TALB Recognizes Educators for Breaking Boundaries

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Brenda Gutierrez will be one of the recipients of the Educators Breaking Boundaries Award.

Brenda Gutierrez will be one of the recipients of the Educators Breaking Boundaries Award.

The Teachers Association of Long Beach (TALB) and Security Benefit have partnered to create the new Educators Breaking Boundaries Award, recognizing Long Beach educators who have broken barriers either personally or with students while embodying Jackie Robinson’s nine core values of courage, determination, teamwork, persistence, integrity, citizenship, justice, commitment, and excellence.

From growing up as an at-risk youth to teaching at-risk youth, the recipients of the new Educators Breaking Boundaries Award, Brenda Gutierrez and Sarah Schol, exemplify what it means to overcome personal challenges and to inspire students toward excellence. 

Winners Gutierrez and Schol and other award nominees will be honored on April 15, 2016 in a private ceremony at Dodger Stadium in conjunction with Major League Baseball’s recognition of Jackie Robinson Day. The two award recipients will receive a plaque, a custom Jackie Robinson Dodger jersey, and will experience the Dodgers vs. Giants baseball game in Lexus Dugout Club seats. In addition, nominees and select TALB members will experience the game in one of two exclusive Club Suites. The awards, jerseys, and suites were made possible by Security Benefit, a leader in the retirement savings market.

Last month, teachers were invited to nominate colleagues for the Educators Breaking Boundaries Award. TALB received numerous nominations for teachers with inspiring stories. Nominations were reviewed by Barry Welsch, TALB President, and Korie Henry, Regional Vice President of Security Benefit. The nominees were evaluated with a point-based scoring system according to the award criteria.

“The nominations are heartfelt reminders of the inspiring stories of so many of our Long Beach educators,” Welsch said. “Like Jackie Robinson, our teachers are positive role models that set an example for students of integrity, justice, persistence, and excellence. It was an honor to partner with Security Benefit in highlighting these educators.”

“It’s fitting to honor these teachers on Jackie Robinson Day because he showed the world how to persevere against the odds,” Henry said. “These teachers have done the same, and they continue to inspire students each day. At Security Benefit, we are proud to support Long Beach teachers, and educators across the country”

Gutierrez is a single parent and a Kinesiology teacher at Beach High School in LBUSD who overcame a childhood affected by neighborhood drugs, gangs, and violence. She became a teacher of students who now live under similar circumstances. As someone who has figuratively walked in their shoes, Gutierrez is an engaging teacher who literally runs laps and stretches with her students, plays alongside students to even out teams, helps students feel safe against bullies, encourages students to volunteer with her in neighborhood clean ups, and teaches them how to stop the cycle of poverty.

Schol is an English Language Art teacher at Poly High School who overcame childhood poverty and a home with family members who struggled with addiction. Consistently working two to three jobs to support herself through college, she maintained a 4.0 GPA with a high personal value for education. As an educator, her lessons extend beyond the scope of the classroom, teaching students how to take a proactive approach to justice, engage in service learning, and participate in community volunteering.

For more information, contact Barry Welsch, TALB President at (562) 426-6433 or bwelsch@talb.org.

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