The State of the Schools breakfast is an annual event that presents the teacher of the year, features a community partner of significance, highlights one program within the Glendale Unified School District, and presents plans from the Glendale Educational Foundation for the upcoming year. This year’s 10th Annual State of the Schools Breakfast, held on Thursday, Oct. 2 at the Pacific Park Community Center, featured both a teacher and a program from Crescenta Valley High School. Win Saw was recognized as teacher of the year and the Academy of Science and Medicine program was honored .
Over the past few years, GUSD has placed much emphasis on three areas of academic focus within its schools: visual and performing arts, health and fitness, and science and technology. The main topic discussed at this year’s breakfast was science and technology, and robotics programs from the district’s high schools were showcased.
Student Mika Stanghill represented Clark Magnet High School’s robotics program and praised the program for inspiring her.
“Right now I want to become a bio engineer,” she told the audience.
GUSD has two robotic competitive programs, one at Clark Magnet and one at Crescenta Valley high schools. Both teams donate many hours not only for their own programs but also for their outreach robotics programs at local middle and elementary schools.
Win Saw, a math teacher at CVHS for 21 years, teaches math from the entry level to second-year calculus. He received the Excellence in Education Award as this year’s teacher of the year. In addition to teaching, Saw started a robotics team with Dr. Greg Neat at CVHS that has flourished at the school.
During his speech at the breakfast, Saw repeatedly stressed that we do not celebrate enough about the positives in education.
He then introduced his mother who was in attendance and shared, “My mother was pleased to see how rewarding and valuable education can be in the U.S.”
He discussed life, from his upbringing in impoverished Burma, now Myanmar, to becoming not only an accomplished math teacher at an award-winning school but also a technology coordinator.
Saw dedicated his award “to many teachers who work tirelessly to improve the quality of education, rarely get recognized, hardly complain, and who are unsung heroes to many students.”
“I felt honored, accomplished, appreciated, and humbled. I wish every teacher could have experienced what I did,” he said.
Crescenta Valley High School’s Academy of Science and Medicine, a three-year career pathway program implemented with the school’s curriculum, was also featured as an epitome of what a science and technology in a classroom setting should resemble.
A student representative of CV’s Academy, Nancy Haldia, gave a speech explaining the program and its impact on her.
As an active member of the Academy, she has taken biotechnology, EMR, and research. She repeated multiple times that “[the Academy] gives students the opportunity to take numerous classes specifically exploring the medical field.”
“I’m proud to say that I have come out of these courses with tangible and internal rewards,” she said. “Becoming CPR certified and being able to carry out prominent lab experiments, I believe that when I graduate soon, I will remember not only the memories made with my classmates, the bonds strengthened with my instructors, but most importantly the uplifting feeling of being able to say that I can save an individual’s life because I am a certified first responder.”