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Employee Spotlight

2/25/21
 
Meet Eustolia "Carmen" Ramirez our District Office Child Nutrition Services Warehouse Special Delivery I worker. 
 
Carmen has a position that supports and works with all of our 17 school sites.  She supports our School Site Kitchens throughout the District and can be found driving throughout our community to make sure our schools receive their deliveries.  Carmen is a member of the District's AFSME Labor Group and is a proud classified employee.  Carmen is one of three food service delivery specialists and she has taken on the Lead role while her co-worker is out on leave.  Carmen has worked extremely hard to ensure the food service warehouse is operated smoothly so all sites and the community continue to be served during this pandemic.
 
When asked about her job in Oak Grove, Carmen said "I love my job. I love working with the CNS staff and my CNS team. I love knowing that my job serves the community, especially during these uncertain times. While we are still coming in to work every day and have been since Covid began, it gives me great pleasure knowing that I still have the opportunity to serve my community and the fact that I still have a job is a blessing."
 
"I support the core values of the district by making sure each child and family has food to eat, especially during these times." 
 
Carmen continues to work daily on delivery fresh food for meals and meals kits so that the CNS team can continue to provide breakfast and lunch meals three times a week at nine school sites each week! 

2/11/21

 

Meet Kellee Humphrey – English Language Development teacher at Caroline Davis Intermediate    

                  

Ms. Humphrey has been an OGSD educator since 2005, working with students as a classroom teacher and/or instructional coach. She is active in several district committees including the DEIB (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging) as well as a part of the OGEA teacher’s union leadership as the Committee Chair for Equity and Human Rights. 

 

Here is her story:

“I am honored to have received various district-level recognitions but my most fulfilling accomplishment is seeing the growth of my students over time. The smiles and the laughs, as well as their academic achievement, verify that I'm doing exactly what I'm supposed to be doing, creating joy and the love of learning. Those smiles and laughs shared with me are what keeps me going and returning year after year. Sometimes there are tears and heartache but that too, inspires me to give all I can as their teacher.

 

Academic success is important but academic access is my goal. My passion as a teacher evolves as I mature and the world around us changes. The root of my passion lies in helping students find who they are, appreciate who they are, love who they are, and to dream as though they have no barriers. After 16 years working in elementary, there is one thing that remained the same at the intermediate level in reference to student engagement... relationship building! Distance learning has made this a challenge but it is still important, perhaps even more important now. I have found it necessary to approach students on their own terms and respect their limitations. In Distance Learning, I am providing more space and time for students to share and discuss. I try to create lessons and assignments that are relevant and interesting. All the while, offering grace and opportunities to be the best they can while experiencing something that is new to all of us.  

         

District adopted curriculum is the core of my lessons and provides a general pacing guide for the year. However, I adjust the curriculum to make sure it is accessible to my students. This may include altering time frames and incorporating supplemental material. I also like to offer diverse perspectives and images that relate to the students and purpose of the class.

 

I believe our greatest resource is communicating and sharing with one another. We all can take time to find links and such, but having the opportunity to dialogue with one another is powerful.    “

OGSD Spotlight -
 
2/4/21 Kirat Sachdev - Baldwin 2nd Grade
 
Meet Ms. Sachdev as she shares her passion for education in her own words:

“My teaching and my culture is diverse and diasporic. My intersectionality is always, already around and is breathed into my practice as a queer South Asian educator. Safe space is an action in my classroom and I strive to model safety by leading and teaching with love, compassion, and warmth from a working anti-racist and decocolonial lens. Like many of us in this work, I share, care, show up, lift up, lean in, amplify voices, and heal. With students at the heart, serving and supporting the trifecta of staff, students, and community is my passion. That is the current mission of the OGEA Equity Committee that I am a member of. I also serve as the LGBTQ+ Contact and Secretary for OGEA (Oak Grove Educators Association). An OGEA magnet I have reads, “Here for the Kids, Here for Each Other '', and it reminds me that in working to support other educators, we support generations of students, including those we may never meet. Social justice educators and BIPOC educators are warriors. They highlight voices, see color, understand caste, feel trauma and let it inform their practice in every moment of every day. I stand on the shoulders of many of those educator warriors. I feel great gratitude for the educators that I’ve met, including those that I’ve worked alongside. This work takes ALL of us!

I show up and suit up every morning as I am. I am an educator leader that is not unwilling to share my vulnerability. I use the power of “both/and” often. I normalize and utilize where I’m at, including my joys AND my struggles. My class knows by now that we’re doing this mysterious AND magnificent thing together. We talk, chat, emoji, boogie, giggle, goof, glitch, crash, sing, read, AND repeat! I engage students with letting them engage me with what they need. Chatting and talking is the most engaging tool for Distance Learning so far. Breakout Rooms, Small Groups, Student/Office Hours, Jamboard Partner/Collaborative Work, and Brain/Boogie Breaks seem to yield the strongest student engagement.”

Ms. Sachdev is making the most of the themes and theories of our SEAL units and applying a “Less is more” philosophy. She thinks the most beneficial outcome so far is that we’ve converted all of our “Language Function” charts, chants, and sentence frames into colorful and crafty Google Slide Decks. Thank you, Baldwin 2nd Grade!
A resource she would like to share is Welcoming Schools (welcomingschools.org) it has welcomed her to a wealth of tools, resources, and books. She first heard about this project at a conference years ago and now she utilize it regularly. Welcoming Schools justifies my equity work. It affirms that all students, of all genders, races, and abilities need and deserve to be safe and heard.
 
To learn more - read her personal letter to her 12 year old self that was shared at our DEIB Committee.
 
1/25/21
Matteo Enna - Kindergarten at STEAM@STIPE
Mr. Enna has been teaching Kindergarten at STEAM@Stipe (previously known as Stipe Elementary School) for the past 16 years. His goal is to provide an academically rich and engaging classroom experience, that is both culturally and racially affirming, as children begin their journey as lifelong learners. He is proud of his biracial identity, and through this lens he provides a committed focus to Culturally Responsive Pedagogy and increasing the number of teachers of color.
 
Mr. Enna has engaged students during distance learning through his humor, energy, and ability to establish relationships with his class. Distributing weekly STEAM kits filled with hands-on experiences has provided his students with opportunities to explore, create, and design.
 
Students in Mr. Enna’s class are immersed in rich academic language as they learn about the world around them through the standards-based district adopted curriculum. Mr. Enna enriches the content by including strategies that bring curiosity and joy to the kindergarten classroom.
 
Mr. Enna finds inspiration from educators like Christopher Emdin, Gholdy Muhammad, Bettina Love, and Travis Bristol. Their work continues to drive his success and goals in and outside the classroom. He believes it is imperative of educators to learn from and listen to Black scholars and researchers.
 
You can find him on Twitter @MrEnna79 or read more @https://docs.google.com/.../1p4ErECVxwdimTVF1qyw5.../edit...