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Franklin Elementary’s Emily Pieri Named 2024 Teacher of the Year

Emily Pieri, a second-grade teacher at Franklin Elementary School, has been named Alameda Unified School District’s 2024 Teacher of the Year. Pieri, who grew up in Alameda, has been an AUSD teacher for 18 years.

Alameda Post - Emily Pieri smiles and holds balloons in a classroom
Emily Pieri. Photo AUSD.

During the selection process, Pieri was praised for her ability to engage and inspire students, as well as provide different types of instruction for different types of learners.

“Ms. Pieri has consistently demonstrated exemplary teaching practices, creating a dynamic and engaging learning environment,” a recommender wrote. “She possesses a unique ability to tailor lessons to accommodate diverse learning styles, ensuring that every student feels challenged and supported.”

Colleagues praised her dedication to her profession, her leadership at Franklin, and her constant presence at school events. “Her attendance highlights the idea that we are a community working together to make our school a great place,” a colleague wrote.

Nominators also praised Pieri’s demeanor in the classroom. “Ms. Pieri is funny, empathic, honest, and relatable,” a recommender wrote. “Being her authentic self is a strength that helps her create a strong foundation for her teaching and gain the respect and trust of her students.”

Pieri received both her bachelor’s degree in Art and her teaching credential from California State University East Bay (Hayward). Prior to joining the Franklin team, she worked at Bay Farm School and Edison Elementary in Alameda.

Fostering connection

“It is a tremendous honor to be named the Alameda Unified Teacher of the Year,” Pieri said. “I was grateful to be nominated for this award and for the support I received throughout the process. I love my role as an educator and the connections I have made with the students of Alameda over the years. I am proud to represent my hometown and the Franklin School community.”

In her application materials, Pieri emphasized the importance of relationships in teaching and learning.

“From the first day, I work to ensure students feel they belong within the classroom family,” she wrote. “I treat each child as I would hope my own children are treated, fostering connection, trust, and respect. As I learn more about each student, I create stronger bonds. As a result, there is a low incidence of behavior issues, and I am confident in my ability to handle situations as they arise.”

Pieri also discussed the benefits of utilizing a daily structure, continually reinforced classroom expectations, and opportunities to work independently, in pairs, and in small groups.

Selection process

Nominations for AUSD Teacher of the Year come from parents, students, staff, and the wider community. Nominees are invited to submit materials, including a resume and letters of support, to a selection committee which then chooses several teachers to interview and observe in the classroom.

“It is always hard to choose one educator to honor as Teacher of the Year because we have so many fine educators in our schools,” said AUSD Superintendent Pasquale Scuderi. “But without question, Ms. Pieri’s instructional strategies, demeanor, and commitment to education are a shining example of high-quality teaching, and we are grateful for her inspiration here in the AUSD community.”

Next fall, the Alameda County Office of Education will honor all the Teachers of the Year in the county, and Ms. Pieri will have an opportunity to become Alameda County Teacher of the Year.

“The Board would like to congratulate Ms. Pieri and all the nominees for the 2024 Teacher of the Year,” said Board of Education President Jennifer Williams. “As current and former AUSD parents and the trustees of this district, we are so grateful for the amazing teachers in our district and the way they create and sustain amazing learning environments for this community’s children.”

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