2022-2023 RAVE Nominees

RAVE Nominees 2022-2023

Gary Cruz, PEER Resources Teacher Coordinator, Everett Middle School

"For over 21 years, from O'Connell High School to Everett Middle School, Gary Cruz has been a phenomenal educator within SFUSD's Peer Resources Program, working alongside middle and high school students to grow their critical lenses and expand their academic, work and life skills as they move SFUSD towards ever-greater equity. Gary teaches from a place of deep love and urgency for the liberation of SFUSD's most systems-impacted students, and he always works with each student and equity first and foremost in his mind. He has consistently remained a model of what it means to be a deeply reflective, empathic, collaborative, and thoughtful lifelong educator. He asks challenging questions of himself, his colleagues, and his students while building a warm, welcoming, rigorous space for learners to grow together. He recognizes so deeply the brilliance of every single young person it feels contagious, helping others to see themselves and each other through a clearer mirror. His commitment to naming and resisting anti-Black racism, his commitment to authentic inclusion and centering of Black students, English Language Learners, and students with IEPs, and his commitment to creating systems to support each student’s academic, work and social success entwine to make him such an important safe harbor for so many young people." -Nominated 11/2022

Cheryl DeSanti, Executive Assistant to the Superintendent, Central Office

"For over 39 years Cheryl has supported students, families, schools, and district leaders with a wonderful balance of professionalism, empathy, and pure kindness. Cheryl always greets staff with a warm, sincere smile making us feel welcomed and ready to start the day despite our individual burdens. She also treats parents and other staff who contact the Superintendent's Office with the same compassion and respect. She fosters an environment that allows staff to comfortably approach her with their needs and concerns. She is always solution-oriented and responsive to every team that she supports. Even though an issue may not be considered a high priority in general, she knows that it is important to the individual and makes the effort to respond in a timely fashion, even on her day off. With all her years of service, Cheryl is so knowledgeable of all the district systems and always willing to share her expertise and build each of our own capacities to access the system."-Nominated 2/2023

Erminia Benitez, Assistant Cook, Ruth Asawa SOTA & McAteer High School

"Erminia is always positive, she always has a huge smile on her face and greets every student, faculty, and staff member that enters the serving area.  She checks in with students to learn their names, asks how their classes went and to ask if they need a little more food to get them through the day.  She looks out for everyone.  Erminia makes sure we're well fed and lunch is enjoyable for us while making sure that nothing goes to waste. She is an amazing example of someone who cares about their work and puts effort into building relationships with people around her.  Erminia connects so well with students and tells them regularly how proud of them she is.  She also saves plates of food for students who have long commutes to school and can't always make it on time for breakfast service.  She knows that for some students, these are the only meals they have to get through the day.  Ermina always brightens my day.  She is full of positive and loving energy.  Erminia has made sure that thousands of children and adults have been given the two most basic needs, nourishment and love.  She is a beautiful light on our campus."-Nominated 2/2023

Makaela Manning, Principal, Carver Elementary School

"Principal Manning has so much love for her entire school community. When you spend time at Carver, you know it's a special place for students, staff, families, and alumni, thanks to Principal Manning's amazing leadership and care for the school. She is student-centered and fearless. She is a passionate educator and is always happy to share updates from Carver with the community to help showcase the beauty and brilliance of her school community. During Parent-Teacher-Student conferences last fall, she made sure that each student received a personalized and tailored home learning kit. This is part of Carver's PITCH plan and helps encourage families to spend at least 30 minutes a day using the learning materials in the kits including books, flashcards, games, and other materials that will push students toward their learning goals."-Nominated 2/2023

This page was last updated on May 20, 2024