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Our Staff and Community Members Make a Difference

October 2020

Our Difference Makers program recognizes staff and community members who support our district's core values. At the October 22 Board Meeting, Superintendent Stella M Kemp presented this quarter’s Difference Makers:

Traci Evans, Physical Education Teacher at Briarwood Elementary School, was honored for the core value of “Students First.”

Her school principal says that, prior to moving to distance learning, in addition to her amazing curriculum and the connections Traci makes during her PE classes, Traci organizes and runs an incredible amount of school-wide activities and programs. She started Move It Monday — where the whole school and community meet on the blacktop before school each Monday and walk and socialize. Music plays, motivation signs are displayed and students are given pom-poms and streamers. Traci also runs the 100 Mile Club — her motivation was to reach those students who feel a little disconnected from school or peers and give them a purpose and goal. She holds dance parties on the blacktop during recess. She visits classrooms, attends grade-level planning meetings, and all IEPs. Traci is her school’s social-emotional learning leader — and you will see motivational posters and signage all over campus. She is also the queen of bubbles! Traci's first question is always "What can I do?" The committee adds that, during the pandemic, her work in bringing as many of these engaging programs as possible to our students’ distance learning program is more important than ever to support their physical and mental wellbeing. Well-deserved, congratulations, Traci!

Our next Difference Maker is Tina Vasquez, School Secretary at Bracher Elementary School, who was recognized for the core value of “Empathy and Respect.”

Tina’s school principal says that she has gone above and beyond during this crisis to support Bracher families. Tina began reaching out to families via email and text message right away when we shifted to distance learning in the spring to ensure students received their Chromebooks on time. She is also on the phone or responding to emails to families who need additional support. When administration or teachers need help reaching a family requiring translation, Tina is there to assist. She is always working to get out regular updates to families and translates as needed weekly. Tina helps set up parent Zoom meetings with the principal to answer questions and provide information. To top it all off, Tina weekly meal distributions to pass out meals to families in need. Tina has been an amazing support to our entire community, the whole time being a home school teacher to her own son as a single parent. The committee adds that in every capacity they have ever worked with Tina, one constant is always true — she approaches her work with ultimate empathy and respect for every person, whether it is students and families who need extra support or colleagues who could use a helping hand. Congratulations, Tina!

Angela Quizon, Parent and Community Member, was recognized for the core value of “Connected Families and Collaborative Community.”

Angela is the Peterson PTA President and was instrumental in advocating for improvements to the El Camino and Poplar/Henderson intersections after a student accident last October. She coordinated with and pushed the Sunnyvale City Council and Mayor, Public Works, Cal Trans, District, Board of Trustees, and the Peterson Community to work together to rapidly improve the intersections. Due to her diligence, a pedestrian countdown was added to the crosswalk at Poplar and timed to start ahead of the green vehicle light, high visibility crosswalks were painted, and permanent crossing guards for school days were funded. Angela's dedication to improve a situation that has plagued Peterson for many years shows in the upgrades to the intersections surrounding Peterson. Angela says it was truly an all-hands on deck collaboration with so many people to include in this recognition. Congratulations, Angela!