This Palisades Charter High School U.S. history teacher has been voted the most inspirational teacher at the school 12 years in a row, and on March 13, the California Charter Schools Association (CCSA) could not let a role model like that go unrecognized any longer.
Pali High's Jeanne Saiza received the annual Hart Vision Award at the 20th annual CCSA conference in San Diego. It goes to the state's outstanding Charter Teacher of the Year.
"There's a constant push to do better for our students," Saisa said during her acceptance speech about Pali High, a conversion charter with nearly 3,000 students.
"You drive by our school at night, you'll see many of my colleagues and administrators still working at 7, 8, 9 o'clock at night," she said. "And so, to my students, I say 'thank you' for pushing me to do my best."
For more than five years, Saiza has overseen an enormously successful U.S. History program at Pali High, where student test scores are the highest standardized test scores at the school overall.
"Jeanne leads by emphasizing collaborative efforts," said Pali High Principal Pamela Magee. "Serving on countless stakeholder committees, Jeanne demonstrates her commitment to school accountability measures, using all sorts of student data to analyze and evaluate student success."
Beyond the classroom, Saiza devotes many hours to student clubs and organizations, including Junior Statesmen of America, mock trial and the Village Nation.
"Teachers like Jeanne are what led to Palisades High School being named by Newsweek as one of 'America's Best High Schools,'" said Jed Wallace, president and CEO of the CCSA.
A classroom video profile of Saiza highlights her willingness to be animated and take risks to reach her students reflects in their own confidence to go above and beyond.
"We don't get to pick who walks through our door," Saiza said. "They send them, and I always try to figure out who's in front of me, and that's who I teach to."
Congratulations to Jeanne Saiza for receiving the Hart Vision Award!