from tiny little things, to my kids are now

Rachel Brown, a 4th-grade teacher  at Mission San Jose Elementary has been named as Fremont Unified School District's Teacher of the Year.

FREMONT, CA — The Fremont Unified School District has announced a 4th grade teacher has been named as the district's Teacher of the Year.

Rachel Brown, a 4th-grade teacher at Mission San Jose Elementary, will now be considered for Alameda County honors, and then possibly state recognition, FUSD said in a news release.

The official announcement came at the District’s Board of Education meeting Wednesday March 22.

“Being selected as district Teacher of the Year is such an unexpected honor, and I am so humbled and grateful to be chosen,” said Brown, who is in her 24th year of teaching in FUSD.

FUSD Superintendent CJ Cammack said that Brown was an "exemplary representative of our outstanding district educators, who balance nurturing each student’s needs and strengths with challenging all learners to approach content with curiosity and a drive for deeper understanding.”

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“Our students need the staff at our schools more than ever,” Cammack said. “The role of that teacher, that individual in the classroom, is so inherently critical to the social and emotional success of each child.”

MSJE Principal Katy Carter said that Brown not only teaches, she provides a voice for student advocacy that is "informed, data-driven, and thoughtful of the well-being of the whole child.”

“Mrs. Brown models kindness, empathy, compassion, and respect for all members of the MSJE community; this same display of upstanding character is mirrored by her students,” Carter said.

For Brown, it is all about having a hand in "shaping and encouraging the next generation.

“I continue to be in awe of the students and their families, who truly value education and show up ready to learn, grow, and strive for a bright future,” Brown said. “... I am so thankful for the supportive staff at MSJE and our amazing administrator, Katy Carter.”,59789073.html$uR3~V,59789095.html

According to FUSD, each year every school is allowed to nominate one teacher for Teacher of the Year consideration. After a committee scores each nomination on a rubric that measures instructional excellence, contributions to the district and teacher leadership, the highest-scoring nominees are selected as finalists and participate in an interview process.

In addition to Brown, 2023 finalists included Melissa Auger from Thornton Junior High, Stephanie Keller from Mattos Elementary, Maria Dimitrova from Brier Elementary, Anjum Mujeeb from Glankler Early Learning, Jason Boyer from Parkmont Elementary, and Ida Wong from Warm Springs Elementary.

“If anything we love our kids the most - from tiny little things, to my kids are now past college - but they are the most precious to us, and we trust them in your hands,” FUSD Board President Vivek Prasad said to all the Teacher of the Year nominees during the Wednesday night reception that included nominees’ families and school administrators. “The gratitude that I have is immense.”

A video from the March 22 Board of Education meeting at which finalists were honored and Brown was announced as Teacher of the Year is available here (item starts at 2:50).

“To students, teachers are a beacon of safety and hope, and a constant guide to ensure that learning and development happens for all of our students,” Cammack said. “I congratulate all of our honorees.”

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