Teachers Are Heroes - Yessenia Guzman

Central Elementary School, Imperial Beach

October 29, 2019

Azusa Pacific University San Diego Regional Campus and the Entercom San Diego stations send our sincere congratulations to Yessenia Guzman, 2nd and 3rd Grade Teacher at Central Elementary School in Imperial Beach.  Guzman was selected as a recipient of the "Teachers Are Heroes" award for 2019-2020!

Pictured (left to right) are Dr. Katie McNamara, Superintendent, South Bay Union School District, honored educator Yessenia Guzman, Joel Powell of Azusa Pacific University and Cori Herbst-Loehr, Central Elementary School Principal.

Below, the nomination letter received in support of Ms. Guzman...


Yessenia Guzman is always seeking new ways to empower her students, and this year she has been coaching students to set goals across their school day. For example, students think about an area that they want to improve or grow in, like how they behave at recess or during Readers Workshop. Once students have selected their focus areas they set specific and measurable goals for themselves. Over the course of the coming weeks, students monitor their goals and when they reach them they celebrate their success! Ms. Guzman models this practice for her students by setting her own goals, and she has posters and charts throughout the room with positive goal-setting ideas for students to pull from.  This development of intrinsic motivation is key to growing lifelong learners.

Not only does Ms. Guzman set a high bar for academic and behavioral achievements through goal setting, she provides a classroom environment where patience and positivity are the focus. Ms. Guzman builds relationships with her students by getting to know each one, and their families, individually. Partnerships are critical in creating the best learning environment for children and Yessenia is one of the most dedicated teachers I’ve ever worked alongside. Whether it is with students, parents or her colleagues, every conversation Yessenia has she is talking about ways she can better serve her students and is committed to promoting their success. Her belief in the ability of her students shows in the way her students conduct themselves on our campus. Currently room 6 has the highest attendance on our campus (96.6%) and the lowest number of office referrals. Ms. Guzman makes sure her students understand the importance of investing in their education and believes that they can meet and exceed any goal they set for themselves. Her students know that when they are here at school, each and every day, and focused on their learning they will be successful. Her classroom is a place where urgent learning happens and the end result is student growth and achievement!

Room 6 is a proud group of kids and they carry themselves as positive individuals committed to being Central SMART Scholars - Safe, Motivated, Artistic, Respectful and Trustworthy! Ms. Guzman is also committed to being a Central SMART Scholar and she exemplifies this in her commitment to our school and our students.