Teacher Roster

MONICA HOVIK

  • School: Fischer Middle School of Business and Communications
  • Teaches: 8th Grade Math and Science
  • Favorite Player: Merton Hanks

KELI BAKER

  • School: Fairmount Elementary
  • Teaches: 1st Grade
  • Favorite Player: Colin Kaepernick

JESSICA MORALES

  • School: Kitayama Elementary
  • Teaches: 2nd grade
  • Favorite Player: Joe Montana

JAMIE GRACE

  • School: Ponderosa Elementary
  • Teaches: Kindergarten
  • Favorite Player: Joe Montana

KRISTIN LANDUCCI

  • School: Hillsdale High School
  • Teaches: High school level non diploma track special education
  • Favorite Player: Joe Montana

BERNADETTE MARCIAS

  • School: Carolyn Clark Elementary School
  • Teaches: 6th Grade
  • Favorite Player: Colin Kaepernick

JOEL AUSTIN

  • School: Roosevelt Middle School
  • Teaches: 7th-8th Science
  • Favorite Player: Steve Young

CHRISTOPHER MOURA

  • School: Oak Grove High School
  • Teaches: 9-12/ concert band, symphonic band, piano marching band
  • Favorite Player: Joe Montana

ANNE CHUNG

  • School: Irvington High School
  • Teaches: Calc AB, Precal H
  • Favorite Player: Colin Kaepernick

LAUREN RIVERA

  • School: Glassbrook Elementary School
  • Teaches: SDC Grade 4 - 6
  • Favorite Player:

CLAUDIA ZERVOULAKOS

  • School: M.P. Brown Elementary School
  • Teaches: 1st grade
  • Favorite Player:

HEATHER PSAROS

  • School: Joe Michell School
  • Teaches: Moderate/Severe Special Day Class TK-2
  • Favorite Player: Jerry Rice

JUAN CARLOS VILLASENOR

  • School: Voices College-Bound Language Academy
  • Teaches: 7th/8th Spanish and Social Studies
  • Favorite Player:

TONI SINDELAR

  • School: Discovery Charter School
  • Teaches: 7th Grade
  • Favorite Player: NaVorro Bowman

DAVE LAPP

  • School: Tamalpais High School
  • Teaches: Physics
  • Favorite Player: Joe Montana

CATHERINE LORIGAN

  • School: Ida Price Middle School
  • Teaches: Music
  • Favorite Player: Jerry Rice

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MONICA HOVIK

  • School: Fischer Middle School of Business and Communications
  • Teaches: 8th Grade Math and Science
  • Favorite Player: Merton Hanks

"As a product of East Side San Jose, Monica Hovik is an exceptional role model to all the math and science students she teaches every day," said James Rumohr, a school colleague. "Ms. Hovik has very high expectations for herself. It translates to her teaching and daily interactions with students - motivating them to be successful, resilient, respectful and responsible learners as well as innovative creators of knowledge." Rumohr nominated Hovik for the Symetra Heroes in the Classroom award.

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KELI BAKER

  • School: Fairmount Elementary
  • Teaches: 1st Grade
  • Favorite Player: Colin Kaepernick

"Keli Baker strives to make each and every aspect of the school day fun for her Fairmount Falcons first-graders," said colleague Adam Glasser. "Young learners must master mundane tasks like how to walk in straight lines from recess to class, but 'Ms. Keli' transforms the exercise into a highlight of each student's day by asking a simple question: How should we walk in line today? On a given day that might mean like a marching band, while on another it could be like a cheetah or turtle. This strategy is genius; not only is Ms. Keli getting students excited to line up to transition to class, she is encouraging her students to use their creativity and ingenuity." Glasser nominated Hovik for the Symetra Heroes in the Classroom award.

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JESSICA MORALES

  • School: Kitayama Elementary
  • Teaches: 2nd grade
  • Favorite Player: Joe Montana

"Mrs. Morales is an amazing teacher, who always goes above and beyond for her students. Just because the bell rings doesn't mean Mrs. Morales is done working. If she sees any child having difficulty with a lesson or concept, she does whatever it takes to figure out how best to meet his or her needs. She consistently puts her students' learning and happiness before anything else," said Kristy Tara, the parent of two of Morales's former students. Tara nominated Morales for the Symetra Heroes in the Classroom award.

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JAMIE GRACE

  • School: Ponderosa Elementary
  • Teaches: Kindergarten
  • Favorite Player: Joe Montana

Being a Kindergarten Teacher isn't easy, and the way Ms. Grace handles and manages her 24 students is amazing! Ms. Grace also spends time outside of school to make sure she provides the best way for each child to learn. She spends her own money to make the classroom come alive and for it to be more enjoyable for each student. Some people may take Kindergarten Teachers for granted, but Ms. Grace is definitely no slouch. Ms. Grace this year was faced with the challenge of working with multiple students with some kind of learning disability, but because Ms. Grace is the way she is, this challenge did not stop her. She believes in showing her support and guidance in order to make a difference. Ms.Grace definitely sets the tone for each student’s future.

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KRISTIN LANDUCCI

  • School: Hillsdale High School
  • Teaches: High school level non diploma track special education
  • Favorite Player: Joe Montana

"Kristin Landucci is a hero of the highest order. For 11 years, she has worked with my now 16-year-old son in his home program, beginning when she was a high school student herself at Burlingame High School," said Elisa Hughes. "Through working with my son and other autistic children, Kristen decided to become a special education teacher during her college years at UC Davis." Hughes nominated Landucci for the Symetra Heroes in the Classroom award.

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BERNADETTE MARCIAS

  • School: Carolyn Clark Elementary School
  • Teaches: 6th Grade
  • Favorite Player: Colin Kaepernick

"Bernadette Marcias is an amazing teacher who has the ability to connect with children at all levels. She has brought a number of programs to Carolyn Clark Elementary and helped students understand the importance of arts, culture and giving back to the community," said Arthi Aiyappan, the parent of a former student. "Mrs. Marcias made a big difference in my daughter's sixth-grade experience - her confidence blossomed as she got more comfortable trying new things." Aiyappan nominated Marcias for the Symetra Heroes in the Classroom award.

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JOEL AUSTIN

  • School: Roosevelt Middle School
  • Teaches: 7th-8th Science
  • Favorite Player: Steve Young

"Mr. Austin teaches in a way that all students learn to appreciate science. His lessons are really fun and collaborative and can accommodate his students' different learning styles," said Kenny Vuong, a former student. "Mr. Austin embodies the three things I find important in a teacher - patience, encouragement and willingness. As a former student, I've experienced all of these qualities firsthand, and I think Mr. Austin's other students would say the same." Vuong nominated Austin for the Symetra Heroes in the Classroom award.

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CHRISTOPHER MOURA

  • School: Oak Grove High School
  • Teaches: 9-12/ concert band, symphonic band, piano marching band
  • Favorite Player: Joe Montana

"The 109-member Oak Grove Marching Band and Color Guard is a source of pride for all members of our community, and it is because the leadership of Chris Moura," said Angela Palisoc, the parent of an Oak Grove High School student. "Like many bands in this age of underfunded school programs, Oak Grove's band was struggling financially. Chris decided to take it upon himself to make a difference - over the summer he organized a 'Moura Rides for Music' fundraising bike ride from Los Angeles to San Jose. His efforts generated critically needed donations which directly funded the marching band this fall." Palisoc nominated Moura for the Symetra Heroes in the Classroom award.

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ANNE CHUNG

  • School: Irvington High School
  • Teaches: Calc AB, Precal H
  • Favorite Player: Colin Kaepernick

"Ms. Chung inspires students not to give up in the classroom. I know this firsthand because when I struggled in class, she gave me hope that I could succeed. She would make friendly comments like 'What happened?' or 'Can I help you?' and give me a heads up on what I needed to do in order to do well in her class. She did this for every struggling student," said Bryan Sun, a former student of Chung's. Sun nominated Chung for the Symetra Heroes in the Classroom award.

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LAUREN RIVERA

  • School: Glassbrook Elementary School
  • Teaches: SDC Grade 4 - 6
  • Favorite Player:

"Lauren Rivera is a wonderful teacher who works with children with special needs," said Lisa Cote, the parent of one of Rivera's former students. "Ms. Rivera connects with each child and has so much patience and love for what she does, but also knows when to push a student to do their very best. She consistently keeps communication open and keeps parents involved in every step of their child's education." Cote nominated Rivera for the Symetra Heroes in the Classroom award.

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CLAUDIA ZERVOULAKOS

  • School: M.P. Brown Elementary School
  • Teaches: 1st grade
  • Favorite Player:

"Claudia Zervoulakos is an outstanding teacher who manages to strike the perfect balance of being firm with her first-graders, while still allowing them to be kids and have fun. She finds ways to help her students be more accountable for their classroom responsibilities by communicating directly to them and not allowing them to make excuses," said Angelica Naranjo, the parent of an M.P. Brown Elementary student. Naranjo nominated Zervoulakos for the Symetra Heroes in the Classroom award.

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HEATHER PSAROS

  • School: Joe Michell School
  • Teaches: Moderate/Severe Special Day Class TK-2
  • Favorite Player: Jerry Rice

"There are challenges working with special needs children, but Mrs. Psaros has an uncanny ability with her students. She has a very calm demeanor and the children know that she is in charge," said McClane. "There are not enough great things that can be said about Mrs. Psaros. Advocate, champion, happy, caring, loving, generous and dedicated all describe what she brings to her classroom and students every day." McClane nominated Psaros for the Symetra Heroes in the Classroom award.

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JUAN CARLOS VILLASENOR

  • School: Voices College-Bound Language Academy
  • Teaches: 7th/8th Spanish and Social Studies
  • Favorite Player:

"Juan Carlos Villasenor has made a tremendous difference in many students' lives here at Voices College-Bound Language Academy. We are a dual-immersion charter school, serving a predominantly Latino student body, and we consider all of our students language learners, whether English or Spanish," said Jose Gonzalez, a teaching colleague. "Mr. V's own experience learning a new language when he first came to the U.S. gives him great empathy with Voices' students and as a result his passion shines throughout our school." Gonzalez nominated Villasenor for the Symetra Heroes in the Classroom award.

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TONI SINDELAR

  • School: Discovery Charter School
  • Teaches: 7th Grade
  • Favorite Player: NaVorro Bowman

"Toni Sindelar is a 'pitbull' for her students. Often at school until late in the evening, she is always looking out for their best interests and will advocate for special services," said Debby Perry, principal at Discovery Charter School. "Toni works with the troubled youth at our school. She has a rapport with students and teaches them that others may judge or perceive them by their actions. She looks at the whole picture and yet holds them accountable for their actions. There are no excuses. She calls on them to be better students and citizens." Perry nominated Sindelar for the Symetra Heroes in the Classroom award.

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DAVE LAPP

  • School: Tamalpais High School
  • Teaches: Physics
  • Favorite Player: Joe Montana

"The care that David Lapp puts into the craft of teaching is often imitated but never replicated by the finest high school educators on the planet. He has graced room 65 in Palmer Hall with his presence since 1990 — his first year at Tam — and has been a main staple of the senior year experience at Tam," said Jonathan Wachtel, one of Lapp's former students, who now attends Tulane University. "Mr.. Lapp understood from the time he first taught high-schoolers that dry textbooks filled with science terminology but without any interesting anecdotes to illuminate the concepts didn't leave a lasting impact on students. To remedy the situation, Mr. Lapp wrote his own textbook filled with interesting personal anecdotes and real-life applications to aid the understanding of the physics terms he was teaching, allowing his students to better understand the class."

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CATHERINE LORIGAN

  • School: Ida Price Middle School
  • Teaches: Music
  • Favorite Player: Jerry Rice

"The music program at Ida Price Middle School truly rocks and that's because Catherine Lorigan cares so much about students succeeding in music. She goes above and beyond to make playing music, singing, concerts and more come alive", said Nancy Donaldson, the parent of an Ida Price Middle School student. You'll find that students never want to leave Mrs. Lorigan's class. They'll return to her classroom to practice, and she regularly stays late to help students who really want to learn, helping them improve on her own time. Mrs. Lorigan makes Ida Price Middle School's music program stronger by giving everything she has to the students."