Educators of Impact | Mario Rocha

With the COVID-19 crisis making it abundantly clear the critical role that educators play in our society, Lurie College is recognizing SJSU Educators of Impact who have made a transformative difference in the lives of children, families, and communities.  Learn more about Mario Rocha below.  To nominate an SJSU graduate who is an Educator of Impact, please complete this brief Google form.

SJSU Lurie College of Education Educator of Impact Mario Rocha

“Mr. Mario Rocha joined the O.B. Whaley Elementary School staff during the 2019-20 school year as a Resource Specialist Teacher.  Immediately, he was a perfect fit for our student population, a diverse Title 1 school.  He created an inviting learning environment where students easily made connections with him and felt his genuine love for them.  Within weeks of him as the school’s new resource teacher, student absenteeism improved, students made academic gains, and students enjoyed school!  Mr. Rocha is one of a kind, and we are so fortunate to have him as an educator.”

Educators of Impact | Donna Lewis

With the COVID-19 crisis making it abundantly clear the critical role that educators play in our society, Lurie College is recognizing SJSU Educators of Impact who have made a transformative difference in the lives of children, families, and communities.  Learn more about Goleta Union School District Superintendent Donna Lewis below.  To nominate an SJSU graduate who is an Educator of Impact, please complete this brief Google form.

SJSU Lurie College of Education Educator of Impact Dr. Donna Lewis

1. As an educator, what gives you the greatest sense of achievement?

As an educator of nearly 30 years and in my current role as Superintendent, my greatest sense of achievement comes from knowing we are working cohesively as a professional learning community to meet the needs of a diverse student population.  This takes creativity, collaboration, tenacity and a lot of hard work.  We hold high expectations for every student and make no excuses. As a result, our students are outperforming peers from similar school districts.  This is so highly rewarding.

2. What impact has your career had on you?

Public education is ever-evolving and fraught with challenges such as lack of funding, resources, and now distance learning as we cope with the COVID-19 pandemic.  Despite these challenges, or maybe because of them, I have learned to be patient, to be more empathetic, and to never give up — not on any student, family, colleague, or myself. I am definitely a better person for having served as an educator.

3. What advice would you give to a current or aspiring educator?

Being an educator is a calling. I gave up a career in finance to become a teacher because I wanted to make a difference in the lives of students. My advice to any current or aspiring educator would be to push yourself out of your comfort zone.  When opportunity knocks be willing to be flexible and try something new.  Take leadership opportunities.  Get your master’s degree as soon as possible and consider a doctoral degree.  Challenge yourself and always be self-reflective.  Most of all, never forget you are a role model for others.  Respect and treasure the power that you have as an educator to influence the lives of so many.

Educators of Impact | Connie L. Lurie

With the COVID-19 crisis making it abundantly clear the critical role that educators play in our society, Lurie College is recognizing SJSU Educators of Impact who have made a transformative difference in the lives of children, families, and communities.  Learn more about Connie L. Lurie below.  To nominate an SJSU graduate who is an Educator of Impact, please complete this brief Google form.

SJSU Lurie College of Education Educator of Impact Connie L. Lurie

Connie L. Lurie’s commitment to education has had a tremendous impact on both San José State University and the Bay Area as a whole. Her dedication to the university and her philanthropic spirit exemplify the ideals of the College of Education and San José State University.

Connie graduated from San José State with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and psychology in 1964. She taught in elementary schools on the Monterey Peninsula for six years and later ventured into real estate investment. In her heart, Connie has always been an educator. She established the Guardian Scholars program, which provides support and mentorship to former foster youths at SJSU and endowed the university’s Lurie Author-in-Residence program, which attracts renowned national and international authors to serve as distinguished visiting scholars for one or two semesters. She launched Spartans in the Desert Golf Tournament and Dinner, which brought SJSU faculty and alumni together for a weekend of events in Palm Desert for thirteen years. In May 2013, Connie served as SJSU’s commencement speaker and was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from the California State University System. On May 4, 2007, the SJSU Connie L. Lurie College of Education was named in her honor.

Beyond SJSU, Connie is involved in many worthwhile education-focused causes throughout the Bay Area and California. She has served on numerous boards, including the San Francisco Zoological Society, Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation, Strive for College and California State Parks Foundation. She has been active with The Living Desert, Kipp Schools, Aim High, and United Religions International. She’s championed summer science camps for kids through the Boys and Girls Club of Coachella Valley and was awarded their Champion of Youth Award in 2019. Connie is particularly proud of the role that she has played in connecting non profits so that they can work together to benefit children and youth.

With her dedication to education, leadership in promoting access to higher education, charitable giving, and longstanding support of the university, Connie L. Lurie is an outstanding “Educator of Impact.”

Call for Nominations for Educators of Impact

COVID-19 has made it clear how critical educators are in our society.  Help us recognize SJSU Lurie College of Education alumni who have made a transformative difference in the lives of children, families, and communities!  Nominate an Educator of Impact at https://bit.ly/3eFjy8n

SJSU Lurie College of Education Alumni Irene Castillon

Lurie College Student Opinion Piece Published in Mercury News

Shoutout to Single Subject Credential Program Elizabeth Unpingco, whose letter to the editor “Homeland security means taking care of our own first” was recently published in the Mercury News.  Give it a read below or by visiting the Mercury News at https://bayareane.ws/34tDhU4.

SJSU Lurie College of Education Teacher Education Department Student Elizabeth Unpingco

It is up to us to prime the pump of recovery

Homeland security means taking care of our own — first and foremost. If we learn anything from the horrific experience we find ourselves in now, it is that without a strong, cohesive and healthy foundation — supporting essential health care, food industry, education and government workers on the front lines — we are all in danger of succumbing to collapse.

We must reevaluate our priorities — care for one another and the environment and not consider wasteful military spending as essential to the survival of our way of life.

Let’s let our elected leaders hear that we demand the reallocation of billions of dollars currently budgeted for military spending toward real security.

It is up to us to prime the pump of recovery and human survival.  The world is watching the USA as a leader and we must be a better model of action by the people for the people.

SJSU Lurie College Students Praise Their Faculty

We recently asked our students “Which of your classes or professors has been the most exciting for you this semester??” on our Instagram account – @sjsulurie – and were excited to see so many students give shoutouts to their faculty.  Check them out in the Instagram post below!

Read the 2018-19 Lurie College of Education Annual Report

The Connie L. Lurie College of Education at San Jose State University is a place of transformation, where we prepare educators, counselors, therapists, and community leaders using emancipatory pedagogy across our teaching, scholarship and service. Learn more about our impact by reading through this report and join the Lurie College family by visiting sjsu.edu/education!

Teacher Appreciation Week Special Education Stories: Everett Smith

To celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week, the SJSU Lurie College of Education met with some of its students, alumni, and faculty from the Special Education department to learn more about their journeys into the field of special education.  Read about or listen to Everett Smith’s journey below!

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Teacher Appreciation Week Special Education Stories: Devdutt Srivastava

To celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week, the SJSU Lurie College of Education met with some of its students, alumni, and faculty from the Special Education department to learn more about their journeys into the field of special education.  Read about or listen to Devdutt Srivastava’s journey below!

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Teacher Appreciation Week Special Education Stories: Sudha Krishnan

To celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week, the SJSU Lurie College of Education met with some of its students, alumni, and faculty from the Special Education department to learn more about their journeys into the field of special education – learn about Sudha Krishnan’s journey!

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Teacher Appreciation Week Special Education Stories: Jennifer Kaufman

To celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week, the SJSU Lurie College of Education met with some of its students, alumni, and faculty from the Special Education department to learn more about their journeys into the field of special education – learn about Jennifer Kaufmans’s journey!

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Teacher Apprecation Week Special Education Stories: Renee Hardin

To celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week, the SJSU Lurie College of Education met with some of its students, alumni, and faculty from the Special Education department to learn more about their journeys into the field of special education – learn about Renee Hardin’s journey!

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