San Jose, CA, October 25, 2022 - A Santa Clara County tradition for over 50 years, the Teacher Recognition Celebration is the oldest and largest celebration of teachers in California and the most prestigious local award given to classroom teachers.
Moreland teachers, Chelsea Alvarez, Mariah Flanagan and Julie McKinley Reed have been selected among this year’s finest teachers in the county. The three were honored on Monday evening for their work to inspire students to enjoy and excel in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). Kimberly Miller, district nurse, was also recognized as Moreland’s Teacher of the Year.
Chelsea Alvarez, Country Lane Elementary, has been recognized for Collaboration in STEM. Given to a teacher who leads the charge for collaboration with colleagues, partners, families, or students to enhance STEM learning. Chelsea uses an innovative model to demonstrate the value of working with others to bring in a wide range of perspectives and leverage diverse areas of expertise. With the goal of bringing STEM opportunities to all students in her school, Chelsea was at the forefront of launching a new STEM curriculum and teacher training in her grade level. Chelsea’s work resulted in success in her school and districtwide, creating unit plans for teachers, outlining how to use collaborative time, and achieving 100% of her school colleagues trying her plan and loving it.
Mariah Flanagan, Payne Elementary, has been recognized for Empathy in STEM. Given to a teacher who has shown and/or fostered empathy within their pursuit and development of STEM education at their school/district. Mariah connects her students to the real world, developing the next-generation of innovators that our complex global community needs. Mariah creates learning environments where her students are gaining not just STEM experience, but also the communication, emotional recognition, and conflict resolution skills they need to be lifelong learners. By creating a connection between STEM and SEL (social emotional learning), students in Mariah’s class have improved their confidence and resilience and strengthened their love of learning.
Julie McKinley-Reed, Country Lane Elementary, has been recognized for Boldness in STEM. Given to a teacher who has demonstrated boldness in STEM, one who takes the adventurous path by piloting an unfamiliar technology or STEM subject or establishing new systems for bringing STEM to their students, team, or site. Julie inspires others to seek the rewards that come from exploring the horizons of STEM education. Julie is passionate about science education and committed to making it accessible to every student in her care. Through Julie’s deep experience with science and STEM curriculum, she has been able to focus her teaching efforts on supplementing content and concepts with tools and visual learning components to meet the diverse needs of her students, and particularly students who are English language learners (ELL). By creating a holistic approach to science learning and integrating materials across content areas, students in Julie’s classroom are demonstrating learning and growth. Julie’s success in reaching ELL students has inspired other teachers to utilize these teaching strategies in their classrooms to support all Moreland students.
Kimberly Miller, Certificated School Nurse and designated district-county COVID liaison, was recognized as Moreland’s Teacher of the Year. In addition to supporting the district’s health care services team by leading trainings throughout the district, Kimberly is the COVID designee with the Santa Clara County Department of Public Health, ensuring that all students and staff are kept safe and up-to-date on COVID protocols. Throughout the unpredictability of COVID in the past two school years, Kimberly’s thoughtful leadership and resilience provided stability to the community with regular updates, testing, and overseeing the work of the support staff and protocols. Kimberly also spends her time ensuring school staff understand how to provide personalized medical support to students in their school as well as basic first aid for staff. While Kimberly is based out of the district office, her care and expertise is felt by everyone in the district, and for this she has been recognized as the Moreland Teacher of the Year.