Karen Albert of Robert L. McCaffrey Middle School
Karen Albert of Robert L. McCaffrey Middle School in the Galt Joint Unified School District is this week’s SEVA Teacher of the Week. Ms. Albert is always one to take on a challenge in order to push her students to do their best. It is obvious that her classroom is a special place for her students and the admiration her students have for her speaks wonders about her teaching. Her students are highly are encouraged to venture out in the community to document important happenings. Both the school community and the small town community of Galt are constantly at the forefront of her media program, KDOG News. In this way, Ms. Albert’s students are empowered to be leaders in the community, which is a very unique opportunity for Middle School students. The positive feedback that her students receive when they venture out is proof that the skills she instills in them will benefit them for years to come. Thank you, Ms. Albert, for showing what can happen when you empower youth to be leaders in the community.
Wendy Esquivel of Will Rogers Middle School
Wendy Esquivel from Will Rogers Middle School in the San Juan Unified School District is this week’s SEVA Teacher of the Week. Ms. Esquivel has learned to expertly navigate the uniqueness of middle school during her impressive teaching career. One of the greatest lessons Ms. Esquivel has shared with her students is to put their heart into everything they do and to let their creativity shine. She is truly able to connect with her students and inspire them to share their vision. Ms. Esquivel is proud to be part of the SEVA program which she feels provides lifelong memories for her students and motivation for them to continue to work harder and improve year after year. Likewise, she has helped to create a special bond with fellow middle school SEVA teachers where they can learn and grow together.
During distance learning, Ms. Esquivel was able to keep inspiring her students to continue creating the Mustang Morning News. Students were able to hold on to the special community spirit of Will Rogers with their weekly broadcast even from home. As the new school year starts, we know Ms. Esquivel will continue to help her students connect through media. Thank you, Ms. Esquivel, for showing the impact media can have in middle school.
Dawn Williams 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 at Franklin High School since it first opened its doors to students. 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 instill in her students the importance of finding the heart of the story, and their results speak for themselves. She is always looking for new ways of helping her students not just while they are in her class, but beyond into their future careers. Mrs. Williams is known for her kindness and her ability to connect with each student in a special way, building relationships that last beyond high school.
During distance learning, Mrs. Williams continued to connect with students in her own unique way. Their broadcast continued on and students quickly took the reigns to produce content from home. Mrs. Williams also put herself out there, producing and curating videos to help her students while at home, all the while maintaining her wonderful positivity. Thank you, Mrs. Williams, for showing how kindness and a smile can help no matter the situation.
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 truly went above and beyond during distance learning to ensure his media students continued creating. The Barrett broadcast “BTV” quickly went home with student producers, where host Felicia really stepped up to the plate under the guidance of Mr. Darrow. He ensured that the show would go on to help the entire school community while the students were apart. Mr. Darrow’s students credit his positive attitude and great sense of humor with helping them succeed in their media class. He is always there to lend a hand, not just to his students, but the SEVA teacher community as a whole. Thank you, Mr. Darrow, for helping keep the spirit of community alive during distance learning.
Heidi Pedersen of Helen Carr Castello Elementary School
This week’s Teacher of the Week is Heidi Pedersen of Helen Carr Castello Elementary School in the Elk Grove Unified School District. Ms. Pedersen found her way to media after a long career teaching 5th grade. She credits media and the SEVA Teacher Community with giving her a special boost of enthusiasm in her teaching. She uses media as an authentic way to teach her students that their voices have power. She has quickly learned how to help students express their thoughts through video and found that ideal balance of freedom to create what they want and the structure to keep them accountable. She was able to truly utilize the SEVA program as an inspiration and motivation for her students. Her students credit her with setting them up with all the skills necessary to be excellent student producers. In fact, students in her media program really thrived under her guidance and 8 of their videos made the SEVA 2020 finalist list their very first year out!
During distance learning, her students were able to take what they learned producing for the creative expression category and keep making fun videos. We’re sure that when schools starts back up, Ms. Pedersen will be able to harness their creativity and continuing inspiring students to do their best. Thank you, Ms. Pedersen, for showing how media education can bring a jolt of energy to your classroom.
Kyle Heckey of Sutter Middle School
Our SEVA Teacher of the Week is Kyle Heckey from Sutter Middle School in the Sacramento City Unified School District. Mr. Heckey is well known for his abundant creativity and his eagerness to share what he knows with his students. He gives his students the flexibility to create whatever they are passionate about, and is always there to help in any way he can. His laid-back style infuses with his positive attitude to give students the freedom and encouragement to share their authentic voice through whatever projects they take on – from media to woodworking. His teaching is so special, he was featured on a Disney+ Original Series!
Mr. Heckey’s students continued strengthening their media skills during distance learning. His students recorded videos from home to share what he means to them. His students also continued broadcasting Sutter’s “The Pick” during distance learning and were able to keep showing their creativity through video. Thank you, Mr. Heckey, for inspiring the next great generation of filmmakers.
Tammy Null of Florence Markofer Elementary School
This week’s SEVA Teacher of the Week is Tammy Null of Florence Markofer Elementary in the Elk Grove Unified School District. Mrs. Null has been teaching for over 19 years, and is one of the biggest supporters of elementary media education in the community. She expanded media production at her school beyond her classroom by starting a media club that is open to all students, even the youngest ones. Her excitement is contagious at school and into the SEVA community. This enthusiasm and support helps all her students to naturally develop confidence and perseverance. Likewise, she helps fellow media teachers refine their craft, freely sharing tips and tricks that she has learned along the way.
Mrs. Null has a knack for bringing new technology and ideas in to her teaching. Recently, she introduced podcasting to her students and has experimented with various new social media platforms to stay current. She also stepped up to the plate this spring to help create numerous 2020 6th Grade Promotion videos in her SEVA Studio when Elk Grove Unified could not hold in-person graduations. Her passion and drive are truly inspiring. Thank you, Mrs. Null for your tremendous contributions to your school and beyond!
Brian Weitzel of Del Campo High School
Brian Weitzel of Del Campo High School in the San Juan Unified School District is this week’s SEVA Teacher of the Week. Mr. Weitzel is the perfect example of what the SEVA program is all about. He uses the SEVA rubric as the center of his curriculum and has managed to cultivate some incredibly talented student video producers. Mr. Weitzel is not afraid of a challenge, especially when he knows it will better his students. Although creating a live broadcast is a very complicated undertaking, Mr. Weitzel believes that it teaches his students how to deal with deadlines and the importance of being prepared. These skills give his students an significant advantage in whatever career they may choose to pursue after high school. He has seen his share of challenges in the classroom and never shies away, instead he charges through and comes out with experience that he openly shares with others. He has a wealth of knowledge and astounds in his ability to continuously refine his craft.
During distance learning, DC Daily quickly transformed into DC Distance. Under the leadership of Mr. Weitzel, students continued building community in their school through their broadcast, even though students were physically distant. Students also harnessed their creativity, telling their own stories of the time through video. Through media, Mr. Weitzel helped his seniors have a graduation celebration they would never forget. Thank you, Mr. Weitzel, for showing what amazing leaders teachers can be.
Charles King of Heron School
This week’s SEVA Teacher of the Week is Charles King of Heron School in the Natomas School District. Mr. King’s students all seem to light up when they talk about him. He has a special knack for seeing the unique talent of each student, and he helps them feel truly understood. He then pushes each student who comes through his class to be a better media producer. His class allows students that perfect balance of creativity and structure that helps them to hone their skills while expressing themselves. Students become leaders at the school through the school news broadcast, earning the trust of the entire school.
During distance learning, his students were able to keep expressing themselves through video and sharing their work with the entire community through SECC’s Share Your Story project. Thank you, Mr. King, for giving your students the foundation they need to become excellent media producers and inspire the entire community.
Patty Zannetti of Ellen Feickert Elementary School
Patty Zannetti from Ellen Feickert Elementary School in the Elk Grove Unified School District is this week’s SEVA Teacher of the Week. Ms. Zannetti came to media when looking for a way to build school community. This passion she found for building school community through a school news broadcast created a spark around her school that quickly caught interest of everyone from students all the way to the school principal. Her students have an obvious passion for video production that is further bolstered by the enthusiasm Ms. Zannetti shows for their work. Watching joy and confidence grow in her students as they successfully complete projects truly shows the magic of media. Although new to the world of media education, she is already a great supporter and active member of the SEVA Teacher Community. Her positive spirit and willingness to learn both contribute to the incredible teacher she is.
During shelter-in-place, Ms. Zannetti was able to keep her after-school broadcast program running, relying on students and parents to provide the content. These broadcasts continued to strengthen the school community when it was needed the most, and was a bright light for students when they felt disconnected at home. Many students took to their cameras to share about their experience and take the time to talk about how much Ms. Zannetti means to them. Thank you, Ms. Zannetti, for showing the impact media can have to an elementary school community.
Thuy Pham of Creative Connections Arts Academy
Thuy Pham of Creative Connections Art Academy in the Twin Rivers Unified School District is this week’s SEVA Teacher of the Week. Mr. Pham has been cultivating student creativity in the classroom and beyond for over 20 years. They way he can harness his high-energy enthusiasm in order to motivate and give constructive feedback makes him the perfect mentor for young filmmakers who are able to take their projects to the next level. His students are truly invested in classroom topics because they are given the creative freedom to show their learning through video. This extra drive he gives his students is evident in their results from the 2020 SEVAs, where students from his site took home an astounding 7 total awards, the most of any school. Mr. Pham ensures that the hard work his students put forth is celebrated throughout the entire community, though he may always be their biggest fan.
During this time of shelter-in-place, Mr. Pham has himself contributed greatly to the SEVA community through his own filmmaking prowess. When the SEVAs were shifted virtually and SECC reached out for help, he created a video that creatively told the world about the exciting new format. He always includes his whole “Phamily” in his creative efforts, and the results speak for themselves. Thank you, Mr. Pham, for continuing to be a beacon of creativity for the entire SEVA community.
Christina Hills of Katherine Albiani Middle School
Christina Hills from Katherine Albiani Middle School in the Elk Grove Unified School District is this week’s SEVA Teacher of the Week! Ms. Hills is fairly new to the world of media education, but has had a focus of building school community throughout her 20 year career as a teacher in the Elk Grove Unified School District. She came to the world of media education through yearbook where she realized the possibilities video could hold. She wanted to start a weekly broadcast to help build community, and, while looking for help in this endeavor, found the SEVA teacher community. With the group, she was able to overhaul her entire program and raise the standard of production. With her leadership, students are able to make a direct impact to their school through their news broadcast. Their broadcasts contain character-building advocacy lessons that further help the entire school community. Her students especially mention her kindness, which is a character trait that she helps to instill in all her students.
During the time of distance learning, Ms. Hills has seen the value of media education grow. Her students were able to transition to online learning with the vital skill of being true digital citizenship thanks to the training they received in her class. Ms. Hills’ students have become news since they themselves are living through this historical event. Her students have turned inward, and learned new things about themselves and how to share and document their experience through media. Through media, her KAMS TV news team has only strengthened their bond during this time. Thank you, Ms. Hills for showing how media can strengthen bonds of community.
Rebecca Batzianis of Casa Roble High School
Rebecca Batzianis from Casa Roble High School in the San Juan Unified School District is this week’s SEVA Teacher of the Week. Though this is her first year teaching media, she is no stranger to the classroom. Ms. Batzianis taught English for 18 years, while never forgetting her first love: journalism. Having experienced the world of journalism and communications in high school in college, she jumped at the chance to take over the media program at Casa Roble. Once she landed the position, she realized just how much work was needed to really get it going. She regularly attend meetings of SEVA Teachers and learned what was truly possible in the world of high school media. She rolled up her sleeves and put in countless hours to make sure their equipment was upgraded and the students had opportunities she didn’t have when she was in school. Her spirit of dedication inspired her students to give each video their best. Likewise, the creativity her students brought forward inspired her right back. Unsurprisingly, Ms. Batzianis says that the Creative Expression SEVA category is her favorite, and she is delighted that her students took home an Honorable Mention in that category at their very first SEVAs.
During Shelter-in-Place, Ms. Batzianis says she has continued to be inspired by her students who are using this time to go deeper into the world of videography. Her students have been able to keep busy while staying active in media, exploring different methods for their creativity and truly letting their individuality shine. By giving her student a venue to share their authentic voice while distance learning, she has helped them work through this crisis and come to grips with what is happening. Additionally, Ms. Batzianis and her students have stepped up to the plate and gone above and beyond to help their campus community during the time they are apart. Thank you, Ms. Batzianis for teaching your students just how powerful a tool media can be.
Brad Clark of Franklin High School
This week’s SEVA Teacher comes from Franklin High School in the Elk Grove Unified School District. Brad Clark is the Digital Media, Animation and Audio Production teacher for Franklin High School’s STEAM Academy. Mr. Clark is known for being truly passionate about media and he thrives on sharing this passion with his students. Students in his program learn to make a variety of different types of films and study all aspects of film making which helps them find their voice in an authentic, meaningful way. Mr. Clark engages his students by having them enter regional and statewide competitions in order to share their work beyond the four walls of the classroom. This enables them to receive a wider variety of feedback and sets a high bar for the quality of their work. In this way, Mr. Clark’s students get a leg up in college and beyond. His students have consistently taken home top awards locally and beyond. Thank you, Mr. Clark, for helping his students find their voice through digital media and helping them share that voice with the world.
Josh Creeger of Cordova High School
Josh Creeger of Cordova High School in the Folsom Cordova District is this week’s SEVA Teacher of the Week. Cordova High School holds a special place in Mr. Creeger’s heart as he is an alumni of the school. This passion for the school comes across clearly when you see all the work he puts in to helping the school community on multiple levels. While he is a science teacher at heart, Mr. Creeger’s fervent spirit has led him to teach media production as well as take on the job of activities director. It is inspirational to watch how he helps strengthen his students’ education, as well as the entire campus community. He strives to give his students opportunities that he didn’t have when he was a student there, especially through media education. After attending his excellent media production classes, several of his students have gone on to work in video production for the Folsom Cordova Unified School District as well as for SECC. During this time of distance learning, he has spent countless hours working to ensure that the Cordova High School 2020 Graduates have the celebration they deserve. Thank you, Mr. Creeger for being an example of what true dedication and passion are all about.
Matt Rowland of Arden Middle School
Matt Rowland of Arden Middle School in the San Juan Unified School District is this week’s SEVA Teacher. Mr. Rowland has been teaching for 20 years and is always excited to share his knowledge of media with his students every day. When you visit Mr. Rowland’s classroom, you find students from all different backgrounds that share a love for media production. In Mr. Rowland’s class, each student is able to contribute their unique talents and interests when producing, letting their creativity shine. Mr. Rowland encourages and cultivates creativeness in each student and helps them further develop their skills by teaching them the technical abilities they need to bring their vision to life. He also works with his students to develop their own learning library of tutorial videos that once again shows just how much emphasis Mr. Rowland puts on letting students use their own voice throughout the production process. Mr. Rowland makes the most of the studio space and we are amazed by what his students are able to create within the classroom. He empowers his students to lead each other and pulls everyone’s creative strengths together creating truly collaborative pieces. Thank you, Mr. Rowland, for showing us the power of bringing creative minds together from all different background to produce something truly phenomenal.
Brett Hatfield of Smythe Academy
Brett Hatfield of Smythe Academy in the Twin Rivers Unified School District is this week’s SEVA Teacher of the Week. The diverse nature of Brett Hatfield’s new SEVA Studio is something special. He has created an environment where students from all backgrounds can come together and share their visions and passions. Mr. Hatfield truly takes an interest in his students learning and gives them the ability to discover and apply the knowledge and skills they have acquired. The student’s creativity flows together in an effortless manner as they learn how to create media content. You can tell that they have truly absorbed the teachings of Mr. Hatfield as they continue to learn and grow. The uniqueness of the SEVA Studio that Mr. Hatfield has created will surely stick with his students and not only make an impact as they continue with media, but also as they work with others and their community.
Melissa May of Inderkum High School
Melissa May is now on her fourth year of teaching and continues to bring an amazing wealth of real-world knowledge and experience into her classroom. Mrs. May came to Inderkum High School in the Natomas Unified School District after a longtime career with ABC 10 as a TV journalist. Mrs. May’s television career experience brings a dynamic and unique viewpoint to the SEVA Teacher Program. She gives real-world applications of the work students are doing in her class, and this has become a game changer for her students. Mrs. May’s students’ aspirations are of the upmost importance to her and she continues to encourage her students to pursue their dreams while she makes sure all possible doors are open to them. Mrs. May understands that the future of media is evolving and prepares her students for the endless possibilities and opportunities that await them. Her students radiate a passion for media and the dedication they show in their studio is a clear indicator of Mrs. May’s influence. It obvious Mrs. May’s students will continue to do great things and we can’t wait to see all that they accomplish. Thank you, Mrs. May, for always being willing to share your knowledge and experiences with everyone you meet. You have encouraged us all to look at media from a different perspective and your passion to help students is truly inspiring.
Brooke 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.