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De Anza High teacher wins Eukel Award

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De Anza High special education teacher Myrna Hadjirul middle) was honored for earning the coveted Eukel Award at Warren W. Eukel Annual Awards Dinner at the Diablo Country Club in Diablo on Nov. 21, 2019. (Photo credit: WCCUSD)

De Anza High special education teacher Myrna Hadjirul was honored by the West Contra Costa Unified School District Board of Education last week for earning the Eukel Award.

The award by the Warren W. Eukel Teacher Trust has honored exceptional Contra Costa County K-12 classroom teachers since 1992 who exhibit extraordinary commitment to their students.

Hadjirul is a 22-year veteran teacher who, since joining De Anza High in 2011, has twice won the You Make Difference Award by the Community Advisory Committee for Special Education.

WCCUSD Special Education Director Nick Berger described Hadjirul as a “champion for inclusion” and ” a pillar in our movement toward the special Olympics.”

“If you ever were to walk into Ms. Myrna’s classroom you would be amazed at what she does with her special education students,” Berger said.

Hadjirul called the honor humbling. At the Board of Ed meeting, she credited De Anza High Assistant Principal Liz Sanders and Principal Summer Sigler for making her success possible. She also urged others to nominate the district’s many resourceful and creative teachers.

“As a teacher I have always made it my mission to always grab teachable moments not only to teach my students the curriculum but more importantly life lessons that inevitably shape my students’ decisions, behaviors, and most importantly their character,” Hadjirul said in a district statement. “Our goal is always to change the mindset of our students and everyone around them about our student’s capabilities and abilities.”

The Eukel Award is given annually to three Contra Costa County K-12 classroom teachers and comes with a $10,000 prize that can be used in the manner in which the recipient wishes, the district states. Hadjirul is the 19th WCCUSD teacher to win the award, followed by Pinole Valley High School’s Erik Radkiewicz last year.

For a complete list of the winners visit here.

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