The Rotary Club of Oxnard continues to recognize outstanding teachers in the Oxnard School District, the Oxnard Union High School District, and the Rio School District.  For the ninth year, the Rotary Club provides a gift basket and marble “apple for the teacher” in recognition of the recipient’s outstanding teaching and service to students, parents, and school.  In partnership with the County Schools Federal Credit Union, the recognition also includes a monetary award for the teacher to help cover the many out-of-pocket expenses teachers incur.  An additional corporate partner, the Courtyard by Marriott-Oxnard, provides this special teacher a gift certificate for a one-night stay for two. The Teacher Recognition Program continues the efforts of the Rotary Club of Oxnard to thank those special teachers in our community who demonstrate outstanding Service Above Self, the motto of Rotary International.
On February 21, 2019, the Rotary Club of Oxnard was pleased to recognize Mrs. Amber Gopalan, who is in her 3rd year of teaching at Rio Plaza School in the Rio School District.  Dedication, knowledge, drive, passion, compassion, strong work ethic, and leadership are only a few of the words that describe the work of Mrs. Gopalan. Not only does she spend numerous hours collaborating with her grade level as well as other educators on campus, but she has also assumed the position of Grade Level Lead for Rio Plaza and at the district level. She works with Grade Level Leads from all school sites in the Rio School District to make collaborative decisions on curriculum, assessments, and best teaching practices. Mrs. Gopalan seeks new ideas and implements them, thus continuing to evolve as an educator. In short, she makes things happen. When you walk into her classroom, it is clear that Mrs. Gopalan sets high expectations for her students. They are well behaved, they participate in the lessons, and they engage in dialogue with one another. In addition, it is clear that her students love her. They like to be in her room even during break or lunch time because she is welcoming, supportive, and always has a positive attitude.  One Fifth Grader noted that “Mrs. Gopalan is an awesome teacher because she makes sure we are on task. Mrs. Gopalan is creative, fun and nice. She helps us when we need help.”