M-A teacher Rachel Andres named San Mateo County Teacher of the Year

by Linda Hubbard Gulker on September 3, 2010

Menlo Atherton High School teacher Rachel Andres

The honors keep coming for Rachel Andres, Menlo-Atherton High School mathematics teacher and coordinator of the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) program.  It was announced today that she’s been selected as the San Mateo County Teacher of the Year by the county Office of Education.  In August, she was named a Sequoia Union High School District Certified Teacher and last spring was a recipient of a Teaching Award from the M-A Foundation for the Future.

“Ms. Andres’ excellence as a classroom teacher, her commitment to eradicating the achievement gap and her dedication to helping underrepresented groups of students enroll in college were key factors in her selection,” said San Mateo County Superintendent of Schools Anne E. Campbell.

Andres describes her approach to teaching as being based on establishing positive relationships with all students and then providing them with rigorous instruction that is tailored to their unique needs and strengths.  “I respect my students and listen to the voice of each one,” she said, “but then I set high standards, challenge each one to excel, provide the necessary support and require that they take responsibility for learning and be accountable for demonstrating mastery.”

In addition to her classroom teaching, Andres places emphasis upon the connections between the school and the community.  As AVID coordinator, she has been highly successful in preparing students to attend college.  In this work she makes presentations to middle schools to attract incoming freshmen to the program, invites parents to the school, nurtures partnerships with the local Boys and Girls Clubs, recruits tutors and dedicates herself to nurturing a college-going culture in the community.

Andres’ nomination will now wind its way to the state level for consideration as California Teacher of the Year.

Photo courtesy of Sequoia Union High School District

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