February Teacher of the Month!

Schoolteacher with guitar singing with elementary studentsWe are over the moon to announce our February Teacher of the Month, Ms. Marisa Martinez! Ms. Martinez is a kindergarten teacher at Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy. We received so many wonderful stories about Ms. Martinez, and we are thrilled with the outstanding work she has been doing with her students. Described as “nurturing, fun, and engaging,” Ms. Martinez stands as an exemplary educator, one is committed to the ideals of academic excellence and social justice.

Ms. Martinez has successfully harnessed the power of music and the arts to teach her students new concepts. As one parent said, “Ms. Martinez is convinced that children connect with music in an unexplainable way and are able to remember…more through music than if they are told.” In fact, Ms. Martinez, with the help of her KinderRock Band, has even created a CD called Chicken & ABC’s that showcases songs that teach the months of the year, the bones of the body, and the four seasons, among other topics. So awesome! (And the songs are insanely catchy.) We even received a DVD of Ms. Martinez’s class performing “Where is the Love?” at the Winter Assembly, which demonstrates how music can both teach and challenge others to think critically about important social issues.

Speaking of social issues, we would be remiss if we didn’t mention how strongly Ms. Martinez supports “inclusion, parental and community involvement, and social justice.” Consider the service learning opportunity Ms. Martinez organized for her kindergarten class last fall. Her students sold baked goods and lemonade in the Castro one Saturday afternoon to raise money for Puente, an organization that supports farm workers. Project Blanket, as the fundraiser was named, raised more than $1,000 for Puente in just four hours!

Our hats are off to you, Ms. Martinez, for teaching the importance of community and social justice to your kindergarteners. We are so very proud to have such dedicated, passionate, and fun educators like you in our community. Keep up the good work!

Read more about our Teacher of the Month program.


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