.

Elissa Matross, Gordon J. Lau Elementary School

Elissa Matross has taught at Gordon J. Lau Title I Pre-K for 40 years. She is passionate about Early Childhood Education and the ways that it empowers children and their families. Elissa believes that high quality early childhood education is a social justice issue. We are at an historic moment in our school district with a new commitment to a Pre-K through 3rd grade initiative. Her students speak 6 different languages and revel in the richness of the classroom community. They are currently tending snow peas in their rooftop garden and hoping their tadpoles turn into frogs before school ends. Elissa loves her team of co-workers. She has been an Instructional Coach for the past three years mentoring other teachers in Early Literacy/Language Arts practices.

Hana Huang, Miraloma Elementary School

My name is Hana Huang, and I've been teaching in SFUSD for the past 10 years. I knew that I wanted to become a teacher since I was eight years old. My third grade teacher Ms. Joyce Fong inspired me to become a teacher. She really made me feel special, always carved out time for me, and helped me learn to read and write as an English Language Learner. I've been through the entire public school system beginning at Head Start, Jean Parker, Marina, Galileo, UC Berkeley, and then SF State for my teaching credential. I've had so many great teachers who cared about me and encourage me to strive for success that I'd like to play that same role for my own students. I feel really blessed that I get to do what I love every single day. The students bring me so much joy. Not only is the academics important in first grade, but I feel very strongly that the students should be happy learners. I take my time to develop relationships with each child and recognize their strengths as individuals. I also enjoy mentoring new teachers and going to workshops every year to continue my learning. During my free time, I like to read, bake, and spend time with my three sisters.

Jason Murphy-Thomas, George Washington High School

Jason Murphy-Thomas is a Nationally Board Certified teacher of mathematics at George Washington High School. He has worked at George Washington for 20 years specializing in Geometry and Statistics. Jason currently is leading the effort at his school to incorporate technology at Washington by serving as their School Loop liaison, leading professional development, and by working in industry during the summer months. Jason serves on the Washington leadership team and has been the coordinator of the last two school accreditation cycles. Jason also serves as lead teacher for Washington's after school programming and is the president of the San Francisco Mathematics Teachers Association, a city wide professional organization of mathematics teachers.

Keith Carames, Ruth Asawa School of the Arts

Keith is a teacher and director living in San Francisco. He graduated Summa Cum Laude from SFSU where he served as the College of Creative Arts Audience Services Director. He is the recipient of a meritorious achievement award for directing from the Kennedy Center and an Irene Ryan nomination for performance. He was the 2011 recipient of the SFUSD Dream Catcher Award for excellence in interdisciplinary studies. He trained at the Leonard Bernstein Center for Education at the Grammy Foundation in Santa Monica with Susan Stauter, Artistic Director for SFUSD. Most recently, he presented at the Arts Education Partnership National Forum in San Francisco. He consultants for integrating art into the curriculum, and for health ed reform. For three years, he was the Director of the Spindrift School of Performing Arts Teen Training Camp, a four-week, musical theatre intensive and recently directed productions of Alice, The Wiz, and an original musical revue called Homecoming: A Night at the Copa. A frequent collaborator with local artists, Mr. C, as he is commonly referred to, along with Maria Lexa of San Francisco’s Sun and Moon Ensemble and with Cole Thomason-Redus, a long-time SOTA Artist-in-Residence and alum, created original adaptations of the ancient myths Demeter & Persephone and Rada & Krishna using larger than life puppets and masks. He teaches full-time in the Humanities Department at San Francisco's Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts, and acts a master teacher to student teachers from UCSF, SFSU, USF, and UCB. He has collaborated to manage or direct SOTA Main Stage theatrical productions, including Cabaret, Out of the Frying Pan, Duets, Quilters, Jekyll & Hyde, City of Angels, and Fiddler on the Roof. Last year, he successfully completed the design and direction of Ragtime and this year directed The Producers. This spring, he is producing an independent film with a federal grant from the Department of Safe and Drug Free Schools.

Laura Chinn-Smoot, Spring Valley Science School

Laura Chinn-Smoot is a product of the San Francisco public school system and proud of it! She has taught at Spring Valley Science School for 32 years and enjoys integrating science with other subjects. Spring Valley Science School focuses on science and critical thinking. Outside the classroom, Laura started the conflict resolution program at the school over 20 years ago because she believes in peaceful problem solving. For the last 11 years, she has also taught after school guitar classes through the Little Kids Rock program. She regularly demonstrates viola, violin, Chinese violin, recorder and folk harp to the children. Laura enjoys the textile arts and shares these crafts with her students. She spins yarn, weaves, knits, and sews. She teaches knitting to her students and in the past five years they have sent over 500 hats to the children in Afghanistan. Laura’s family practices sustainable urban living by growing vegetables, raising chickens, composting, putting solar panels on houses, and biking to work. She shares this passion with her students and encourages others to join her.

Marcia Coleman, Argonne Year Round Alternative School

I love teaching! I began my journey into the educational arena in Children Centers. Then, I proceeded to Pre-K and finally to Argonne Elementary first grade and finally settled into the love of my life grade, Kindergarten!

I have taught in the SFUSD for twenty plus years. Through and while continuing my journey, I have made a conscience and mindful, educational experience which is inductive for ALL children to experience and pursue excellence and success in education.

I am committed and mindful of providing a better place for all children to learn, grow, thrive and reach their potential. I am committed in creating an enriched environment which is fun, joyful, challenging, intriguing, stimulating and safe for all children. I am committed to continue to bring to the classroom a high level of energy and enthusiasm while providing instruction which egage and promote positive learning experiences.

I am committed to continue to help bridge the gap between parents/guardians and school. I am committed to keeping communication between home and school open and non-threatening.

I am committed help shape our future, our children by providing an education that will permit them to be creative, independent thinkers, viable, perseverant and productive citizens and leaders.

I have been blessed to contribute and to do something I truly enjoy and love! I am committed to continue to learn and grow through professional development and to make a difference in my educational endeavors.

I am committed, excited and up for the challenge. It’s showtime and time to bring it. At the end of the day, I want to always be able to say: Job well done!

Marisa Martinez Lusinchi, El Dorado Elementary School

Hailing from the New Mexico desert land, Marisa Martinez is a fiddle/guitar player currently playing with such local bands as Hang Jones, Jenny Kerr and Eric Mcfadden. She has a Masters degree in Education. She believes that music is a key element to learning in schools and hopes more emphasis will be placed upon it. She is a National Board Certificated teacher who has been a teacher at El Dorado Elementary school, located in Visitacion Valley, for 17 years. She self-produced a children's CD, Chickens and ABC's, which won Parent Choice award Silver medal. With the profits of her CD she was able to buy musical necessities for the school. Her kindergarten web site website www.chickenandabcs.com, has generated visitors from all over the world where free downloads for kindergartners are available. She is also grateful to DONORS CHOOSE which has helped her build her classroom through many grants. She has: husband Marc- Olivier Lusinchi, two daughters Zamora Moon and Xavia Soleil, a stepdaughter Margo Lusinchi, 3 dogs, 3 cats and one tortoise residing in Kings Mountain (where the Redwood trees grow and the Lorax lives) by Half Moon Bay. She humbly accepts this award on behalf of all the teachers in Hunters Point and Visitation Valley East side schools of San Francisco and to all the beautiful children who live there.

Robert Sautter, Leonard R. Flynn Elementary School

Robert Sautter is an anti-racist, self-reflective, collaborative kindergarten educator who places love at the heart of his teaching to meet the needs of his diverse students. Robert cares about each child in the classroom community both as a student and as a person – and endeavoring to understand his students’ cultures, histories, and languages helps him create individual pathways for success.

Robert’s commitment to creating the conditions for equity to thrive in his classroom has galvanized him to action in many ways – from offering home visits to children and their families, to pursuing bilingual certification to create more meaningful partnerships with families, to securing funding for the continuation of our Equity-Centered Professional Learning Community. With each of these activities, Robert pursues with one goal in mind – that being the creation of a learning environment where each child knows she/he is loved.

2010-2011 Teacher of the Month Award Winners

Steven Bonaccorso, O’Connell High School
Sarah Brant, Balboa High School
Nina Mayer, George Washington High School
Jean Micheli, McKinley Elementary School
Juan Novella, Fairmount Elementary School
Dale Richardson, New Traditions Elementary School
Janice Reilly, Commodore Sloat Elementary School
James Samuel, Presidio Childhood Development Center
Luis Sierra, Alvarado Elementary School
Julie Wong, Noriega Childhood Development Center

Steven Bonaccorso, John O’Connell High School
Mr. Steven Bonaccorso, an English and ELD instructor at O’Connell High School, is renowned for running a structured classroom. His class begins with ten minutes of sustained silent reading, while he takes the time to check each student’s homework and note their progress. Mr. Bonaccorso’s students appreciate that he acknowledges and values their perspectives. Many of his ninth grade students take advantage of after school help, which he offers daily. Mr. Bonaccorso focuses on helping students improve their writing skills and ability to articulate themselves in classroom discussions. Students appreciate Mr. Bonaccorso’s ability to maintain a balanced learning environment that is both rigorous and engaging.

Sarah Brant, Balboa High School
Sarah Brant’s peer resources class at Balboa High School teaches 9-12 grade students to think critically and become agents of change through student leadership and activism. Ms. Brant helps students develop school workshops and clubs to address the needs of their peers, and to educate them about important subjects like the risks of smoking. She also helped students create the “Communities in Harmony” program in which students hand delivered prizes to individuals who had recently improved their grades, along with cards to welcome new students to Balboa. Ms. Brant is shaping our young people into a generation of advocates and leaders who believe they have the ability to change the communities they live in, and eventually the world. Even after graduating, students come to Ms. Brant for guidance and seek to emulate her active involvement in the community.

Nina Mayer, George Washington High School
Ms. Nina Mayer, of George Washington High School, inspires her students to express themselves creatively through dance. Ms. Mayer incorporates reading and writing into her curriculum in order to connect the physical, emotional, and intellectual components of the art. Parents notice how much their children enjoy Ms. Mayer’s class, and the meaningful bonds they have made with classmates. Ms. Mayer makes it a priority that her class be a comprehensive growing experience. Her energy and enthusiasm for teaching and connecting with her students exceeds all expectations.

Jean Micheli, McKinley Elementary School
Ms. Jean Micheli, a first grade ELD teacher at McKinley Elementary for more than 25 years, is known for accommodating various learning styles through creative instruction. Parents and students value her participation in science night, willingness to stay late to meet with parents, and initiation of an overnight educational field trip. Ms. Micheli holds high expectations for every student in her class, and creates an environment of equality and respect, one in which students can grow and gain confidence. One parent calls Ms. Micheli the “super hero in our community.”

Juan Novella, Fairmount Elementary School
Mr. Juan Novella, of Fairmount Elementary School, implements a variety of approaches to meet the individual needs of his students both academically and emotionally. Although his class is comprised of students at various language proficiencies, he finds creative ways to engage everyone through group work and interactive activities. Mr. Novella teaches his third graders about civic and social issues his students can relate to. In one exercise, Mr. Novella had students grouped based on ethnic background and home language, and then had them discuss how their own identities might be different from how others perceived them. Further, he encourages kids to consider how students’ background may affect their learning experiences. Mr. Novella makes an effort to keep parents’ involved in the classroom and consciously shapes his young students into culturally and socially aware learners.

Janice Reilly, Commodore Sloat Elementary School
A second grade teacher for over ten years, Ms. Janice Reilly, of Commodore Sloat Elementary School, is known for her passion for reading and writing, which she impresses upon her ELD students. Through small groups, Ms. Reilly facilitates workshops during which students discuss and write critically about novels they are reading. Finding a balance between individual and group work, Ms. Reilly ensures that every student’s needs are met. Parents appreciate Ms. Reilly’s commitment to involving them in their children’s education through inviting open communication and encouraging participation in community engagement activities. Second graders especially enjoy the annual end-of-the-year field trip to the farm where Ms. Reilly grew up, and students and their families can learn, eat, and play together.

Dale Richardson, New Traditions Elementary School
Mr. Dale Richardson runs an organized, detail-oriented classroom at New Traditions Elementary School. Mr. Richardson utilizes class computers (which he regularly maintains himself!) as a learning tool, and initiates potlucks to celebrate the children’s diverse ethnic backgrounds. Parents recognize his attention to equality and mutual respect within the classroom, as he teaches the kids to celebrate their diversity through various activities. One parent appreciates that he has also instilled in her kindergartener the importance of cleaning up! Mr. Richardson inspires children to want to learn by being present, fair, and humorous.

James Samuel, Presidio Child Development Center
Mr. James Samuel, of Presidio Child Development Center, assumes every child in his classroom is full of curiosity, and possesses endless potential. He utilizes both the classroom and the surrounding national park and community facilities to expose his students to a range of interactive learning activities. Mr. Samuel encourages students to be proud of their accomplishments, and creates a learning community in which students are valued by their teachers and peers, and encouraged to express themselves freely. He promotes emotional and social literacy within daily academic activities. After 30 years of teaching, Mr. Samuel always exudes enthusiasm and dedication to learn and do even better.

Luis Sierra, Alvarado Elementary School
Everyday, Sr. Luis Sierra, a third grade teacher at Alvarado Elementary School, greets each student at the door with a “Buenos Dias,” and a handshake. Sr. Sierra promotes a multi-cultural, multi-lingual community within his classroom, introducing students to social issues through books and discussions. He also incorporates hands-on projects to teach math and science concepts, and often facilitates student performances which celebrate students’ diverse cultural backgrounds. After school, students can be found in Sr. Sierra’s classroom receiving tutoring and doing homework, as music plays softly in the background Sr. Sierra’s respectful nature is infectious, and his students learn from his example.

Julie Wong, Noriega Child Development Center
Parents and colleagues praise Ms. Julie Wong, a long time Pre-K teacher at Noriega Childhood Development Center, for her constant enthusiasm and commitment to making students and parents feel welcome in her classroom. Ms. Wong utilizes community projects to expand students’ academic and social skills. This year, she and her students explored local businesses to learn about finances and economics. Ms. Julie, as she is affectionately called, goes beyond the basics, teaching her young students to think critically and respect each other’s personal and cultural differences. Ms. Julie lays the essential foundation for students to become successful students for years to come.

2009-2010 Mayor's Teacher of the Month Award Winners

Trude Yazman, Commodore Sloat Elementary School 
Karen Field, Galileo Academy of Science and Technology High School 
Xiao-Lin Yin-Croft, Ulloa Elementary School 
David Costanza, Balboa High School 
Julie Coghlan, School of the Arts High School
Karen Leong, Francis Scott Key Elementary School
Robert Roth, Mission High School
Debra Netkin, Lawton Alternative Elementary School
Janet Nedeau, Thurgood Marshall Academic High School
Tanya de la Jara, Monroe Elementary School

2008-2009 Mayor's Teacher of the Month Award Winners

Rosemary Jacobs, George Washington High School
Valerie Ziegler, Abraham Lincoln High School
Anna Gin, James Denman Middle School
Rodney Woo, McKinley Elementary School
Pirette McKamey, Mission High School
Carol Siddle, Commodore Sloat Elementary School
Sheila Maffei, Scott Key Elementary School
Allison Gould, Rooftop Alternative Elementary School
Dina Wright, Abraham Lincoln High School
Jill Trinh, Sherman Elementary School

2007-2008 Mayor's Teacher of the Month Award Winners

Betty Robinson-Harris, Burnett Child Development Center
Michael Sova, Dianne Feinstein Elementary School
Sumako Morimoto, Clarendon Elementary School
Celia Magtoto, Jean Parker Elementary School
Irene Fong, McKinley Elementary School
Louise Feldman, Commodore Sloat Elementary School
Karen Berman, James Lick Middle School
Elizabeth Abrahams, Visitation Valley Middle School
Shannon Morris-Lawson, Mission High School
Jennifer Moffitt, Lowell High School

2006-2007 Mayor's Teacher of the Month Award Winners

Ms. Sandra Berger, Lafayette Elementary School
Mr. George Cachianes, Lincoln High School
Ms. Cynthia Cen, Newcomer High School
Mr. John Clancy, Philip and Sala Burton High School
Ms. Sang-Yeon Lee, Claire Lillienthal K-8 School
Ms. Susie Siegel, Yick Wo Elementary School

Last updated: 2/12/2016 10:09:04 AM