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2017 RAVE Awards

Julia Smith, 1st Grade Teacher - Rooftop PreK-8 School 

"Ms. Smith is a natural teacher who brings joy with the education. Ms. Smith is inspiringly well oganized. [She is] a great exemplar of the community she is a part of and creating." - Nominated 12/2017

Special Education Team (Erin Hartfield, Travis Porter, Buckley Rosato, Sophie Iribarren, Cole Manieri, Michelle Wong, Sara Mayerson, Yehudit (Malka) Serrano-Falcon) - Aptos Middle School - Distinguished Service Award Winner for May 2018

"I have the distinct pleasure of working with some of the best and MOST dedicated special education teachers that SFUSD has! They truly care about their students, by going above and beyond their duties. Many are here early and many stay late to support students by working with them, or consulting with general education teachers to figure out modifications and accommodations that are most appropriate." - Nominated 12/2017

Lynn Garcia, Counselor - Educational Placement Center 

"She gives a piece of herself to each parent that asks for help. Our parents have a strong bond with her. She can easily relate to our parents. Every department needs strong shoulders to stand on. I feel honored to be able to work with Lynn and hope to one day also create the same strong relationships with parents." - Nominated 11/2017

Heidi Anderson, Public Relations Manager - Communications 

"Passionate and resourceful, Heidi is not only committed to being a topnotch public relations professional, but also constantly goes the extra mile to exceed others’ expectations. Heidi earns a high level of respect from the Communications team and constantly uses her vast experience to drive positive changes. In every single day, I'm in awe the busy schedule she is able to handle, while still being able to address every visitor coming through her door. She is recognized as a to-go resource for both work and personal issues." - Nominated 11/2017

Catalina Pajar, Executive Assistant - Leadership, Equity, Achievement, & Design (LEAD) - Distinguished Service Award Winner for October 2017

"She helps orchestrate our homeless program at SAC, and she helped a lot at our youth summit. A lot of the behind the scenes work is done by Catalina - getting food for our meetings, ordering materials, and much more. When she left on a vacation, I was stuck and felt a thousand times more stressed. Catalina keeps the wheels moving, and keeps everyone productive." - Nominated 06/2017

McKenna Taylor, English Teacher - Ida B. Wells High School - Special Service Award Winner for October 2017

"McKenna is an amazing breath of fresh air who shares a classroom adjacent to my own. As I am new at this school, McKenna has been so open and warm to me as a colleague. I see the students flock to her room every day for her classes and at lunch just to talk to her and laugh with her. The students here have often been beaten down by former schools and teachers. Mckenna offers no judgement, only encouragement. She really rocks her room puts so much time into making her classes appropriate, rigorous, and meaningful." - Nominated 12/2016

Nicole Cariaso, Kindergarten Teacher - Lawton Alternative School

"Mrs. Cariaso has a positive attitude and a great enthusiasm towards her students. She always think of creative ways to motivate her students to make the right choices and treat others with respect. I love that she greets her students and parents daily with a big smile each morning, which is a great way to start the day! Mrs. Cariaso’s dedication to her students by going above and beyond for her students even if that means staying late at school and creating extra work for herself. She has a family with a young child too so it means a lot to me that she places her students as a top priority." - Nominated 10/2017

Christl Perkins, Special Education Case Manager / Teacher - The Academy - San Francisco at McAteer

"Ms. Perkins has been an incredible addition to our staff - she is so hard-working, thoughtful, and attentive to building community. She is an incredible asset to our students & school community for a variety of reasons, including: her commitment to improving our school through leadership and her kindness to families and students. Our staff is working together on improving our relationships with students, and Ms. Perkins has volunteered to lead a series of workshops focused on surfacing microaggressions within our community and working collectively to address them." - Nominated 10/2017

ZeHua Ye, Custodian - Tenderloin Community School

"John (ZeHua) has gone above and beyond keeping the Tenderloin Community School campus sanitary and clean. After spending hours on a daily basis cleaning the cafeteria, hallways, classrooms, and restrooms, John responds right away to emergency situations, such as leaks, spills, elevator problems, and the effects of student illness that require immediate attention. In addition, he is quite flexible and helpful in moving items into and out of storage. John opens up the school in the morning and makes sure it is ready to receive staff and students. He has a positive attitude, is flexible, is a hard worker, and is kind and friendly to students, staff, and families. He takes pride in his work, and is willing to go the extra mile to serve the needs of the school community." - Nominated 10/2017

Endora Lee, 1st Grade English Language Development - Edward R. Taylor Elementary School

"Endora embodies the values that pertain to keeping a focus on equity. She takes the role of "teaching all students" to heart. She goes above and beyond to assist her students with behavioral and academic challenges." - Nominated 10/2017

Nora Siggins, 1st Grade English Language Development - Edward R. Taylor Elementary School

"Nora was new to our school last year, and it was her first full teaching year. She had a very challenging class. She always collaborated and remained positive. She became an important member of our PBIS team and earned the respect of families and teachers. She continues to reflect and grow. To me , she embodies our core values." - Nominated 10/2017

Jeanine Kennard, Paraeducator and ASP Teacher - Bret Harte Elementary School - Distinguished Service Award Winner for September 2018

"Ms. Princess has served and supported Bret Harte Elementary for nearly twenty years and been part of the community for even longer. While newer staff complain about feeling tired and burned out, Ms. Princess shows up each day full of patience, respect, and hugs and kisses. When families are having a hard time connecting with the school, Ms. Princess gets the call. She treats Bret Harte students with the respect and dignity that all students deserve. She holds them to high expectations and empowers them as community members and scholars." - Nominated 08/2017

Alice Lin-Tay, School Secretary - Tenderloin Community School - Distinguished Service Award Winner for March 2018

"Some of the positive qualities that distinguish Alice's work are her kindness, thoughtfulness, consideration of others, and 'can do' attitude. Alice treats all families, students, and staff with respect. As busy as she is, she takes the time to do nice things for others. On the Friday before school started, when teachers were busily setting up their classrooms, Alice made an announcement that there was food in the staff lounge if anyone was interested. Tenderloin serves vulnerable families, and takes the time to support and assist them." - Nominated 08/2017

Robert Daniels, Director - Visual & Performing Arts - Distinguished Service Award Winner for June 2018

"Rob is constantly trying to make his employees who move around a lot feel more grounded in each individual place. At the same time he has to respect the space limitations of the sites he serves. Next year he has developed a creative plan of positive, affirming site visits to see the teachers in their milieu and how VAPA, together with the teachers and principals, can fully support program, student and teacher space needs." - Nominated 06/2017

Amy Matarazzo, Physical Education Specialist - Alvarado Elementary School - Special Service Award Winner for May 2017

"Amy's thirst for increasing the learning of students with disabilities is one of many factors that have led Amy to become such a distinguished teacher. She routinely shares her own tried and tested best practices for teaching students with disabilities during PDs and through google drive." - Nominated 01/2017

Nadir del Toro Solis, Clerk - Junipero Serra Annex Early Education School - Special Service Award Winner for May 2017

"Nadir is a shining star! She is an example of the very best in administrative support. She meets every family with a goal of equitably serving their needs. When she served as our noon monitor for several years in the TK she supported every child to be self-regulating and socially successful. She has provided excellent service to the school in her work on daily operations, customer service, budget, contracts and whatever work is asked of her." - Nominated 11/2016

Rachael Spillard, Science Teacher and Department Chair - George Washington High School - Distinguished Service Award Winner for April 2018

"Rachael is not only a dynamic and dedicated classroom teacher, she is also our department chair who goes above and beyond to support us in our work as teachers. Whether it's taking care of the budget, organizing haz-mat pick ups, or advocating for science with administration, Rachael takes care of the details of running the department so we can focus on our classrooms. On top of that, she is highly involved with activities on campus from social committee to robotics club - Rachael really does it all!" - Nominated 05/2017

Pre-K Team (Danielle Lurie, Haiyang Yu, Ana Roblero, Monica Mendoza) - Rooftop Community School - Distinguished Service Award Winner for February 2018

"As the parent of a child with an IEP, I cannot emphasize enough how valuable and reassuring this sense of being involved on a daily basis in my child’s education is. The Rooftop preschool teachers have always been open to my suggestions regarding my child’s education and have shown a flexibility regarding my child’s varying support needs that allows them to adjust their approach from day-to-day. Both teachers have always been responsive to email questions and suggestions and have made themselves available for short meetings outside of school time. " - Nominated 2 times 05/2017

Alma Portillo, School Secretary - Junipero Serra Annex Early Education School - Special Service Award Winner for August 2018

"This employee goes well beyond the scope of her workload. She has a dedication to serve the needs of the children and families and support all staff in that regard. She is a model employee always positive in her attitude and willing to serve the adminsistrator with all the school's needs." - Nominated 05/2017

Caroline Stanfield, Audiologist - Thurgood Marshall High School - Distinguished Service Award Winner for April 2017

"Caroline has been a bright light in our district for many years and is consistently going out of her way to meet the needs of students with hearing loss. She meets with each referred student, finds out about how they are doing, assists in determining the FM equipment needed to assist them in the classroom, and is down to work with each child to even determine their favorite color. She never says "no" and is always willing to go above and beyond while working with both regular education and special education children. She is responsive to each individual student's needs and is always willing to work with staff to assist them in understanding the specialized needs of students with hearing loss." - Nominated 01/2017

Michael Powell, Plumber - Facilities - Special Service Award Winner for April 2017

"Mike has gone above and beyond working on the district's largest and longest running blind leak at the McAteer campus. After spending hours searching the school for visible leaks, spending many weekends overseeing professional leak detection efforts, and coordinating with bond modernization work, Mike agreed in fall to move his efforts to non school hours hours. Often working before 6 AM and once from 8PM to midnight to accommodate the school’s daily operations and SOTA’s busy event schedules, Mike’s has decreased the size of the leak by 50%, created a clear path to a final fix, and has confirmed his Dad’s hypothesis, a former SFUSD plumber, that the campus had a large leak over 20 years ago." - Nominated 02/2017

Kenneth Gonzalez, English Department Head + Teacher - Balboa High School - Distinguished Service Award Winner for March 2017

"I appreciate Ken's diplomacy, kindness, consideration, and vision. He understands that leadership requires bigger vision and he understands and seeks to understand the needs of teachers in order to best support his colleagues as department head and as a veteran teacher at our school site." - Nominated 11/2016

Dana Warnery, School Secretary - Clarendon Alternative Elementary School - Special Service Award Winner for March 2017

"Dana Warnery is quite simply the best school secretary I have ever seen. She ensures that every class is covered every day by calling substitutes late into the evening. Because of her work, teachers have all of the supplies they need in a timely manner. Parents are supported with all of the information they need about their child at school. She nurtures students through numerous bumps which come with being in elementary school. And she is a chief of morale in the school by welcoming new staff, setting up award lunches for students, and marking important events in the life of every staff person." - Nominated 11/2016

Candy Lee, Classroom Teacher - Chinese Education Center - Special Service Award Winner for March 2018

"Candy Lee is an outstanding classroom teacher and teacher leader at CEC. Another distinction is that she has come full-circle in her career because she attended the Chinese Education Center as a student when she first entered the United States as a newcomer herself. Recently, Ms. Lee was selected to receive a Fulbright Scholarship to work in Taiwan next year. Amidst our country's current political state of literally and figuratively building walls, Ms. Lee will be actively building a bridge when she begins her work as a Fulbright Scholar in Taiwan. All of us in the CEC school community stand so deeply proud of her accomplishments as a teacher, a teacher leader, and now, as a Fulbright Scholar. " - Nominated 03/2017

Supply Warehouse Department

"Department's responsiveness during closing and opening of schools goes over and above their call of duty. By providing great customer service, tremendous burdens to site principals are eliminated." - Nominated 03/2017 and 10/2017

Martha Adriasola, Teacher on Special Assignment - School Health Programs

"Martha uses data to make decisions about district-wide systems and structures to support the health and wellness of our students, pays attention to detail, and has positive relationships with everyone that she works with. She keeps students at the center of her work and works tirelessly to ensure that they receive health education in the classroom, experience health events at school, and take safe routes." - Nominated 03/2017

Michelle Low, Teacher - Robert Louis Stevenson Elementary School

"She is a great 3rd grade teacher and a very important asset to RL Stevenson. She is a great team leader and always assists the principal and PTA. I'm nominating her because she's a great mentor and teacher." - Nominated 03/2017

Evelyn Cheung, Principal - Junipero Serra Elementary School

"Because Ms. Cheung puts in long hours, she is there when the staff arrives and when the staff leaves. I'm a substitute teacher and have been to about 12 different elementary schools now. Ms. Cheung has spent so much time planning that the effort pays off beautifully. This small school is undergoing construction so the playground has shrunk, the hallways have become crowded, the school has lost the library, but miraculously the test scores have improved and the morale has risen. I have never seen such a well-oiled machine that is full of energy, emotion and care at every level of every day." - Nominated 03/2017

Valerie Ziegler, Green Academy Coordinator - Abraham Lincoln High School - Distinguished Service Award Winner for February 2017

"As coordinator of Lincoln High School's Green Academy, Ms. Ziegler is responsible for facilitating all of the school activities related to environmental issues - including our school garden program, recycling and compost training, healthy food initiatives, energy audits and proposals to cut back on energy usage in addition to many other events and activities outside of Lincoln. This includes bringing her students outside of the classroom and into the world of work - field trips in the many industries the environmental pathway could lead. She is someone that we all RAVE about!" - Nominated 05/2016

Linda Mastrangelo, Paraprofessional - Robert Louis Stevenson Elementary School - Distinguished Service Award Winner for February 2017

"When students experience difficult emotions, Ms. Linda would spend time to help students process them. I have had students who experienced trauma such as losing family members and other personal issues. Ms. Linda would spend break time talking to the grieving or troubled students. She connected with the students by sharing about her life experiences and getting students to express themselves in healthy manners. She helped empower students with improved problem solving skills and to better understand and/or accept circumstances. On several occasions, Ms. Linda even gave students encouraging notes, books, and other tools to support children going through trauma. Students and teachers greatly appreciate her. Overall, Ms. Linda is making a huge difference in our lives." - Nominated 10/2016

Jonathan Lewallen, Teacher - Presidio Middle School

"Mr. Lewallen is very nice to his students and loves his job very much. He never procrastinates and has our class doing fun projects to make sure we understand the material. He cares a lot about how his students are feeling." - Nominated 02/2017

Kathryn Molinaro, Teacher - Presidio Middle School

"Kathryn Molinaro is a very dedicated and hardworking teacher who teaches beyond everyone's imaginations. She treats all of her students fairly and is very patient with everyone. She also has a very humorous way of teaching things which makes it extremely easy to remember the material. A few weeks ago, she was teaching her class about how to write a good last sentence for explanitory essays. She rose one of her legs and kicked the air so fiercely, her shoe fell off! She told us that the last sentence (a kicker, as Ms. Molinaro called it) should "kick the reader out of your essay! In a nice and gentle way". Ms. Molinaro never leaves a unit unless everyone is fluent at the assigned task. With those reasons listed above, I am proud to nominate my teacher, Ms. Molinaro!" - Nominated 02/2017

Christine Spagnuolo, School Secretary - Robert Louis Stevenson Elementary School

"Chris approaches her work and daily responsibilities with vigor, enthusiasm, and commitment. No task is too difficult. She recognizes the gravity of every project and completes it within the specified timeline with accuracy and success. When an unforeseen problem occurs, she accepts the challenge and works toward its resolution. Her unstinting work and positive attitude extend beyond her normal 9 hour day. It is common knowledge to all staff that Chris brings work home to finish during the evenings or weekends." - Nominated 02/2017

Jennifer Comeans, TSA / Literacy Coach - Dr. George Washington Carver Elementary School - Distinguished Service Award Winner for April 2018

"In the past 24 hours, Jennifer spearheaded our annual Literacy Night, participated in Instructional Rounds, and facilitated PD for our staff. For Literacy Night, she recruited teachers to volunteer, found most of the activities for each teacher to lead, made copies and collected materials for the evening. The event was well organized and well attended with happy children and families. Then this morning she participated in instructional rounds at our site: observing teachers and students and debriefing with a group of principals. This afternoon, she led our staff through a writing pd that introduced them to a new resource, honed their skills in looking at student work, and provided planning time. These events were heavy lifts and Jennifer takes them with stride: always being professional, modeling leadership, and being a support to both adults and students." - Nominated 02/2017

William Patterson, Special Education Teacher - Ruth Asawa School of the Arts - Special Service Award Winner for February 2018

"Will is consistently advocating and planning for our students. He is proactive about keeping his students engaged in their classes and working with teachers to find ways to better support his students. His discussions in IEP meetings are never just about getting the student through the individual issues they might be facing at that moment, but always looking to prepare them for a fulfilling life after they leave SOTA." - Nominated 02/2017

Lauren Miller, Teacher - San Francisco Public Montessori School - Special Service RAVE Award Winner for January 2017

"Ms. Lauren has a relationship with each and every child in her class. She knows how to bring out the best in her students. Something about her makes students want to do their very best work. She encourages students in a way I haven't seen before. She helps them to see what they are capable of and she does it with such ease. She takes time to engage with each child not only with class work but on every level. She puts thought and effort into her class activities so that they cater to the particular class and not just the grade she is teaching." - Nominated 09/2016

Amy Abero, Counselor - John O'Connell High School - Special Service RAVE Award Winner for January 2017

"I am nominating Amy Abero for going above and beyond. She is a consistent, caring adult in the lives of the O'Connell students. She has an open door policy, and greets all students with a smile. She is an amazing asset to teachers and support staff as well. I believe her organization, dedication, and positive attitude will impact SFUSD for years to come." - Nominated 05/2016

Patricia Daugherty, Special Education Department Head, Teacher, Case Manager - John O'Connell High School

"Ms. Daugherty supports me in my general education classroom. She makes me feel safe and understands my disability -- social anxiety and high-functioning autism. She helps students understand their work. She is a good teacher." - Nominated 01/2017

Roberto Hernandez, 4th + 5th Grade Teacher - Leonard R. Flynn Elementary School - Special Service RAVE Award Winner for January 2018

"He teaches them to be excellent learners and also to be thoughtful young people committed to social justice. He does this by motivating each student by his own deep enthusiasm for learning and for doing what is right. My daughter once told me "Mr. H. doesn't treat us like little children. He respects us and that makes us want to do even better". - Nominated 01/2017