GUSD schools, staff earn 2018 honors

Rod Kelley earns recognition as a top school

Rod Kelley Elementary School in Gilroy garnered a pair of honors during the 2017-18 school year, named both a California Distinguished School by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson and a top Bay Area public school for underserved students by Innovate Public Schools.

Rod Kelley was celebrated at the California Distinguished Schools event on May 3 in Anaheim, with Principal Maritza Salcido, Superintendent Deborah Flores, GUSD board members B.C. Doyle and Heather Bass, as well as other Rod Kelley staff members in attendance.

In April, it was announced as a California Distinguished School.

Rod Kelley was also one of four Gilroy schools selected in May by Educational Results Partnership and the Campaign for Business and Education Excellence as 2017-18 California Honor Roll schools. The other local schools on the list were Dr. T.J. Owens Early College Academy, Christopher High School and Las Animas Elementary School.

This achievement recognizes public elementary, middle and high schools that demonstrate high levels of student academic achievement, improvement in achievement over time and reduction in achievement gaps, according to the district. For high schools, honor roll recognition includes measures of college readiness in students.

“We are so proud of our school sites, staff members, students and families that make Gilroy Unified School District the best it can be,” Superintendent Deborah Flores said.

Top teacher

Rachael Cornaggia, a seventh grade math teacher at South Valley Middle School, was named the Gilroy Unified School District Teacher of the Year, according to a May 23 announcement.

Each year, the Santa Clara County Office of Education recognizes a teacher from each of the 31 school districts in the county. Cornaggia will be honored at an Oct. 22 awards banquet.

Administrator excellence

Glen View Elementary School Principal Christine Vasquez-Pereira was recently named a Superstar First-Year Administrator by the Association of California School Administrators and was honored at the May 11 ACSA Region 8 Awards Night, according to GUSD.

Meanwhile, Gilroy High School Athletic Director Jami Reynolds received the Norm MacKenzie “Rookie of the Year” award from the California State Athletic Directors Association back on April 19.

“Jami is one of the best athletic directors in the Central Coast Section, if not the state, and deserves this recognition and more,” said GHS Principal Marco Sanchez.

New principal

Jean Wells-Southard was recently selected as the new principal of Rucker Elementary School, where she will take over for retiring Christine Anderson.