Holly San Miguel, a current 5th grade teacher at Achieve, has been honored by OUSD as a Charter School Teacher of the Year. Congratulations on this well deserved honor, Ms. San Miguel!
Ms. San Miguel received multiple nominations for this honor, and you can read below on some of what made her a Teacher of the Year:
‘Ms. San Miguel is an extraordinary educator because of her commitment, unrelenting focus on key concepts and ideas, and willingness to try something new. In her 5th year of teaching 5th grade at Achieve Academy, Ms. San Miguel is known for her strong classroom management (you can hear a pin drop during independent work, and during group work, all students are engaged and participating in the task) and relationships with her students (you see them high-five when leaving school). Looking beyond these two strengths is an underlying sense of urgency and commitment. As grade level chair, Ms. San Miguel has an open door policy and can often be found giving advice to other teachers seeking her wisdom on curriculum, pedagogy, or project ideas. When a teacher left mid-year, rather than simply having a substitute cover the other class, Ms. San Miguel offered to switch her schedule and teach ELA in both her class and this other class. In effort to bring more interscholastic activities to the school, she organized and directed the musical The Lion King. When teaching, Ms. San Miguel carefully sequences activities so that students discover key concepts before learning any algorithms. After a warm-up designed to elicit background knowledge, Ms. San Miguel will lead her class through various Pair & Share prompts that get at the underlying concepts in the lesson. She’s one of the few math teachers that doesn’t ask what or how, but rather why or how come? Finally, despite the fact that over the past few years she has developed solid curricula and notes, she is always willing to try something new. Dropping by her classroom, you may find students reviewing content in a gallery walk, building 3D models to understand volume, or rotating between stations that target specific skills she has determined based on data. She’s piloted an Author Study and 5th grade Lesson Study in looking for something new for the team next year. Ms. San Miguel is a well-rounded leader, thinker, and of course, teacher.’