Four WCCUSD educators earn Ed Fund Teaching Excellence Awards

Four WCCUSD educators earn Ed Fund Teaching Excellence Awards
All photos courtesy of the Ed Fund.

The West Contra Costa Public Education Fund (Ed Fund) recently surprised four educators with 2024 Teaching Excellence Awards.

The winning teachers are Isabel Gil-Garcia, 12th grade Government, 11th-12th grade Gender and Women’s Studies at Richmond High; Ethan Sorscher, 5th grade Science and Math at Montalvin K-8; Pilar Alvarado, 6th grade English Language Arts (ELA) at Lincoln Elementary; and Akinwale Sean Ajayi, General Ed. Pre-school at Lincoln Elementary.

The teachers make up the 36th cohort of the Ed Fund’s Teaching Excellence Awards, which annually recognized the West Contra Costa Unified School District’s (WCCUSD) best teachers, as nominated by their colleagues and community members.

Gil-Garcia is credited prioritizing both socio-emotional support and academic rigor, cultivgating a classroom environment “built on trust, collaboration, and a commitment to coninuous improvement,” according to the Ed Fund.

Sorscher was noted as an “equity-centered educator” who provides personalized instruction to meet the diverse needs of his students, crafting “individualized plans to optimize their learning experiences.” 

Alvarado “approaches teaching with a sense of urgency, leading to significant reading level growth among her students year after year,” states the Ed Fund. Outside the classroom, she coaches the boys and girls soccer teams.

Ajayi uses data-driven insights to tailor instruction to varying learning styles and abilities. Employing tools like the Ages and Stages Questionnaire helps him identify needs of students and intervene accordingly, according to the Ed Fund.

Read more about these teachers’ accomplishments on the Ed Fund’s Facebook page.

The four awardees were named among a list of eight Teaching Excellence finalists that also include Alex Smith, Helms Middle; Dylan Fairweather, Nystrom Elementary; Patricia Guzman, Collins Elementary; and Yasmin Reyes, Stewart Elementary.

The exceptional educators will be honored at the Ed Fund’s 36th Annual Soaring to Excellence Celebration. More information to come on that event.

The Ed Fund was founded in 1983 in response to the decline in funding to public education caused by the passage of Prop. 13. The organization mobilizes resources with the aims of eliminating inequities and enabling students to thrive in college, career and life. To learn more about the organization, visit its website here.