Liberty Hill Missionary Baptist Church, in Berkeley, celebrated Education Sunday September 23, 2012 at two services. They honored 26 teachers, staff, administrators and a school board member from Berkeley Unified School District, the largest number in recent memory.
They also recognized educators from Contra Costa Unified School District and Liberty Hill. The Reverend Dr. Marvis Peoples, a lifetime educator and retired Oakland school principal was surprised with a certificate of his own as Liberty Hill’s own teaching elder. Ted MacArthur, Adaptive Physical Education Teacher, accepted his certificate and the certificates of seven other teachers in this photo (the children holding them for the teachers).
BUSD 2012 Outstanding Educators
John Alford-Leaks, King after school coordinator
Lashonda Roquemore, King afterschool IT
Christina Faulkner, Director Curriculum and Instruction
Suzanne McCulloch, Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA) Program Supervisor
Becca Todd, District Library Coordinator
Gayle Hughes, Principal Thousand Oaks Elementary School
Sylvia Riddick, Secretary Thousand Oaks Elementary School
Beatriz Leyva-Cutler, School Board Director
Isabel Martinez Parra, District Translator/Interpretation Specialist
Mark Coplan, BUSD Public Information Officer
Dr. Susan Craig, Director of Student Services
Nancy Johnson, BUSD’s McKinney-Vento (Homeless Student) Case Manager
Bernadette Cormier, BUSD Transportation Department
Tim Mull, BUSD Transportation Department
Faye Hines, BUSD Transportation Department
Annette Johnson-Banks, BUSD Transportation Department
Elaine Eger, Special Education Program Supervisor
Ted MacArthur, Adaptive Physical Education
Andrea Hosmer, Moderate/Severe Special Education
Tiffanie O’Neill, Moderate/Severe Special Education Teacher
Elana Feder, Mild/Moderate Special Education Teacher
Mary Machens-Martin, Moderate/Severe Special Education Teacher
Jaclynn Villa-Carlos, Moderate/Severe Special Education Teacher
Kathleen Gragera, Moderate/Severe Special Education Teacher
Mary Cazden, Mild/Moderate Special Education Teacher
Pamela Harrison-Small, Executive Director of the Berkeley Alliance
Here is what was submitted about why the nominees are Outstanding Educators:
I’m nominating John Alford-Leaks (King Middle School after school coordinator) and Lashonda Roquemore (King afterschool IT) as Outstanding Educators because: Their program is called Visionaries and that is what they are. These two work tirelessly to provide a diverse offering of after school options to try to pull as many kids as possible into a structured enriched environment after the academic school day is over.
I’m nominating Suzanne McCulloch as an Outstanding Educator because as the Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA) Program Supervisor she continues to ensure students are offered high quality arts education programs supported by the voters of Berkeley. Over the years her leadership and work with music and arts teachers has allowed thousands of students to experience arts that would otherwise not be a part of the Berkeley USD educational program. She dedicates many hours to community committees, evening performances, and public events to ensure The Arts are included for the students in our district. Her knowledge that the arts help keep many students engaged in school is a driving force in her dedication.
I am nominating Becca Todd as an Outstanding Educator because as the District Library Coordinator she has overseen the integration of libraries, books and even technology into the daily experience at all pre-K through 12th grade sites. She is committed to ensuring students have access to new and exciting literature, a welcoming and yet up to date library at every school site, and has piloted e-Readers as a new option for students to experience the latest iteration of “reading” that has become so popular with adults. She has also hosted family literacy events and expanded our library and book bag program at our pre-schools. She also ensures that all BUSD students are able to have access to high quality library staff at every school.
I’m nominating Sylvia Riddick, Thousand Oaks School Secretary as an Outstanding Educator because: Sylvia has given of herself to better the lives of students, families and staff at within the Thousand Oaks School Community. As school secretary, she is not only efficient and effective, but she also has the ability to welcome each person who enters our office as the most important person around. She has been recognized within our school community as a very wise staff member, to whom others often consult for advice. She served as the catalyst of the Voices of the Village support group for parent and guardians of African American Children at Thousand Oaks School and our school’s fashion show. Additionally, she has volunteered her time to lead our kindergarten after school chorus. We are very fortunate to have this amazing school secretary at Thousand Oaks School.
I am nominating Beatriz Leyva-Cutler, School Board Director because in her role as a leader of this district, she has been a tireless advocate for so many people in the community. She ensures that parents are involved in decisions that affect them and their children and was instrumental in redesigning the Parent Outreach program in order to put more personnel at the school sites. She led efforts to improve translation to other languages in order to involve more members of our community, and she has been a champion of educational practices that improve the language skills of our English learners. Her extensive experience in pre-school education has helped her provide insight on all the issues affecting our youngest students. Her service and commitment to the Berkeley community is worthy of this recognition at Liberty Hill Baptist Church.
I nominate Isabel Martinez Parra as Outstanding Educator because she has served students and parents for nearly two decades, as a resource for parents who could not communicate easily with a bureaucratic system long before she became a Parent Outreach Specialist serving the Spanish speaking community, and now as Translator/Interpretation Specialist, insuring clear and concise translations of important District documents, where she continues to serve parents, and by helping parents, helping students to succeed.
I am nominating Nancy Johnson, BUSD’s McKinney-Vento (Homeless Student) Case Manager, for her compassion and deep commitment to serving BUSD’s students and families in temporary housing. She deserves to be recognized.
I’m nominating Bernadette Cormier, Tim Mull, Faye Hines, and Annette Johnson-Banks, all in the BUSD Transportation Department as Outstanding Educators because: their tireless dedication to the timely and safe transportation of all students, but especially of students with special needs and special schedules ensures that students are attending school and able to access their education with the security of safe and efficient transportation.
I’m nominating Andrea Hosmer, Moderate/Severe Special Education Teacher at Oxford Elementary School as an Outstanding Educator because: her dedication to students and families allows students of varying abilities to access education in a general education setting. She works tirelessly to ensure that the social needs of students are met through daily social lunch groups.
I’m nominating Tiffanie O’Neill, Moderate/Severe Special Education Teacher at Thousand Oaks Elementary School as an Outstanding Educator because: her deep caring for students builds a trust with both parents and students that allow the students to take risks academically and socially which allows them to grow in both those arenas.
I’m nominating Elana Feder, Mild/Moderate Special Education Teacher at Thousand Oaks Elementary School as an Outstanding Educator because: in her pursuit of academic growth for her students she enlists the support and dedication of general education teachers to help students with special needs thrive.
I’m nominating Mary Machens-Martin, Moderate/Severe Special Education Teacher at Malcolm X Elementary School as an Outstanding Educator because: she works tirelessly to ensure that students have individual programs that allow them access to the school setting at each students’ individual level of ability. She is a positive thinker who always finds the successes, no matter how small and builds on each success.
I’m nominating Jaclynn Villa-Carlos, Moderate/Severe Special Education Teacher at Berkeley Arts Magnet Elementary School as an Outstanding Educator because: she has endless patience to support students and never tires of finding a new avenue to entice students to learn and grow.
I’m nominating Kathleen Gragera, Moderate/Severe Special Education Teacher at Jefferson Elementary School as an Outstanding Educator because: she has a bottomless fount of accommodations and modifications for students and teachers to use to ensure the full participation and celebration of each student at her/his own level of ability
I’m nominating Mary Cazden, Mild/Moderate Special Education Teacher at Jefferson Elementary School as an Outstanding Educator because: her willingness to go above and beyond the call of duty ensures that each student has a full complement of supports to allow for academic and social success.
I’m nominating Ted MacArthur, Adaptive Physical Education Teacher as an Outstanding Educator because: his devotion to students with significant physically handicapping conditions coupled with his willingness to work through the bureaucracy of inter-agency collaboration has ensured continued physical activity and development for students.
I’m nominating Pamela Harrison-Small, the Executive Director of the Berkeley Alliance, for her leadership in guiding the district’s equity work. Pamela has led the District’s Equity Team in preparing an Equity Rubric to help us examine our practices in order to address the needs of all our students. She has facilitated thought-provoking workshops for district leaders, teachers and classified staff to improve cultural proficiency in our schools. In her new role, she is now bringing together the City, the University and the District to focus on the 2020 Vision for Children and Youth, which is intended to direct resources from all three partners to help more students be ready for Kindergarten, demonstrate literacy skills by the end of 3rd grade, and attend school regularly. She is to be recognized for her commitment to ensure that all students are provided the opportunity and the support needed to be successful.