Congratulations to the 12 BUSD employees and one school volunteer honored yesterday, Sun. Sept. 24, in the annual education awards sponsored by Liberty Hill Missionary Baptist Church in Berkeley.
Certificates of recognition were presented at the church’s Education Recognition Sunday service at 11 a.m.
The awards were initiated in 1997 by Pastor Marvis Peoples. They reflect the church’s educational mission and desire to recognize those individuals who’ve made outstanding contributions toward promoting the well-being and educational opportunities of Berkeley youth. BUSD managers and supervisors are responsible for determining the honorees, including the first 10 in the list below. Three additional honorees were selected by the church.
This year’s honorees:
BREA (Berkeley Research, Evaluation & Assessment) team:
- Lina Andersen
- Sean Poremba
- Josh Reed
- Dave Stevens
- Vivian Wiggins
Berkeley High School safety officers:
- Sara Garcia
- Steve Saunders
Berkeley High School Special Education Instructional Assistant:
- Linnette Robinson
Berkeley Arts Magnet Elementary School Instructional Assistant:
- Michele Ferrell
Thousand Oaks Elementary School volunteer:
- Charlie Schad
Three additional certificates were issued by the church to BUSD employees:
- Donald Evans, Superintendent
- Pasquale Scuderi, Associate Superintendent for Educational Services
- Charles Burress, Public Information Officer
Below are the nominations for the awards determined by various BUSD managers and supervisors:
Lina Andersen, Sean Poremba, Josh Reed, Dave Stevens, Vivian Wiggins:
These members of the Berkeley Research, Evaluation & Assessment (BREA) team are a hard-working group of professionals that work to support principals, teachers and district staff to use data to inform instruction and programs. The team is ready, willing and able to support all 17 sites with research, evaluation and local and common assessments. In addition, the team provides evaluation for the Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) and the Berkeley Schools Excellence Program (BSEP).
Sara Garcia serves as a School Safety Officer at Berkeley High School. Sara is responsible for supporting Berkeley High’s physical education department. Sara is a highly dedicated staff member who takes a personal interest in students who struggle the most and extends herself to these students as a supporter and an advocate. She is proactive, and she frequently takes initiative by working directly with students and parents, holding students accountable to high standards of behavior, and intervening in conflict situations to help students reach a peaceful resolution. Sara’s work has a direct, positive impact on students on a daily basis.
Steve Saunders serves as a School Safety Officer at Berkeley High School. Steve plays a significant role in ensuring the safety and well-being of all students and staff on the Berkeley High School campus. When there is an emergency or a safety concern on campus, Steve is always there, ready to jump in to render assistance and keep students and staff safe. Steve also lends his expertise to assist in investigations and works directly with students involved in discipline incidents in order to help them take responsibility for their actions and make better decisions in the future. Steve is loved and revered by students and staff members alike and is regarded as a truly outstanding professional who helps to make everyone feel safe and cared for.
Linnette Robinson works tirelessly to support students in our special education program at Berkeley High. She goes above and beyond to encourage our students to shine, and promotes their independence so they can leave Berkeley High with the skills they need to succeed as adults. Linnette epitomizes what it means to be a “warm demander,” as she not only educates her students with love and patience but also holds high expectations for their achievement. We are blessed to have Linnette as a member of our staff!
Michele Ferrell has been a member of the BAM (Berkeley Arts Magnet at Whittier) community for a number of years. She has a quiet, non-intrusive demeanor, and as you get to know her, you learn that she is very competent and responsible, with an unbeatable work ethic. She brings professionalism and completes all her tasks with her best effort. She works well beyond her “normal” work hours and doesn’t leave anything unfinished. That is just the impeccable side of her personality that we all treasure. In her interaction with students, she is kind and caring, and the kids recognize this immediately. Michele radiates a sense of calm and a “can do” attitude that make students respond. They feel safe with her and they know that she will help them with anything that they have trouble doing alone. She has a lot of patience with students and is willing to spend the extra time needed to help them. It takes a special personality to work with learning disabled students and Michele definitely has those requirements.
Charlie Schad has been volunteering at Thousand Oaks Elementary since 2011 and is incredibly committed to not only the classrooms he volunteers in but to the whole Thousand Oaks community. Charlie is a one-of-a-kind volunteer. He connects with each and every student to help boost their confidence as individuals. He offers support across the curriculum from memorizing multiplication facts, to creative writing, and even with whole class art projects! He goes above and beyond the call of duty. He’s very kind and respectful with the students and very dependable. Whether Charlie is supporting students in math, reading, writing, science, art, or any other special projects, he is always enthusiastic and eager to get the best results for each student.