Sunnyvale School District students, staff and even parents of staff were invited to step on stage to be recognized during the 2017 State of the City Community Awards held at Sunnyvale’s Civic Center on July 29.
The annual event recognizes exceptional members of our community. Sunnyvale School District programs and staff were recognized for their contributions to education and the environment. Lakewood Elementary School’s Dr. Pamela Cheng was recognized for Outstanding Educator of the Year. Her mother and father accepted the award on her behalf while she was away on a family vacation.
Dr. Cheng has been with the Sunnyvale School District for 17 years. In those 17 years, she served as a classroom teacher, a Language Arts instructional coach sharing best teaching practices with our teachers, was Summer School principal in conjunction with the Stanford Teacher Education Program and most recently as Principal of Lakewood Elementary. To further strengthen her skills as an administrator, Cheng successfully completed the three year Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership program at San Jose State University this year.
The proud product of Sunnyvale School District is currently working with the City of Sunnyvale on bringing a branch library to her campus to help reach the underserved population on the north side of Sunnyvale.
Under Mrs. Cheng’s leadership, she transformed Lakewood Elementary from a neighborhood school to Lakewood Tech EQ, a program of choice in the Sunnyvale School District, which teaches students to navigate the tech and online world in a safe and responsible manner. Her passionate leadership led to a two-year partnership with Google, which adopted Lakewood in 2015. Google has since helped coordinate Tech Nights at the school where families learn about the technology used in the classrooms, hosted students at their Tech Corners campus for College and Career day, helped fund a maker space on campus, and coordinated free after-school robotics classes to 45 first and second graders as well as free coding classes to 40 upper grade students.
Dr. Cheng’s hard work and scholarship bring pride to Lakewood School and Sunnyvale School District.
Cherry Chase Elementary School and Cumberland Elementary School co-received recognition for their Outstanding Environmental Contributions via their growing Zero Waste Programs. Each school is collecting an average of 1 ton of food scraps per school per month to be re-purposed into animal feed instead of generating greenhouse gas emissions in the landfill.
Zero Waste Champions (ZWCs) lead their fellow students in lunch waste diversion by pouring off leftover milk, recycling containers and separating food scraps from packaging. Staff conduct each school’s waste audit and share the story through a photo report. Photos showing what each school’s food scraps look like, plus color-coded bins and a few key accessories arm the ZWCs for success. After a Train-the-Trainer session students go forth to train the student body, teachers, and administrators. ZWC students created a team to monitor daily operations and promote their program with presentations and videos.
The Zero Waste model was piloted at Lakewood Elementary School before being expanded to Cherry Chase and Cumberland and we hope to eventually have it at all 10 of our schools!
The Sunnyvale School District is honored that our teachers, students, and staff were recognized for the work they do every day to make our students and community stronger.