Community Impact: Proud Supporter of the Arts

SEF’s short workshops are always a hit at the middle school – the cooking workshops, the hip-hop dance workshops, the teacher POUND fitness.

Esther Miwary Jefferson Middle School teacher

Esther Miwary Jefferson Middle School teacher

1. Why do you support SEF?

Ever since I started teaching at JMS, SEF has always been supportive of the arts. I was able to apply for grants so that we would have more instruments to lend to students and do musical projects that are different from what we normally do in orchestra.

2.  In your opinion, what is the One Thing that SEF does that enriches students’ lives? 

SEF’s short workshops are always a hit at the middle school – the cooking workshops, the hip-hop dance workshops, the teacher POUND fitness. It’s not ONE thing, but I think the short workshops are great for the kids as well as the adults.

Community Impact: Using Innovation to Impact Students

Even through the Pandemic, SEF found innovative ways to keep students and families connected and involved in enrichment activities.

Tuoi Nguyen, McKinley Principal, supports SEF's efforts to impact education in San Gabriel

Tuoi Nguyen, McKinely Elementary Principal

1. Why do you support SEF?

I support our San Gabriel Educational Foundation because together we can positively impact the lives of our students and community. It is about giving back and providing opportunities for our students to be actively engaged in the world around them through academics, collaboration, creativity, and service. I believe in SEF’s vision and its commitment to SGUSD and community.

2.  In your opinion, what is the One Thing that SEF does that enriches students’ lives? 

SEF does not just do One Thing, but Many Things to enrich the lives of our students. Even through the Pandemic, SEF found innovative ways to keep students and families connected and involved in enrichment activities. Their latest Art Exhibition program, Dream Imagine Create, which was a huge success, is an example of their commitment.

Community Impact: SEF Grants Enrich the Community

…I am thankful for the teacher grant I received early in my teaching career at Gabrielino High School, which helped classroom instruction.

William Wong supports SEF for the support he received as a teacher

1. Why do you support SEF?

I support SEF because they support our school community. I am appreciative of their work to serve our San Gabriel students and families. More personally, I am thankful for the teacher grant I received early in my teaching career at Gabrielino High School, which helped classroom instruction.

2.  In your opinion, what is the One Thing that SEF does that enriches students’ lives? 

SEF organizes various programs and events that can at times be challenging for schools to create. This enriches the community’s offerings.

Community Impact: Exploring the Opportunities

It is often said, “It takes a village to raise a child.” I am so grateful that SEF is part of the GHS village!

Gabrielino High School Principal, Mrs. Heinrich, supports SEF because of the opportunities they help create for students in the district.

Mrs. Heinrich, Gabrielino High School Principal

1. Why do you support SEF?

I support SEF because SEF supports and believes in students. During my 12 years as principal at Gabrielino, SEF has been an integral partner in helping Gabrielino build and sustain programs.

SEF has supported GHS programs by providing funding to:

  • Keep the library open after school.
  • Maintain the Naviance program that provides four year academic planning and college and career planning tools.
  • Provide financial support to cover competition costs associated with the Speech and Debate and FBLA programs.
  • Purchase new band uniforms Purchase choir chairs for the choir room.
  • Provide speakers and presentations to students and parents on select topics.
  • Provide summer school courses through the SEF Summer Academy-enabling students to “get ahead” in their course of study.

In addition to providing funding, SEF has worked with the GHS Administration to explore opportunities to build new programs. The ACE (Architecture-Construction-Engineering) program came to GHS through SEF. Through ACE, students have worked with mentors in the field, worked on construction sites, and built their own projects. The GHS ACE program has been repeatedly recognized for its excellence.

It is often said, “It takes a village to raise a child.” I am so grateful that SEF is part of the GHS village!

2.  In your opinion, what is the One Thing that SEF does that enriches students’ lives? 

The One Thing that SEF does to enrich students’ lives is the offering of opportunities. SEF’s support has enriched students’ lives by giving them a chance to sing, compete, build, hear different perspectives, and explore options beyond high school. This One Thing leads to so many more things.

Community Impact: Bridging the Gap

SEF bridges the gap in our students’ lives to provide experiences and resources that build upon and reinforce the work done in our schools.

1. Why do you support SEF?

Christopher Guyer, Principal Jefferson Middle School, supports SEF because we bridge the gap

Christopher Guyer, Principal Jefferson Middle School

SEF is a wonderful partner with the district and school sites providing programs and resources that might not exist otherwise. At Jefferson, SEF offers after-school cooking classes that are always popular. If I’m lucky, the kids give me a taste test. SEF also equipped one of our classrooms as a kitchen.

SEF has long supported the well-being of our students. The foundation helped create our Teen Zone – a safe space for students to play games and meet after school. Our school community also values the range of summer school enrichment classes that are offered.

Personally, I believe so strongly in the work of SEF and the benefits for our students that I have done a monthly payroll deduction to support their mission.

2.  In your opinion, what is the One Thing that SEF does that enriches students’ lives? 

SEF bridges the gap in our students’ lives to provide experiences and resources that build upon and reinforce the work done in our schools.

Community Impact: Building relationships & enriching lives

SEF does many things that enrich student’s lives, but if I have to share the one thing it would be providing students with a variety of hands-on experiences.

1. Why do you support SEF?

Darci Coppolo, Assistant principal at Jefferson Middle supports SEF

Darci Coppolo, Jefferson Middle School Assistant Principal

I support SEF for its ongoing philosophy of ensuring that all students have the opportunity to be a part of building strong relationships within our community. It is lovely to see the positive impact on our students. SEF continuously provides opportunities for students, teachers, and community members to engage in activities and experiences that promote, building relationships, life skills, literacy, social-emotional awareness, and many other series of activities and workshops.

2.  In your opinion, what is the One Thing that SEF does that enriches students’ lives? 

SEF does many things that enrich student’s lives, but if I have to share the one thing it would be providing students with a variety of hands-on experiences. Experiences that provide opportunities to build on their own skills and interests.

Community Impact: Sending Enriched Graduates into the World

It is partially because of our partnership with SEF that we are sending more enriched and informed graduates into the world.

1. Why do you support SEF?

Ivonne Contreras, Wilson Elementary Principal supports SEF and the unique extracurricular activities they bring to the classroom

Ivonne Contreras, Wilson Elementary Principal

I have have been an educator and administrator in San Gabriel Unified for more than twenty years. Our San Gabriel Educational Foundation (SEF) has been a part of my students and my life for equally this long. I support SEF, because I value their focus, in my opinion, to provide vast and innovative learning opportunities, for all our SGUSD students.

2.  In your opinion, what is the One Thing that SEF does that enriches students’ lives? 

I admire how SEF is able to exhaust all extracurricular program avenues to bring the outside world onto our school campuses. They help enrich our students’ lives on a deeper and meaningful level.

As a young teacher I was a SEF Teacher Grant recipient, twice. These SEF grants afforded my students and I resources needed to make my instruction that much more engaging and equitable. Later as an administrator, specifically as one of Jefferson Middle School’s Assistant Principals, I worked closely with the wonderful SEF board to implement afterschool programs on our site. During my time at JMS, SEF provided cooking classes, art classes and guest author sessions for all our students.

It is partially because of our partnership with SEF that we are sending more enriched and informed graduates into the world.

Community Impact: An Excellent & Equitable Education

No matter how large or small the monetary pledges are, families can play a part in providing an excellent and equitable public education.

1. Why do you support SEF?

Denise Menchaca, mayor of San Gabriel knows that supporting SEF is integral to supporting all eight schools in the district

Denise Menchaca, Mayor of San Gabriel

As a former School Board member and parent in the District, I understand personally the positive impact SEF has on every student and teacher in some manner. The Foundation helps by (a) giving teachers additional resources so they can innovate and expand learning in their classrooms and (b) offering parent workshops to benefit students academically, socially and emotionally. Because a strong local school district makes for a strong community, SEF continues to earn the support from all stakeholders in their annual fundraising efforts.

2.  In your opinion, what is the One Thing that SEF does that enriches students’ lives? 

Every year, SEF seeks volunteers to make phone calls to every school family in the District to ask for financial support. These calls are made in multiple languages to ensure that everyone is included. No matter how large or small the monetary pledges are, families can play a part in providing an excellent and equitable public education. Thanks to SEF, we are all working together for a common cause on behalf of the students enrolled in our 8 schools.

Community Impact: Impact in all Eight SGUSD Schools

The SEF Board’s selfless devotion to supporting our schools has made a positive impact on all eight of our SGUSD schools.

1. Why do you support SEF?

Andrew Ammon supports the San Gabriel Educational Foundation

Andrew Ammon, SGUSD Governing Board Member

I support SEF because it is an amazing group of volunteers that dedicate time and resources to enrich the lives and educational experience of our students. The SEF Board’s selfless devotion to supporting our schools has made a positive impact on all eight of our SGUSD schools.

2. In your opinion, what is the One Thing that SEF does that enriches students lives?

Just one recent example I can give is the book give-away SEF did at our five elementary schools last fall, where every elementary student in our district was able to take home a book for their grade level. Seeing the excitement of the students as they shopped around for a book that grabbed their attention and the joy it brought to them as they walked away knowing it was theirs was a great sight to see.

Community Impact: SEF brings sweet music to students

San Gabriel schools were good to us, so in return, I feel the need to continue to support such a wonderful organization that helps shape the young minds of San Gabriel.

1. Why do you support SEF?

Dena Dragoo, Wilson Elementary Teacher and SGTA President supports SEF in order to support her San Gabriel community

Dena Dragoo, Wilson Elementary School Teacher and SGTA President

I grew up in the city of San Gabriel and our family owned a home on Willard Avenue for more than 40 years. This community is extremely near and dear to my heart and always will be.

I can remember roller skating through the halls of Wilson Elementary and playing softball with my team at Sunnyslope on Broadway. So many of my friends have fond memories of this city and continue to do so.

Many times, I am asked by SG alumni if I can swing by an elementary school and pick up a couple school t-shirts for old time sake. San Gabriel schools were good to us, so in return, I feel the need to continue to support such a wonderful organization that helps shape the young minds of San Gabriel.

2. In your opinion, what is the One Thing that SEF does that enriches students lives?

The San Gabriel Educational Foundation provides opportunities for our students that may not have ever been possible. School assemblies can cost upwards of $1,000 and are a luxury that not all public schools can afford to maintain. School sites do not have the expendable cash to fund these assemblies and this is one area that often gets ignored. Therefore, I am always grateful when SEF schedules an assembly for our students.

Over the years, SEF has brought many amazing assemblies to our schools and has enriched our student’s lives. I can especially recall one assembly that was hugely entertaining and enjoyable for all.

SEF had arranged for a barbershop quartet to come to all of our elementary schools. I remember seeing firsthand the smiles on the children’s faces when the singers were performing. This was also greatly beneficial because after each song they taught the students about four-part harmony and the meaning of singing Capella. I think most students and faculty would agree that a good time was had by all!

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