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April 29, 2014 > Teacher of Year and Classified Employee of Year named

Teacher of Year and Classified Employee of Year named

Submitted By New Haven Unified School District

Vicki Baker, who teaches science at Alvarado Middle School (AMS), has been selected as New Haven Unified School DistrictÕs Teacher of the Year, as announced during a recent Board of Education meeting. Darrell Rumple, who works in the DistrictÕs Corporation Yard, was named Classified Employee of the Year.

Teacher of the Year Vicki Baker, who has been at AMS for 22 years, has a Òpassion (for) making science more engaging for kids,Ó according to the nomination letter submitted on her behalf. ÒThat shows in the projects and activities she has brought to our school including hot air balloons, pizza box solar ovens, the kill-o-watts project that helps students recognize how much energy their household items are using and a grant that allowed our sixth grade students to learn about energy resources through an inquiry process.Ó

ÒVicki believes every student can find success and she works hard to create opportunities for them to demonstrate their learning in many ways.Ó

Ms. Baker has run the science club at AMS since 1993, and she has been part of the schoolÕs leadership team since 1998, serving as department head, on textbook adoption committees, as a curriculum leader and writer and on the Instructional Leadership Team, where she is known as the Òvoice of sanity.Ó Over the last several years, she has represented AMS on both the Grading and Assessment Task Force and the Evaluation Task Force.

This year, she has been at the forefront of the Chromebook rollout, helping other teachers adopt new classroom management and instructional practices. One of the early adopters of e-mail distribution lists, she updates her parents regularly on how to talk to their kids about whatÕs going on in science, and she maintains an up-to-date website.

For many years, Ms. Baker has served as a partner and consultant to new teachers. She also facilitates the social committeeÕs activities, helping organize potlucks, staff parties, monthly breakfasts and other activities.

ÒSheÕs here to introduce teachers to AMS, support them throughout their career and then plan their retirement party when theyÕre ready to go. There isnÕt a single person on campus more dedicated to supporting our staff more than Vicki.Ó

A National Board Certified Teacher in early adolescent science since 2000, Ms. Baker has mentored dozens of science teachers throughout California in achieving their certification through Stanford University.

Teachers of the Year from other District sites were: Roxanne Ramirez (Alvarado Elementary), Gary Suplick (Eastin), Michelle Torquemada (Emanuele), Veronica Hodgson (Hillview Crest), Kimberly DeBono Kitayama), James Malone (Pioneer), Stella Castillo (Searles), Arnel Calamba (Cesar Chavez), Kenneth Prucha (Logan), Peggy Critz (Conley-Caraballo), Jennifer Young (Decoto School for Independent Study), and Mario Laxo (New Haven Adult).


The Classified Employee of the Year, Darrell Rumple, has worked in the District for 31 years, the past 12 at the Corporation Yard, where one of his primary duties is assisting and moving teachers each year.

ÒAlthough the stress of moving teachers site to site is tough at times, Darrell manages to be very encouraging and helpful to ensure their move is handled with compassion,Ó his nomination letter states. ÒHe cares for their belongings as if they were his own.Ó

On Vandalism Watch, Mr. Rumple watches over three school sites after hours and weekends to minimize graffiti, theft and loitering. He responds to alarm calls at all hours of the night, meeting the police or fire department, and reports and documents the incidents. He also is tasked with the removal of graffiti prior to the arrival of students and teachers each morning.

ÒHe keeps the school environment free from vandalism to ensure our students and teachers do not have to be subjected to graffiti.Ó

Mr. Rumple also is responsible for the DistrictÕs many set-ups that require the movement of thousands of chairs, tables, staging sound equipment and supplies. ÒHe will go out of his way to ensure each site has what they need to execute their events successfully. He does this with a can-do attitude (and a) work ethic (that) is second to none.Ó

Classified Employees of the Year from other District sites were: Yurani Maycotte De Perez (Alvarado Elementary), Eve Tudor (Eastin), Eunice Andrade (Emanuele), Joyce Cheang (Hillview Crest), Lucy Saavedra (Kitayama), Rosie Thompson (Pioneer), Lorriane Neira (Searles), Jennifer Petty (Alvarado Middle), Susan Kidd (Cesar Chavez), Kim Perez (Logan), Susan Glenn (Conley-Caraballo), Maria Hill (New Haven Adult), Eileen Nicosia (Educational Services Center), and Arthur Garcia (Food Services).

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