2022 RAVE Winners

RAVE Winners 2022

Tai-Sun Schoeman, Principal,  A.P. Giannini Middle School - Distinguished Service Award for October 2022

"Mr. Schoeman 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 Schoeman'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. Schoeman 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, Schoeman has had a light touch in communication that helps transcend difficulties and bond the community."-Nominated 03/2021.

Joseph Bly, Teacher, SF Montessori School - Special Service Award for October 2022

"When the pandemic hit, Mr. Joe was partway in his first year teaching. He showed leadership, strength, caring, and creativity. When the shutdown occurred on 3/13/20, he was already strategizing how to pivot to distance learning, get technology in students’ hands who didn’t have it, and help other classrooms do the same. Online classes started on that first Monday and didn’t miss a beat. Pandemic schooling has not been easy, but Joe ensured that all students stayed connected to the learning community. Families were communicated with compassion and understanding of the varied positions they find themselves in. He is a true teacher leader. At the height of the pandemic, students were stressed. Anxiety and uncertainty were high. The curriculum was not working for everyone. Mr. Joe dug deeper, taking a hard look at the class dynamics. He asked students to reflect on their learning and what was working and what was not. As a group, they assessed and recalibrated, focusing on social and emotional learning and building up their sense of community. After this stage, I know my daughter’s engagement in learning increased dramatically and she was excited to do online school."-Nominated 06/2021.

Anthony Kuan, IT Operations support admin III, Department of Technology - Special Service Award for August 2022

"Anthony is a joy to work with. He is knowledgeable, has expertise in computers, and is exceedingly responsible and flexible. Anthony 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. 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. Over the past six years in SFUSD, I've had numerous technology support needs, and Anthony has been consistently dependable support."-Nominated 03/2021.

Draven Lee, Teacher, Grattan Elementary School - Distinguished Service Award for May 2022

"Mr. Draven is the best teacher. This is his first year teaching fourth and fifth grade, but his eleventh year as a teacher at SFUSD. I think that I can call him one of the best teachers I've ever had. When I was in 3rd Grade, my best friend had Mr. Draven as her teacher. Even though I was happy with my own teacher, I thought "Oh, too bad I can't have both. I would spend 6 more hours at school if it meant I could have both!". And now, two years later, he became a 4/5 teacher and I have him. Mr. Draven trusts us more than most teachers. Every week, jobs rotate and three or four kids are given the task of being Supreme Court Justices to remind people to follow the rules. When we need new rules, he asks us for ideas and sometimes lets us vote. He's also very patient. He's teaching us to be patient too, by doing yoga and mediation almost every day, which makes us calmer, more patient and helps us concentrate."-Nominated 10/2021.

Cathy Giovannelli, Teacher, Jefferson Elementary School - Distinguished Service Award for April 2022

"During "zoom school" last year, Ms. G was always prepared, available, organized, and responsive to children and parents' needs. Her classroom management over zoom was spectacular. She was able to build supportive relationships with students and families and push students to strive for their greatest potential even over zoom. An amazing professional! Her authenticity in caring for children is admirable. We had our child evaluated during zoom school and she was always professional and dedicated to supporting them and our family during this ongoing process. She was readily available for questions and navigated us through the process seamlessly over zoom. We had arranged for occasional classroom playdates at GG Park and Ms. G would also be included and when possible stop by to say hello in person (and masked). She is so loved by her students and families."-Nominated 11/2021.

Taylor Springsdorff, Teacher, Alvarado Elementary School - Special Service Award for April 2022

"Taylor is an outstanding teacher who cares deeply for his students and the school community. He gives 100 percent every day so that the multiply-impaired students in his class can thrive and grow. He is a kind, patient teacher. He is competent and thoroughly professional in his interactions with colleagues and parents. He has spent hundreds of hours designing materials and adapting and modifying literacy instruction to make it multi-sensory and accessible to all of his students, regardless of their disabilities. As a result, they are demonstrating increased engagement and participation. Taylor's job is physically, mentally, and emotionally demanding, but he handles it with a calm demeanor and a great attitude."-Nominated 11/2021.

Rene Mitsui, Teacher, Dianne Feinstein Elementary School - Distinguished Service Award for March 2022

"Rene is kind, caring, passionate, dedicated to her work, and always brings 110% every day. She is hard-working, empathetic, and truly models the values of SFUSD. Rene is a leader for her class and grade level team, she works toward ensuring the group is heard and always meets the needs of her students. She goes above and beyond in everything she does. She always has the betterment of the students in mind. She is gracious, a team player, and a go-getter. Rene implemented a grade-level story writing curriculum because she knew it would better serve her colleagues and students. When other teachers need advice, guidance, or assistance, Rene is the first person to help."-Nominated 11/2021.

Nina Schield, Teacher, Rooftop Elementary School - Special Service Award for March 2022

"Nina is an out-of-the-box thinker, student-centered, a great collaborator, and open to new ideas & problem-solving. Ms. Nina created a literacy-based digital reading room where students could read at individual levels, respond to reading and even post their own writing to share with the class. This created a learning environment where students continued the writing/reading conversations with decreasing scaffolding from the teacher. She also taught other staff how to make such a webpage and shared ideas of how to use it in various grades and subjects. Nina is always student-centered and works tirelessly to meet her students where they are; she uses literacy as a vehicle to motivate, drive content instruction and push students to self-monitor for meaning and construct their own conceptual understandings."-Nominated 11/2021.

Juan Lopez, Teacher, Lowell High School - Distinguished Service Award for February 2022

"Juan always gives back to his students, school, and colleagues. He has such a calming presence and makes everyone around him feel better. He also teaches his classes with creativity, kindness, and enthusiasm. He sets the bar for our whole department. He has so much compassion for others. He is always ready to listen and be with students and teachers in need. He has a way of making everyone he talks to feel better and more confident. His kindness is contagious! During the return to in-person teaching, Juan has tirelessly been a confidant when needed, but also a cheerleader. His passion for teaching comes out in every conversation. Seriously, this man is like a saint. He makes us all want to be better teachers."-Nominated 11/2021.

Kimberly Wong, Teacher, Glen Park Elementary School - Distinguished Service Award for February 2022

"Ms. Wong is an excellent kindergarten teacher. She has been going above and beyond this year, which is difficult due to COVID. Not only has she made the kids feel safe, but she has also made them excited to go to school and learn. My son was working hard to learn to read at home because of the qualities that Ms. Wong has instilled. Currently, my two kids are out for COVID and Ms. Wong voluntarily dropped off a packet for my son twice and picked up a packet and book for my daughter from her teacher. This sort of behavior is what makes Glen Park special and what makes us thankful to have stayed in the school district to get Ms. Wong for both our kids. The love of learning that Ms. Wong teaches the kids is something they carry throughout their lives. My daughter still lists Ms. Wong as her favorite teacher even though she hasn’t been in her class for 3 years."-Nominated 2/2022

Celia Yu, Secretary - Chinese Immersion School at DeAvila - Special Service Award for January 2022

"She is the heartbeat of the school. Celia greets everyone with a smile and always has a positive attitude.  In addition to a tremendous amount of administrative duties, she goes above and beyond her call of duty to help out in any given situation.  Celia's dedication to her job and how much she enjoys the work shows through her constant display of passion, empathy, and patience towards the students, parents, and staff on a daily basis.  Celia is often the translator of important school-side announcements, student performance events, and gala fundraising since she is fluent in both English, Cantonese, and Mandarin.  With her background in education as a former preschool teacher, she has extraordinary patience with all the students. She knows the school inside and out and can remember everyone's name. Kids feel comfortable with Celia and know that she will take care of them." Nominated 10/2021, 11/2021)

This page was last updated on December 12, 2022