RAVE Nominees 2021
Amadis Velez, Teacher, Mission High School
"Amadis goes above and beyond for his students to ensure their best shot at making it into a university. He is encouraging, caring, invested, expert, tenacious, committed, likable, and connects to each student. Mr. Velez took the time to listen to my daughter's story. He got to know her as a student and a person. He listened to her family history. He helped my daughter see herself as someone with intelligence, perseverance, and resilience. He encouraged her to be herself as a student that any university would be lucky to have her attend their school as opposed to being lucky to get into college. He cheered her while still giving her constructive feedback on her essays. He helped her narrow down which universities would best suit her dreams and aspirations for her future. He helped her navigate a world of FAFSA documents, university applications, and financial aid forms. Mr. Velez truly excels as a teacher by teaching his students with caring, high expectations, and sharing his expertise."-Nominated 04/2021.
Karina Garcia, Chelsea Soulsby, Latrice Simmons, Julia Gelormino, and Sam Trent, Instructional Leadership Team, George Washington Carver Elementary School
"This Instructional Leadership Team is a high-functioning, equity-focused team that has designed a high-quality PD series around student engagement in distance learning. The Instructional Leadership Team worked together to identify a gap that we could close in the virtual student experience. They identified student engagement as a piece to zone in on and explore. The PD series was very well received by the larger teaching team and contributed to gains in student attendance, engagement, and academic ownership. The team's positive qualities include a deep sense of purpose and connectedness to our school’s vision and mission, a great sense of collaboration and shared leadership, as well as a commitment and follow-through in achieving shared objectives and program goals."-Nominated 04/2021.
Ralf Reclosado, Business Analyst, Communications, Central Office
"Ralf went above and beyond to help Rooftop with getting its website ready for reopening in April. Ralf met with me, listened to what we needed, and then took the initiative to help us with the website. He takes initiative, follows through, and produced accurate work. We just want to appreciate him for his hard work and follow-through."-Nominated 04/2021.
Lynn Stewart, Teacher, Grattan Elementary School
"She has done an outstanding job engaging and teaching even amid COVID. Lynn is keeping the bar high; engaging students in Zoom and classwork; treating the kids with dignity and with a growth mindset. After the first week of school closures in 2020, Ms. Stewart had 21 of 22 students engaged in daily Zoom meetings. She kept believing in students, helping them overcome barriers and adjust to new conditions. My son entered Ms. Stewart's 4/5 mixed class in the fall of 2019. From the start she was organized, clear, motivating, and treated kids with dignity. My son is a struggling student and has blossomed under Ms. Stewart's teaching. We are forever grateful!"-Nominated 03/2021.
Tai-Sun Shoeman, Principal, A.P. Giannini Middle School
"Mr. Shoeman is the principal of an outstanding school. During the past three years that my son has attended A.P. Giannini, the school has been incredibly organized and results-driven. Under Tai-Sun Shoeman's remarkable leadership, the school's student-success culture permeates the organization at every level. Giannini's kindness and inclusiveness is remarkable especially for an organization of its size and in such a climate of upheaval. Shoeman is a fantastic role model and leader. Every step of the way Giannini has been laser-focused on student success; in spite of the school size and modest PTA funding, it is far more effective and inclusive than other schools I've experienced. During poignant moments, Shoeman has had a light touch in communication that helps transcend difficulties and bond the community."-Nominated 03/2021.
Anita and Edwin Lee Newcomer Team, Anita and Edwin Lee Newcomer School
"My husband and I recently adopted two boys. Their teachers, principal, and staff welcomed our two sons with open arms and took their time to check-in with us whenever we need support. At first, I was surprised how well my sons adapted into the DL class especially coming into a new family and country. However, after observing how much care the teachers and staff took my sons in, I realize they made my sons feel safe and secure. During distance learning, the team at Lee Newcomer school work beyond our expectations including monthly support parent meetings, individualized attention to students if they need more support, and consistent check-ins with families and students. I can see that the team collaborates and works well with each other with the purpose of helping their students succeed. They show love and enjoyment through their meaningful lessons and activities. I cannot ask for a better support team for my sons than them. All the families and students are transitioning from another country in addition to dealing with shelter-in-place and distance learning which is new to them. The team has done an amazing job in helping us through this transition. It's a really special community that I am fortunate to be in."-Nominated 03/2021.
Sue Mocklin, Teacher, Rooftop PK-8 School
"Ms. Mocklin sees the cup half full and values relationships. She treats her families, students, and co-workers with respect and kindness. She exudes flexibility and grace with everything that she does. The pandemic has been really tough for our least advantaged families. Before school started, Ms. Mocklin worked with her teaching partner to meet families in the Bayview to distribute materials. She also does home visits and wellness checks before it became a formal thing in the District. She went out of her way to start a STEM club and brought in guest engineers to engage with students and meet with them. She attacks everything she does with childlike enthusiasm and energy! Ms. Mocklin is the most welcoming and positive presence for our 5th graders on our upper campus."-Nominated 03/2021.
Anthony Kuan, Support Technician, Department of Technology
"He is knowledgeable and has expertise in computers. He works efficiently and researches to find solutions to my computer issues which were not included in the original request. He even follows up afterward to ensure the job is done and complete to my satisfaction. He excels in services and professionalism. He takes his job seriously and displays qualities and characteristics for all of us to follow. I mentioned my new laptop's speaker/mic has slight feedback. Even though I did not ask him to fix it. He did some research and came back to install a new drive to solve the issue. He goes above his call of duty and displays excellence."-Nominated 03/2021.
Eve King, Activities Director, The Academy San Francisco @ McAteer
"Eve King is without a doubt one of the brightest, kindest, most resourceful, and indispensable employees in SFUSD. Regardless of the countless dreams that she helped fulfill with students in previous years, Eve has carried our school community above and beyond expectations since last March. Whether through the production of monthly assemblies and shows, student council and club leadership, management of our incredible social media account, class overnights, game nights, all of the continuous cultural touchstones that she creates, and even as a huge Wolves athletics' supporter, Eve is a star in San Francisco. Academy is incredibly lucky to have her as a role model, team member, and leader. Eve works with every student on achieving their individual, team, club, cultural, and community dreams. Her leadership and positivity in a pandemic (!) stand out among all of her peers. She is the heart and soul of the Academy."-Nominated 3/2021.
Cobb Anti-Racist Task Force: Michelle Williams, Marikah Burnett, Sophia Suzuki-Jones, Mary Fobbs-Guillory, Alexandra Snell, and Bonita Greene, Instructional Aide, Teacher, Teacher, Librarian, Literary Coach, Teacher, Dr. William L. Cobb Elementary School
"This team was organized organically among the staff to create a constant lens on how we can both envision and create an anti-racist school. It meets weekly to take action on matters that uphold the principle that being anti-racist is an active endeavor that requires constant focus and deed. They see their work as ongoing and have become an integral part of our professional development and community connection initiatives. They are steadfast in their determination to support a transformative mindset at Cobb. They are deeply respected among the community for their ability to motivate, challenge and expand the thinking of our staff in order to advance our school-wide goals. The Team reimagined our Black History Month as a daily celebration of Black history, achievement, and joy."-Nominated 3/2021.
John Muir Kindergarten Team: Maiya Coilton and Robert Stewart, Teachers, John Muir Elementary School
"Maiya and Robert show teamwork, enthusiasm, kindness, joy, and inclusion. They have gone above and beyond to include all students and to make this year special. This team teaches different subjects with joy and enthusiasm. Having routine during a pandemic is so important to young kids and they have it down so well. My child feels loved, included, and excited to go on Zoom every day. That is a huge deal."-Nominated 2/2021.
Susan Woo, Teacher, Robert Louis Stevenson Elementary School
"Ms. Woo is an amazing teacher who has worked hard to overcome obstacles to distance learning. She is cheerful, resourceful, kind, caring, supportive, understanding, creative, hilarious, persistent, practical, and fun. Ms. Woo has done several DonorsChoose proposals and individual materials drop-offs to make sure that her students have what they need to be successful at home. She is also understanding and caring and works with each family to help each student in her class succeed. I am impressed every day with how Ms. Woo supports her students and encourages them to do their best."-Nominated 2/2021.
Jenna Ornbaum, Teacher, Presidio Early Elementary School
"She’s the sweetest, most helpful, and responsive SFUSD faculty member. Jenna is helpful, kind, calm, responsive, loving, funny, and smart. She's helped us navigate many challenges."-Nominated 2/2021.
Bridget Lind, Bilingual Teacher, Presidio Early Elementary School
"She’s a wonderful teacher and is always open to feedback and improvements. She is responsive, organized, funny, and kind. I asked her for some resources and help and she responded immediately."-Nominated 2/2021.
Jennifer Lu, Bilingual Teacher, Monroe Elementary School
"She is positive and consistent. She connects with the students and keeps them engaged and progressing with their education. She has kept my child engaged and excited about learning through distance learning. My son only has access to Spanish when he is on Zoom with his teacher yet he is reading in Spanish at a second-grade level. That tells me she is doing something very right. Even though he misses his friends he hasn’t lost his love of learning. She does all of this with two school-aged children of her own at home with her during all of this."-Nominated 2/2021.
Heidi Meyers, Teacher, Monroe Elementary School
"Ms. Meyers has done a wonderful job with Zoom in first grade. She is well organized and hasn't missed one Zoom session. Our class has almost perfect attendance because she does a great job engaging them. She provides feedback on every assignment we send her and really encourages the kids. She sent our son a postcard over Christmas break, she put together wonderful materials for them including seeds and everything they need to plant them, and she helped us figure out some extra math work for my son."-Nominated 2/2021.
Sara Dunn, Teacher, Monroe Elementary School
"Sara is a wonderful teacher. She made distance learning at the end of last year work even in the most challenging circumstances, she sent the kids letters and stickers in the mail, and was always available. In-person she was amazing, taking them on field trips and connecting them with their 5th grade buddies. My son started barely writing his name and left reading 3rd grade level chapter books."-Nominated 2/2021.
Brian Chang, Teacher, Roosevelt Middle School
"Mr. Chang has gone above & beyond in his service in providing quality education to his students over the years. He goes that extra mile in ensuring his students reach their maximum potential. As a dedicated educator and peer teacher mentor, his work does not go unnoticed. Mr. Chang spends countless hours dedicated to preparing thoughtful lesson plans that help students learn life lessons in PE. He also spends countless hours helping coach and mentor other new teachers. He is a teacher that gives his “all” and is passionate about his career. He is passionate about ensuring his students learn the importance of physical activity which will help them throughout their lives. Mr. Chang has been a physical education teacher at Roosevelt for over 20 years and not only gives his “all” every day, but he also gives his soul."-Nominated 2/2021.
Michael Meneses, Teacher, Presidio Middle School
"He has shown exemplary leadership through his empathy, encouragement, vulnerability, and positive attitude during Distance Learning. Michael is recognized for his amazing commitment, his kindness, and the positive impact he has each day on our kids. During these months when so many of us have been locked inside and sedentary, Mr. Meneses has admitted that he, too, has struggled with moving enough and staying healthy. But to combat emotional and physical atrophy that so many of our kids are feeling, he talks the talk, AND walks the walk! Through his perseverance and modeling behavior, our kids have been able to watch his physical health improve and see the real-time value of goal-setting, grit, and supporting one another. Michael is recognized for his amazing commitment, his kindness, and the positive impact he has each day on our kids. He not only teaches kinesthetic skills, but he also helps build character through the teaching of goal setting, and positive self-esteem with his encouragement and never-failing kindness."-Nominated 2/2021.
Raquel Wells, Kashina Turner Pierce, Jeff Kang, Stephen Kesel, and Christina Wong, Student and Family Resource Link Admin Team, Central Office
"This team responded to a very dire and urgent need to support and serve families at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic. They built a team, configured a system, and launched a public-facing tool serving hundreds of families each and every day from essentially nothing. Because of their efforts, we now have the seed of a system that not only is responsive to needs, but we also have a broader group of stakeholders in SFUSD who have seen what it looks like to collaborate across departments and teams, to pull together, and to learn completely new tools and systems. They stepped into a completely unknown area and were relentless in getting it moving. They created trust and connections with other teams and departments to create a common language, standards, and a system - necessary to deliver this service. They have tirelessly worked to maintain this system in addition to their regular duties."-Nominated 1/2021.
Anthony Kuan, Support Technician, Department of Technology
"Anthony is a joy to work with. He is exceedingly responsive and flexible. He exemplifies the standard of customer service for which we strive as a district. He is a thoughtful and creative problem solver who takes his role in supporting our technology infrastructure very seriously. He is flexible and kind and has a great sense of humor. Over the past 6 years in SFUSD, I've had numerous technology support needs, and Anthony has been consistently dependable support."-Nominated 1/2021.
Gabrielle Theobald-Anderson, Social Worker, Hillcrest Elementary School
"Gabrielle goes above and beyond in everything she does. She gets things done in the most humble way. There are so many examples of what she does for our school including writing many grants for our community school and coordinated more than 60 families to get meals delivered weekly."-Nominated 1/2021.