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SRVUSD Announces 2019 Teachers of the Year
Posted 3/12/19


The San Ramon Valley Unified School District (SRVUSD) has selected  Nusheen Saadat and Athena Augustin as the District’s 2019-2020 Teachers of the Year. Each year, the SRVUSD chooses one elementary and one secondary teacher who are recognized by the Board of Education and go on to represent the District in the Teacher of the Year (TOY) Program.


These outstanding educators exemplify above and beyond practices that set them apart in their profession. Saadat is a second grade teacher at Quail Run Elementary in San Ramon. Augustin currently teaches AVID, Health, and Mind Matters: A Study of Mental Health and Illness at Dougherty Valley High School in San Ramon. Saadat and Augustin will represent the San Ramon Valley Unified School District in the Contra Costa County Teacher of the Year Program.


“Nusheen and Athena are exemplary representatives of the excellence in teaching that takes place throughout the San Ramon Valley Unified School District. Both are deeply dedicated to their work and provide tremendous support and encouragement to their students, as well as to their colleagues,” SRVUSD Superintendent Rick Schmitt said. “They make the SRVUSD a better place to teach and learn. We are proud to honor them and their work.”


At Quail Run, Nusheen serves on the school site council and co-leads the 2nd grade team. She has been instrumental in the work on that campus implementing and improving the Response to Intervention (RtI) program supporting the neediest students and is also active in Quail Run’s culturally responsive work. In her classroom, she incorporates all of what she has learned focusing on civics and human rights and empowering her students to be great leaders within the community.


Nusheen participates in community events, including performing in the staff dance for multicultural night. She also shares with students and staff her own experiences growing up as a Persian American. This unique perspective allows her to have an open dialogue with the Quail Run community around sensitive topics such a race and how we can be mindful of all of our students in the community.


Athena Augustin has been teaching for a total of twenty years. During her time in the SRVUSD, Athena has consistently provided students a learning environment that is not only challenging academically but also provides a safe and respectful atmosphere where students are able to thrive. In addition to teaching, Athena has a myriad of other responsibilities across the District. She is the leader of the AVID programs. Her leadership in this area has supported countless numbers of teachers in implementing AVID strategies for thousands of students across grades 6-12. In addition, Athena is the lead Health teacher. She has organized professional development for the Health teachers, led the implementation of AB-1719 which requires that all students receive instruction in the updated methods of CPR, and she helps to oversee the Tobacco Use Prevention Education (TUPE) grant which includes our alternative to suspension program and the development of an anti-tobacco curriculum for use across the District. She also worked with her colleagues to develop new courses to fit students’ needs. The Mind Matters: A Study of Mental Health and Illness is one of those courses which has filled a niche and serves the unique needs of many of our students.  Her professionalism, work ethic and can-do attitude are just some of the reasons why we feel fortunate to have Athena as an SRVUSD teacher.


The purpose of the TOY Program is to honor the profession chosen from over 300,000 people in the state and to heighten interest in teaching as a career. The program affords the opportunity to bring attention to teachers who successfully employ strategies to increase academic success and narrow the achievement gap among a range of students and to prepare students for 21st century college and careers.


Each year, all Contra Costa County School Districts select Teachers of the Year. An expert committee, with representatives from education and the community, then chooses one of these candidates to represent Contra Costa County in the State Teacher of the Year Program.