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 19th Annual Biliteracy Symposium Celebrates Local Leaders

Educators from Across the Region Honored for Biliteracy Leadership

The San Diego County Office of Education will honor school district leaders for their work championing proficiency in at least two languages at the annual Leadership in Biliteracy Symposium on May 11.
This is the 19th year that families, educators, students, and community members will gather to recognize the great work happening in our districts to cultivate and promote the skill of biliteracy, which is a priceless asset in our global economy.
The event will be held from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. May 11 at the Marriott La Jolla.
This year, the Leadership in Biliteracy award will be given to 36 teachers, principals, parents, and others from 23 districts and charter schools from San Diego and Orange counties. (See below for a list of awardees by district.)
These awardees were nominated by their school or district for their tireless passion and significant contributions to promoting biliteracy for students. Research shows that students who know more than one language are better prepared for the global community and the job market. Students learning in more than one language, such as in a dual language program, have been shown to develop a variety of critical thinking skills and perform as well on English assessments as students in a traditional setting.
The symposium also includes recognition of a community champion. This year the Bea Gonzales Leadership in Biliteracy award will be given to Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Long Beach) for his efforts in authoring and working toward the passage of Proposition 58. The new law provides more flexibility to develop services for students who are English learners and the power to create bilingual and multilingual education programs.
Also at the symposium will be Maya Salameh, a 2016 National Student Poet from San Diego Unified School District, and Victor Ochoa, the well-known Chicano Park and Centro Cultural de la Raza muralist.

2017 Leadership in Biliteracy awardees

Cajon Valley Union School District

  • Kari Hull, Deputy Superintendent Educational Services
  • Abby Maayah, English Learner Program Facilitator

Chula Vista Elementary School District

  • Dr. Jorge Ramirez, Executive Director, Chula Vista Learning Community Charter
  • Malia Holleron, DAC Chair, Juarez Lincoln            

EJE Academies

  • Jared Kubota, Teacher, EJE Middle Academy    

El Sol Academy (Orange County)

  • Jenny Zavala, Curriculum Specialist

Empower Charter School

  • Margarita Morales, Teacher, Empower Charter School  
  • Bernice Mynatt, Teacher, Empower Charter School

Encinitas Union School District

  • Rosa Amaya, Parent Leader, Paul Ecke Central
  • Erika Garcia, Kindergarten Teacher, Capri Elementary

Epiphany Prep Charter School

  • Johanna Sanchez, Teacher, Epiphany Prep Charter School           
  • Ana Hurtado, Teacher, Epiphany Prep Charter School    

Escondido Union High School District

  • Gloria Lopez, English Learner Parent Leader, Valley High School
  • Bertha Jimenez, Literacy Coach, EUHSD Educational Services

Grossmont Union High School District

  • Jason Babineau, Assistant Principal, El Cajon Valley High School
  • Todd Linke, Teacher, Mount Miguel High School

Lakeside Union School District

  • Claudia Molina, Teacher, Riverview International Academy
  • Benito Rico, English Learner Instructional Assistant, Lakeside Middle School        

La Mesa-Spring Valley School District

  • Sandy Gomez, Bilingual Reading Intervention Teacher, Kempton Literacy Academy 

Lemon Grove School District

  • Eileen Partridge, Dual Immersion Teacher, Mt Vernon School

National School District

  • Patricia Carrillo, El Toyon Elementary School
  • Martha Garcia-Gallaga, TK Teacher, Las Palmas Elementary School

Oceanside Unified School District

  • Marie Higareda de Ochoa, ELD Site Coordinator, El Camino High School  

Poway Unified School District

  • Christine Cloutier, ELL District Coordinator

Ramona Unified School District

  • Lorraine (Pixie) Sulser, Principal, Ramona Elementary
  • Sandra Jimenez, Teacher, Ramona Elementary                    

San Diego County Office of Education

  • Cristobal Silva, Bilingual teacher, Momentum Learning

San Diego Unified School District

  • Linda Ball, ESL Assistant, Sandburg Elementary and Rosa Parks Elementary          

Santee School District

  • Terry Johnson, Language Arts Specialist, Rio Seco Elementary, Santee School District

San Ysidro School District

  • Jasmine Vega, Dual Language Teacher, La Mirada Elementary

South Bay Union School District

  • Gil Luna, Principal, Godfrey G. Berry Elementary School
  • Saira Bowen, Dual Immersion Teacher, Sunnyslope Elementary School

Sweetwater Union High School District                       

  • Adis Carrillo, ELAC President, Southwest High School
  • Estela Garza, Teacher, Chula Vista Middle School

Valley Center-Pauma Unified School District

  • Violeta Rios, Dual Language Teacher, Valley Center Primary School
  • Andres Monreal, Dual Language Teacher, Pauma Elementary School

This story has been edited to reflect additional recipients.