Teacher Roster

GERSON SANDOVAL

  • School: San Jose High School
  • Teaches: Biology
  • Favorite Player: Joe Montana

ANA REED

  • School: Joaquin Miller Middle School
  • Teaches: 6-8 Grade Consumer Economics
  • Favorite Player: Joe Montana

COLBY CHAMBERS

  • School: KIPP Heritage Academy
  • Teaches: Science
  • Favorite Player: Jerry Rice

NATALIE LAI

  • School: Santa Teresa High School
  • Teaches: English 1A, English AP Language/Composition and English 3
  • Favorite Player: Joe Montana

RYLAN STEWART

  • School: Central Park Elementary
  • Teaches: 1st Grade
  • Favorite Player: Steve Young

MELISSA LE

  • School: Don Callejon School
  • Teaches: Kindergarten
  • Favorite Player: Joe Montana

SHANEKA JULIAN

  • School: Eastside College Preparatory School
  • Teaches: Spanish, grades 9-11
  • Favorite Player: Joe Montana

MARY TRINKLE

  • School: Costano Elementary/49er Academy
  • Teaches: 4th grade
  • Favorite Player: Phil Dawson

BRITTANY DALEY

  • School: Voices College-Bound Language Academy
  • Teaches: 2nd grade
  • Favorite Player: Carlos Hyde

CHANDRA LEONARDO

  • School: Kennedy Middle School
  • Teaches: 6th grade English Language Arts
  • Favorite Player: Jerry Rice

MICHAEL STERN

  • School: Wardlaw Elementary School
  • Teaches: 5th grade
  • Favorite Player: Harris Barton

LAURA MARCUS BRICCA

  • School: Palo Alto High School
  • Teaches: Special Education
  • Favorite Player: Jerry Rice

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GERSON SANDOVAL

  • School: San Jose High School
  • Teaches: Biology
  • Favorite Player: Joe Montana

"Gerson teaches biology at a high school with the highest percentage of low socio-economic students in the district. Many of our students come from complicated lives, traumatic histories, and low resources, yet he makes connections with students and helps them feel safe on campus in order for them to learn," said Carol Chen, a district colleague. Chen was among several individuals, including former students, who nominated Sandoval for the Symetra Heroes in the Classroom award.

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ANA REED

  • School: Joaquin Miller Middle School
  • Teaches: 6-8 Grade Consumer Economics
  • Favorite Player: Joe Montana

"From the year she started with us, Ms. Reed has made an exemplary commitment and contribution to the entire Miller Middle School community. For the past seven years, she has been one of our student council advisors working with our leadership students to provide activities for all Miller students. Her work adds to the positive community at our school," said Principal Steve Burrell "Ms. Reed teaches three different courses and always asks if there is anything else she can do. This year, when there was a need for us to add another elective course, Ms. Reed stepped up and gave up her prep period to teach the extra class. This selfless act exemplifies her personality as she wanted to make sure all of the students who requested their top elective were able to participate in the class. She truly puts students first." Burrell nominated Reed for the Symetra Heroes in the Classroom award.

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COLBY CHAMBERS

  • School: KIPP Heritage Academy
  • Teaches: Science
  • Favorite Player: Jerry Rice

"When you speak to Mr. Chambers you can feel his love and passion for teaching. He has an incredible energy that shines through and is reflected in his classroom. Children are excited, engaged and eager to learn," said Sandra Perez, the parent of a current student. "The middle school years can be challenging developmentally for middle school students. Mr. Chambers has made sure to continue his own education to deepen his understanding of a child's inner thinking, and it's clear he takes that into consideration when developing his lesson plans." Perez nominated Chambers for the Symetra Heroes in the Classroom award.

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NATALIE LAI

  • School: Santa Teresa High School
  • Teaches: English 1A, English AP Language/Composition and English 3
  • Favorite Player: Joe Montana

"Natalie Lai is an outstanding teacher in the sense that she goes beyond teaching the curriculum - she tries to portray it so her students better understand it and will remember it years from now," said Sarah Marko, a former student. "Ms. Lai assigns fun and open-minded projects that allow students to connect what they are learning to themselves. After class, she's there to help anyone who may be struggling. She takes the time to review the lesson so they understand it better. She always thinks of her students first because she loves every one of them." Marko nominated Lai for the Symetra Heroes in the Classroom award.

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RYLAN STEWART

  • School: Central Park Elementary
  • Teaches: 1st Grade
  • Favorite Player: Steve Young

"Rylan Stewart is truly a passionate educator. Often among the last to leave school, you'll find her after class spending extra time preparing materials that personalize learning for each and every child in her classroom. She creates custom lesson plans for students needing intervention assistance as well as for academically advanced students, who need challenging work to keep them interested and engaged in lifelong learning," said Tesin Dosch, the parent of a former student. Dosch nominated Stewart for the Symetra Heroes in the Classroom award.

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MELISSA LE

  • School: Don Callejon School
  • Teaches: Kindergarten
  • Favorite Player: Joe Montana

"Melissa Le is a warm and loving presence for the 'kinders' at Don Callejon. From Day 1 she makes these new students feel welcomed to the school environment, encouraging the children to share their individual interests and cultures while being part of the larger classroom community," said Maureen Reilly, the parent of a current student. Reilly nominated Le for the Symetra Heroes in the Classroom award.

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SHANEKA JULIAN

  • School: Eastside College Preparatory School
  • Teaches: Spanish, grades 9-11
  • Favorite Player: Joe Montana

"Shaneka Julian is a wonderful educator who has made a tremendous difference in the lives of Eastside's students during the past fifteen years. An excellent Spanish teacher, she has inspired many students to develop a passion for the language," said Principal Chris Bischof. Bischof nominated Julian for the Symetra Heroes in the Classroom award.

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MARY TRINKLE

  • School: Costano Elementary/49er Academy
  • Teaches: 4th grade
  • Favorite Player: Phil Dawson

"Mary Trinkle works with each of her students to help them reach their personal goals. For the student who is excelling, this might mean identifying an extra-curricular program to help them continue on a successful path. For behaviorally challenged students, Mary works to help them come up with their own solutions so that they take ownership of the issue. Importantly, she also involves parents and staff in a positive way - going out of her way to communicate with parents and involve them in their child's education and development," said Jayme Del Rosario, a former CostaƱo teaching colleague, who nominated Trinkle for the Symetra Heroes in the Classroom award.

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BRITTANY DALEY

  • School: Voices College-Bound Language Academy
  • Teaches: 2nd grade
  • Favorite Player: Carlos Hyde

"Everyone wants to be in Ms. Daley's second-grade class. Students want to be in her class because everyone treats one other with respect. They feel valued because they are challenged, supported and loved. They emerge from her classroom her classroom as hard workers, big dreamers, caring friends and lifelong learners," said colleague Nora Deeg. Deeg nominated Daley for the Symetra Heroes in the Classroom award.

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CHANDRA LEONARDO

  • School: Kennedy Middle School
  • Teaches: 6th grade English Language Arts
  • Favorite Player: Jerry Rice

"Sixth grade can be a tough year for parents and students alike. For the kids, it is the combination of the unknown and the transition into being young adults. For parents, it can be hard to let go of the daily routine of seeing your kids' teachers every day and being more hands-on in their lives," said Debbie Moore, the parent of a Kennedy Middle School student. "Entering middle school is an awkward time, but a great teacher can make all the difference in this academic transition. If one is lucky enough to have Mrs. Leonardo as a teacher, it can seem like the greatest experience ever!" Moore nominated Leonardo for the Symetra Heroes in the Classroom award.

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MICHAEL STERN

  • School: Wardlaw Elementary School
  • Teaches: 5th grade
  • Favorite Player: Harris Barton

"Michael Stern is a true hero in the Vallejo School District. A longtime teacher, he recently helped spearhead a fifth-grade play that helped bring the U.S. presidential election process to life in an engaging way for young students," said Myra Torres, the parent of a Wardlaw Elementary School pupil. Torres nominated Stern for the Symetra Heroes in the Classroom award.

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LAURA MARCUS BRICCA

  • School: Palo Alto High School
  • Teaches: Special Education
  • Favorite Player: Jerry Rice

"Laura Bricca is out to make a difference in the world - she certainly changed my life. I struggled with some personal challenges during my senior year, but worked hard to earn the grades I needed to attend college. Laura supported me every step of the way," said Stephanie Estrada, a former student. Estrada nominated Bricca for the Symetra Heroes in the Classroom award.