This school year, we’d like to take the time to shine a spotlight on our SEVA teachers. Our talented SEVA teachers help to develop and implement the student’s skills in incredible ways. We want to honor every teacher who encourages and fosters the passion and talents of their students. Our teachers are committed to making a difference in the life of each and every student. We’ll be updating this page weekly to give each of our SEVA teachers a time to shine!
Brook Beckett of Galt High School
This week’s SEVA Teacher of the Week is Brooke Beckett from Galt High School in the Galt Joint Union High School District. Brooke Beckett has been teaching for the past eleven years and has shown that she truly understands what great opportunities media creates for her students. Brooke uses her teaching to show students how to express themselves, while simultaneously showing them the real-world applications of media and instilling universal skills. Ms. Beckett’s talents were recognized by her district when they selected her to receive the 2018 Teacher of the Year Award. Ms. Beckett also has the great ability of recognizing her students’ talents and pulls that out so each student can truly shine. She broadens student horizons by teaching new programs and skills that will continue to have an impact not just in media, but throughout their lives. Ms. Beckett always pushes her students to higher levels of rigor which shows each year in the video her students submit to the SEVAs. When talking to her students, it is clear that they have a passion for media and that the driving force behind that passion is Ms. Beckett. Thank you, Ms. Beckett, for continuing to represent what the SEVAs are all about and for helping show students just how amazing media can be!
Joann Darrow of Del Paso Manor Elementary School
Joann Darrow of Del Paso Manor Elementary School in the San Juan Unified School District is this week’s SEVA Teacher of the Week. Mrs. Darrow has been teaching for 18 years and continues to make a lasting impression on her students. She was awarded the 2018 Allan Hinderstein Award for her commitment to integrate videos as a tool for opening a world of learning possibilities for her students. Her continued commitment and passion about the future of media makes her program truly amazing and the impact can be seen in the work her students do in their SEVA Studio. She is always looking to grow and change with her students and knows the value students feel when they are a part of something bigger than the classroom. Joann has learned that not only is she teaching her students, but that she is also the student as her media students teach her so much and they are often times the best teachers! When speaking to her classroom, each student had their own story about how Joann had helped them grow their passion in media. Our SEVA program would not be the same without her and the over 130 videos her students have entered since 2012. Thank you Joann for all that you do and for continuing to be such a great contributor to the SEVA Program!
Jeff Darrow of John Barrett Middle School
Jeff Darrow of John Barrett Middle School in the San Juan Unified School District is this week’s SEVA Teacher of the Week. Mr. Darrow has taught media for thirteen years and has participated in the SEVAs consistently since. During this time, Mr. Darrow has discovered his love of teaching media by encouraging students to tell their stories their way. His class is designed to motivate his students to use their own authentic creativity, and you can see the results in the joy and passion that his students have for the work they do in his class. Mr. Darrow’s class has flourished and brought many new students into his ever-growing program over the years. Through this program he continues to help show his students how the skills they learn in media can be applied in any subject that they study. When you enter Mr. Darrow’s classroom you can feel the buzz of student’s working together and building off each other’s ideas. He truly has a unique way of allowing his students to have their own methods while knowing the perfect moment to intervene before things gets off track. This is the second media program that Mr. Darrow has led, and we are excited to see the growth that has truly made this studio something special. Thank you, Mr. Darrow for always being willing to take on a challenge and for continuing to bring media for students through multiple SEVA programs.
Peter Lane of W.E. Mitchell Middle School
Peter Lane of W.E. Mitchell Middle School in the Folsom Cordova Unified School District is this week’s SEVA Teacher of the Week. Mr. Lane has been at W.E. Mitchell Middle School for 17 years and currently teaches Media Arts. Although he is relatively new to the SEVA program, Mr. Lane has already created an great space for students to learn and create with the help of his SEVA Studio. His students agree that he makes learning fun and inspires them to be creative in their videos. Mr. Lane loves the curiosity and imagination that working with middle school students bring and he continues to allow them to expand their knowledge through the SEVA program. The skills and knowledge that Mr. Lane has ingrained in his students will continue to impact them as they advance into high school and will give them the tools to pursue interests that they may have never considered. Mr. Lane’s dedication to his media studio is clear, as he is determined to overcome any obstacles or hurdles that may come up so it may continue to be a wonderful resource for his students.
Jennifer Law of Wilson C. Riles Middle School
Jennifer Law of Wilson C. Riles Middle School in the Center Joint Unified School District has made an impact in the lives of her students for the past 24 years. She continues to grow her media program and encourage her students to express themselves through video. The SEVA program inspired Ms. Law to start an after-school media program at Wilson C. Riles Middle School. It has created a space for students to work together, discuss their ideas, and bring those ideas to life. Through her program, Ms. Law has been able to instill in her students the importance of timelines as well as share in their joy when they have been through the process and complete projects that are truly theirs. Her media program remains an amazing outlet for her students to express themselves as Ms. Law continues to inspire them to push their creativity further and expand their abilities through media. We have no doubt that Ms. Law’s program will continue to be an incredible resource for her students and truly influence their skills in media and within their community. Thank you, Ms. Law for continuing to work hard on this program for your students. We appreciate you and all that you do!
Joshua Weeks of Bell Avenue School
Joshua Weeks from Bell Avenue School in the Robla School District is this week’s SEVA Teacher of the Week. He has been teaching for 9 years and has come to realize that media allows students a way to communicate their vision like never before. He loves that media gives his students an avenue to express themselves visually so he can clearly see their ideas. Mr. Weeks knows just how important giving his students the outlet to share their vision can be to their overall academic success. He is thankful that his students come to him with a passion for media because of platforms like YouTube. He uses their interest as a jumping off point to help them become content creators instead of just consumers. Having their weekly news program “Tiger News” helps keep his students constantly refining their craft. In addition to their weekly newscast, Mr. Weeks uses the SEVA program to give his students that extra push to do their best work. Watching the Public Service Announcements his students make always puts a smile on his face. Likewise, his students all have smiles when they talk about their amazing media teacher! Thank you, Mr. Weeks, for your drive to help students share their vision.
Natalie Tamblyn of David Lubin Elementary School
Natalie Tamblyn of David Lubin Elementary School in the Sacramento City Unified School District is this week’s SEVA Teacher of the Week! Ms. Tamblyn was first introduced to the SEVA program about 10 years ago, and saw in it a unique venue that could empower students to tell their story. The desire to amplify student voice has stayed with her during her entire teaching career. Her teaching proves that video production makes writing accessible to all students. She especially appreciates the documentary category because she feels that creating documentaries takes students through the entire writing process, and in doing so, ties very closely to writing standards her students must meet. She truly strives to make sure every one of her students has the knowledge and ability to delve deeper into the subject matter and demonstrate what they have learned through the videos they create. The self-confidence that blossoms in her students when they are able to complete a video project is inspiring. She enjoys seeing the smiles on students’ faces when they accomplish things they didn’t know were possible. Likewise, her students express how much they love having her happy, supportive spirit leading them. Thank you, Ms. Tamblyn, for showing what can happen when you believe every student has an important story to tell.
Brent Fanchar of Albert Schweitzer Elementary School
Brent Fanchar from Albert Schweitzer Elementary School in the San Juan Unified School District is this week’s SEVA Teacher of the Week. Mr. Fanchar is coming out of his first year as a SEVA Teacher, and subsequent first SEVA win for his students. The SEVA win created a buzz across his entire school that proved how effortlessly media education can blend in to a traditional education setting. However, Mr. Fanchar isn’t involved with the SEVAs for the awards. He most enjoys helping his students find their way in the world of media and watching all the growth that entails. His students pick up on his enthusiasm and say how much fun they have in his class, and how he always has a smile on his face. Mr. Fanchar most appreciates the PSA category because his students can take on topics that wouldn’t normally be covered in a classroom setting but are nevertheless so important to them. While he has taught in the district for 14 years, the SEVAs have helped open up a new world of possibilities for his students to express themselves and that is truly exciting.
Mark Billingsley of Winston Churchill Middle School
Mark Billingsley from Winston Churchill Middle School in the San Juan Unified School District is this week’s SEVA Teacher of the Week. Mr. Billingsley has taught Computer Science and Digital Media for the past 3 years. He comes to teaching after a long career as a producer and writer. He is able to use his real-world knowledge to help give students the skills they’ll need for their future. He truly sees his students as natural story-tellers who just need a bit of guidance to be successful. Mr. Billingsley shows each student respect for their ideas, and in this way he can authentically connect with them and keep them motivated and productive in his class. He works hard to teach his student how to balance visual art and classic reporting in their videos. He loves the reaction students have when they can successfully complete a project that can be shared with classmates, the school, and the wider community. Thank you, Mr. Billingsley, for proving how valuable it is when students feel they sincerely have a great teacher in their corner.
Dawn William of Franklin High School
This week’s SEVA Teacher of the Week is Dawn Williams of Franklin High School in the Elk Grove Unified School District. Mrs. Williams has been teaching for 23 years, and has taught at Franklin High School since it first opened its doors. Mrs. Williams teaches two broadcast classes every day and her students produce a live daily show for the entire student body. During her impressive teaching career, Mrs. Williams has been able to to continue to grow and adapt her style to the ever changing world of media and her students needs. She is always looking for new ways of connecting and jump-starting her students careers, not only the broadcast industry, but wherever their journey takes them. Mrs. Williams genuinely cares that her students have the skills and knowledge needed in the world today when they leave her class. Mrs. Williams is known for her patience with her students and her ability to relate to youth of all different backgrounds. She is always smiling and truly brings a light to the SEVA Teacher Group.
2019 Alan Hinderstein Award Winner Karen Albert
SEVA Teacher of the Week features outstanding media teachers who work to give their students a voice. Karen Albert of Robert L. McCafffrey Middle School in the Galt Joint Union Elementary School District has been doing just that for the past ten years. Mrs. Albert provides her students the opportunity to develop skills that can be used beyond the four walls of the classroom, and, through this she has helped develop future leaders. She has used her passion for teaching and learning to show others that students can teach us just as much as we teach them. When you are in Mrs. Albert’s classroom there is rarely a dull moment as students are constantly getting up to show others a new skill. When she comes across a challenge she is the first to ask her students what she should do next and lets them guide her through the process. Mrs. Albert is instrumental in creating community not just at her school but within the SEVA program as a whole.