Scroll Top

Acknowledge Alliance honors SMS AST team as the 2023 Teaching Team of the Year


The first full week of May is National Teacher Appreciation Week. Acknowledge Alliance, a non-profit focused on education and mental health, values the partnership of all the teachers it works with who support students with an understanding of their social and emotional needs, cultivate student resilience, and lead their classrooms by example by practicing our strengths-based processes. The non-profit celebrated Teacher Appreciation Week a bit early at the relaunch of its annual Forget-Me-Not: Fields of Hope event on May 4. It honored this year’s outstanding educators – the amazing Academic Support Time (AST) team of Sunnyvale Middle School: Jimin Choi, Sherinda Gonder, Sheri Hess and Caryn Shreve. The AST team provides social-emotional learning and community enrichment resources for SMS’s teachers in order to better meet the needs of students as “whole children.” Through their creativity, flexibility, grace and elbow-grease, these teachers are positively impacting the lives of our students. 

Cheyenne Berry, Acknowledge Alliance’s Resilience Consultant that works onsite at Sunnyvale Middle School, presented the Teaching Team of the Year award to the AST team at Forget-Me-Not and shared how these four seventh grade teachers brought each of their unique strengths to work with the entire school to support the individual strengths and needs of AST students. As each of the AST team teachers spoke, we were reminded of how committed they are to their students and the incredible impact they are having on their lives .

“We have to teach them to read, and write, and like math, and we have to see them first. And that is every teacher in every subject, everywhere. As educators we really need to change our trajectory because our kids need it.” – Sherinda Gonder, English Language Arts Special Education

“As a special educator, I think the first thing I learned was that if students are not feeling safe or comfortable or they don’t feel like they can be themselves in my classroom, they are not going to learn. And then the pandemic hit, and then we came back, and that was made very, very clear to us every single day. “ – Jimin Choi, 7th Grade Math and Science Special Education


Article by Acknowledge Alliance.

Leave a comment