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The Ed Fund 2018

The Ed Fund recognizes and honors the excellence of five West Contra Costa Unified School District teachers and 15 scholarship winners at its 30th Annual Soaring to Excellence Celebration on May 11th. In addition, the Ed Fund highlights the work of its collaborative partners by giving its 2018 Collaborative Partner of the Year Award to Bay Area Community Resources; who demonstrates a high level of community engagement. Student performances by the Pinole Valley High School’s Band are also featured during the time of celebration.



2018 Teaching Excellence Award Winners

The five 2018 Teaching Excellence Award winners who are being honored at the Soaring to Excellence Celebration share a strong passion for instilling a love of learning within their students. By cautiously and thoughtfully incorporating creativity, adherence to high standards, profound knowledge of the subjects being taught, and consideration of individual differences, needs and strengths, these award winning teachers have raised the quality of education and have set a positive example as role models. Furthermore each teacher’s tireless dedication enables students to recognize their passions and assists them in reaching their goals.


Joanne Chen,

6th Grade Teacher, Mira Vista K-8

As an educator, Ms. Chen works to address all learning modalities by being mindful of students learning abilities. She accomplishes this by creating innovative and engaging lessons, which encompasses multiple interwoven components. Ms. Chen sets high expectations for her students and works tirelessly to ensure each and every student achieves them. Most importantly, she demonstrates the critical role of parent teacher engagement. She does this by keeping an open line of communication, and consistently updates parents on their child’s achievements.


Erik Radkiewicz,

High School Band Teacher, Pinole Valley High School

Band teacher, Mr. Radkiewicz works to create a culture of success, where every student matters and is called upon to take responsibility for more than just them-selves. He teaches them to respect themselves and their craft, and to lead even if there is no leader. Authentic learning standards take place as the band pushes itself to the highest standards of performance, as resiliency and a growing mindset is encouraged. Often times Mr. Radkiewicz creates long lasting relationships with students, sometimes lasting up to nine years!


Rachel Ricker,

2nd Grade Teacher, Verde Elementary School

As an educator, Ms. Ricker’s mindset is that it is up to the teacher and teacher leadership to help students succeed. She has led Verde Elementary School through a few pedagogical shifts that have led to a more concise and transparent instruction not only in her classroom, but across the school as well. Her role as a leader has influenced an increase in amount of students meeting or exceeding standards in literacy as measured by the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium. She holds an expectation that all of her students will attend college, and any one of her students will be able to inform you on the University they would like to attend!


Elizabeth Sanders,

High School Teacher, De Anza High School

Ms. Sanders classroom routines are not just ways to simply manage her class; they are opportunities for her students to share personal talents, or to contribute something meaningful to the class community. As an educator she holds herself accountable to many responsibilities: she leads professional development for new and veteran teachers, and supports and leads the leadership team of the school alongside the principal. She also serves as an instructional leader on campus, by inspiring other teachers to speak a certain enthusiasm for the profession to their own students. This has and continues to contribute to creating a culture of success.


Jessie Welcomer,

5th Grade Teacher, Montalvin Manor Elementary School

Ms. Welcomer is incredibly patient and kind hearted with her students who show a variety of learning needs and traumatic backgrounds. She is an expert at using data to drive instruction, and has had students lead conferences this past year as she is starting to release more responsibilities of education onto her developing students. She also connects the bridge between school and home by communicating learning to parents and families. This is essential as student’s progress to high school as well as college.


2018 Collaborative Partner of the Year

Bay Area Community Resources

Bay Area Community Resources is proudly celebrating forty years of community service in the San Francisco Bay Area. As a multi- service service program provider, BACR provides afterschool programs, mental health services, national service programs, drug and alcohol programs, workforce development and fiscal intermediary services. BACR is a crucial resource provider for the West Contra Costa Unified School district, providing essential safety net services for our children.

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