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We Are SFUSD

"We Are SFUSD" shares real stories about our students, staff, leaders, and families with the community of San Francisco. Take a glimpse into the lives of the people who makeup SFUSD, and learn how SFUSD core values to be student-centered, fearless, united, and to support social justice and diversity leads the work every day in our schools.

09/30/16

Donna Chan, Playworks Coordinator at Dr. William L. Cobb Elementary School

I’m here every single day. I’m in charge of all the recesses, junior coaches, and leagues. My main focus this year is play - just having kids play. And teaching teachers how to play games so they can play with them as well. Some kids don’t know how to play in an organized game because they learned how to play from friends. Since I’m here, I can teach them how to play, help them share the ball and work together as a team. Honestly, it’s the best thing I could ask for to be around the kids, having a connection with them and their family, and letting the family know that they’re doing a great job. I wake up an hour early just to come here to hang out with the kids.

09/23/16

Diego, 4th-grade student at Dr. William L. Cobb Elementary School

I’ve been going here since 2nd grade. I like to learn math - I love math. Social studies. Science, learning about the solar system. I like reading books, mostly chapter books. I’m reading the Harry Potter series. My favorite memory of school is field trips, going to the Academy of Science. It has some pretty cool stuff.

09/16/16

Aumornai Edinburgh, health teacher at Willie L. Brown Middle School

Even in second grade, I knew I wanted to be a teacher. My mom is a special education teacher so I've been in the classroom since I was 5. That was my summer program. Some kids go to the YMCA, I went to my mom’s summer school class. Growing up around kids with disabilities - they communicate - they just may not always use their voice. My mom was really good at giving them a voice and understanding that kids communicate in different ways. I think I took that and understood that early on. As I got older, I realized I really love kids and I want to do the same for them - giving them a voice. That’s why I work in this neighborhood, and communities very similar to this, because I feel like these kids often times their voice isn’t heard.

09/12/16

Victor Phu, Junior Management Assistant of AAALI

I don’t think that we can solve all problems, but we can give underserved students the tools to change the systems for themselves. Education is a form of liberation.

09/02/16

Myong Leigh, Interim Superintendent

“I grew up on the East Coast, and I was a double minority in my upbringing. My family was one of very few Asian families in my hometown. Being gay was another major identity factor. Coming to California, and being around a plurality of Asian people in San Francisco, was different - in a good way. I love the city. It’s a beautiful city, and I love the vibe, the culture, the diversity, but in particular it was really meaningful to think of San Francisco as a place where my identity was affirmed and not marginalized. For all those reasons, I idealized this notion of San Francisco, and when I thought about the work that I wanted to do, working for SFUSD was my dream job. For me there’s a huge sense of responsibility to make a positive difference, to work in a collective system to help others make positive impacts - especially to support people and communities who feel marginalized - and to create the conditions that help all students succeed.”

08/26/16

Robert Watts and Miyuki Noma, parents at Rosa Parks Elementary

We looked at so many schools in the San Francisco district. Since (our son) Colter is Japanese, this one was actually our first choice. Going to a really diverse school with a (Japanese) bilingual program was a huge thing on our list. This school is incredibly diverse. We got lucky and we got in. We visited and we met the principal and some of the teachers. We did the tours and we’ve come to some other events. It really clicked with us, and even though it’s kind of a commute, we feel like it’s worth making the stretch to have him come here.

08/19/16

Darin Conley, Human Resources Director of Special Projects

Instead of coming in on a Monday with my head down, bags full, and just shutting the door to my office, I set my stuff down and go around to say ‘good morning, how was your weekend?’ and ‘how are you doing?’ to all of the staff. I make sure people feel welcomed here, wanted here, important here. It’s not always about what you are doing for me and what you are doing for your workstream, but what we’re doing for you. I always ask myself, am I being a good person to the staff? It really does make them feel like they’re part of a team and that they’re not just an individual.

08/13/16

Darlene Lim, Executive Director of Special Projects

There’s a real focus in this district to mold a child to be successful in whichever way they need to be. It’s not just an academic focus. It’s about the whole child. If you look at what we did 30 years ago when I first started, it’s such a different message now. We value language, diversity and technology. We want students to have all those skills. If your child is not academically inclined, we want them to have vocational opportunities. The entire organization talks about that. Our goals are the same. Every school, I can say, is really great. We have the perspectives out there about which schools are good and which are not, but if you walk into a school, you’re going to find great things.