I feel grateful working at Sequoia. We are all a family here, a very friendly, safe, and joyful community," said Spanish teacher
when asked to reflect on what he's grateful for going into the Thanksgving holiday week.
The prompt solicited a variety of responses, including recognition of our strong partnership with parents and families. "I'm grateful for our parent community!" said
, history teacher and AVID coordinator.
Some staff members offered individual shout-outs to parent leaders who contribute to kids' experience at Sequoia. "I'm grateful to Guadalupe Medina, mother of Benjamin and Sheila Esquivel Medina, for being a friend and advocate to other Spanish-speaking parents whose concerns might not have been shared were it not for Lupe's caring," said special education teacher
reflected on her personal experience as a new team member last year,
I'm grateful for the outpouring of support from our outgoing PTSA President [Lisa Hane], incoming PTSA President [Lauren Pachkowski] and PTSA members I received as a new employee at the Sequoia High School site; they were all ready to assist me in any capacity to serve our students. I want to say
thanks for the warm welcome!"
added, "I am grateful for Rachel Levine's thoughtful response to my questions in regards to giving students with limited English access to the Reflections project. Opportunities for students to express themselves artistically are so important. I appreciate how Sequoia has created a way for all students who participate to be recognized even if they are not winners.
I am grateful for Marlena Griffin's work on the PTSA grants. I am sure many other parents also work on this committee, and I am grateful for their work, too. These grants support teacher and student initiatives and help provide seed money for new ideas."
The mini-grant program also inspired Health Careers Academy coordinator and social studies teacher
, who, speaking on behalf of his department, added, "
the Social Studies Department is grateful for PTSA Mini Grant support of the Vernon Dahmer Voter Hall of Fame."
"Words just cannot do justice to how Sequoia's parents have gone above and beyond to provide for my students, particularly the journalism program. I have nothing but praise for their steadfast support and attention." offered
, English teacher and
went on, in more general terms, to add: "I am grateful to the parents, aunts, uncles, and grandparents when I need to make the tough call when classroom behavior is not meeting expectations. Parents and guardians are receptive and look for ways to support our expectations," before adding (near and dear to my heart), "I am grateful for all the parents who prepared delicious food for our holiday lunch last year. This is such a busy time, and it is so wonderful to meet the parents and try their delicious food." Amen.
Teachers also expressed gratitude for our amazing students. "
Each day," said math teacher
, "I'm excited to go to work at Sequoia to teach my students. And each day, I'm excited to see each one of them, hear something new about their life, or see a smile on their face. This school feels like home, where teachers and staff care so much about the students and about each other."
Social studies teacher
picked up on this, too: "Our student body is kind, goofy, polite, and inquisitive. I love working with these wonderful young people."
"I love hearing students' thoughts on all that is currently happening in our nation and in our world, and making applications to our curriculum," said English teacher
, while her colleague
I am thankful for my students - their trust in me, the relationships we build thoughout the year, and their ability to laugh at my terrible puns."
It is these relationships that drive our greatest accomplishments, and these relationships are strong among staff, as well. Science teacher Davina Gazulla is "g
rateful for supportive and fun colleagues,"
while her department member
went on to add, "
I'm thankful for colleagues who work hard to improve their practice every day. Everyone here cares so much about students and providing the best education to all students."
Hopefully these expressions of gratitude from staff give you a sense of where we draw our inspiration: from each other, from your students, and from you! Together we keep this community strong and thriving.
Happy Thanksgiving on behalf of the Sequoia High School Staff.
Have a great week!