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"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 make up 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.


Dr. Vincent Matthews, Superintendent

I used to think to myself that I’m superintendent at other places, but not at the place that raised me. The place that started my educational career as a student and an educator. It’s a dream come true to work here. This is the place I feel I owe so much to. Dr. George W. Carver Elementary School shaped my beliefs about education. All children can learn and want to learn and we as adults have the responsibility of making that happen. At the end of 12th grade, every student should have a choice to go to college or not. This district shaped who I am, and I want to come back and do the same thing for other kids this district has done for me.


Carmen Chen, SFUSD alumna and Medical Case Manager at the API Wellness Center

My first experience with learning about HIV was in first grade. My class went to a play that was about someone who was HIV positive and what it’s like to have it. I remember meeting the cast. Most of them were HIV positive. I high-fived them like, ‘Hey, you’re not so scary. You’re not going to pass on HIV because we just saw a play about it.’ It was so impactful. Now, 20-something years later, I work in the HIV field. I’m a medical case manager at a local nonprofit working with folks who are HIV positive and underserved in the LGBT community. To this day, I remember that play. It was my first time ever hearing about HIV.


Darin Atkins, Legal Assistant

“Before working in the legal department, I was a substitute teacher at various schools. Students in San Francisco come from a wide variety of backgrounds. SFUSD opens doors that students thought could never be opened.”


Robert, 11th-grader and basketball player at Mission High School

“Everybody is talking about our championship basketball team right now, but a lot of people don’t think about how hard it is to maintain grades and basketball at the same time. Our priorities are very hard. We have to maintain more than a 2.0 grade point average. That’s what we all focus on first. We’re always students first and athletes second.”


Amber Yada, parent at Dr. William L. Cobb Elementary School

Cobb was my first choice. It has a strong restorative practices culture. That was really important for me. My daughter is biracial. I wanted to make sure that her culture was understood and reflected in the school.


Teri Gee, Families and Youth in Transition Head Counselor

Having dropped out of high school and becoming homeless myself, I understand the struggles our homeless students face and want to give back. Years ago, I broke into a church. I was allowed to live there as a janitor while I pursued my counseling degrees. There are about 2,600 homeless children in our district. I make sure to give each student and family 110 percent. These students need support. They need compassion. They need a caring adult.


Apollo, 7th-grader at Willie L. Brown Jr. Middle School

In Robotics, we’re making a freight elevator. I’m really proud of that because my code is pretty good. I accomplished it early, and the build looks really nice too! Our school is like any school, except for the different classes we take. I like learning things that you wouldn’t learn at other middle schools, like robotics and app design. When I grow up, I want to be an engineer, a physical therapist, or a dialysis technician. I’m applying for internships at the California Academy of Sciences and the San Francisco Zoo. It’s going to look good on my resume.


Kania Tucker, Drama and Digital Media Teacher at Visitacion Valley Middle School

Visitacion Valley Middle School is a place where you can be yourself. The teachers really take their time to get to know their students. We create a curriculum that is interesting to the students and caters to their needs, wants and interests. We’re a family here. I felt welcomed since the beginning.


Tyrin, 6th-grader at Willie L. Brown Jr. Middle School

I’m proud that I learned coding in a short amount of time. Now I can do more stuff on the computer than I could before.


Justin, 7th-grader at Willie L. Brown Jr. Middle School

“My dad heard about Willie Brown Middle School. At that time, Willie Brown wasn’t even built. It was a metal structure. When I first went to see the school it was covered in plastic. I didn’t know much about it. But my dad said, ‘Willie Brown is going to be a new school, we should try it.’ It’s new -- why wouldn’t anyone want to try it? I listed it as my first choice. Now I’m going to be the first class to graduate -- that’s pretty good. I like that.”