Meet Cat Reyes, our May Teacher of the Month
Our May Teacher of the Month is an educator who exemplifies the values of community, generosity, equity, and putting students first — Cat Reyes from Mission High School. We’re so excited that we got to work alongside Ms. Reyes during this year’s Young Authors’ Book Project and witness firsthand the magic that she creates in her classroom. We couldn’t imagine a more deserving recipient of our Teacher of the Month award — congratulations, Ms. Reyes!
Ms. Reyes has been a pivotal and revolutionary part of the Ethnic Studies program at Mission High and has inspired countless students with her teaching, empowering them to share their own stories. As one colleague says, “She calls upon her heart, intellect, guts, and soul to get the job of teaching her students done. The evidence is in the feeling of community in the classroom, in the quality of student work, in the work ethic of the students and the teacher herself.”
Her classroom is a space of safety, openness, and support, and it provides students with a setting where they can truly be themselves. She constantly honors the value that each and every one of her students has to bring and highlights their individuality and growth. One student says, “Thank you for inspiring me every single day to be a better version of myself. For encouraging me to write, write, and keep writing. Thank you for doing all of the things you do for all of us, despite everything.”
Ms. Reyes is a meaningful leader at Mission High, writing curricula and working alongside other teachers to adopt new ways of supporting students. One colleague says, “Cat honors the intellectual strengths of our students and has created a classroom culture where the sparks fly, where you can feel the buzz in the room, where students feel empowered to share their ideas, and where the learning flows.”
At the end of the Young Authors’ Book Project, her students thanked her in some amazing ways. Their words, some of which are below, are the best indicators of the immense impact she has on all of her students:
- “You’re one of the most kind and caring people I’ve ever met and the passion you have for us is honoring, thank you.”
- “Thanks Ms. Reyes for your hard work and opportunities you give us to improve every day in your class.”
- “Thank you for inspiring me to share my story and being such an amazing teacher.”
- “Mrs. Reyes, thank you for being the first teacher I’ve learned true history. You inspire me every day to keep writing my own story!”
- “Ms. Reyes, thanks for inspiring me, encouraging me, reaching all sides of the story. Continue to empower people.”
Thank you, Ms. Reyes, for your amazing work and commitment to your students. Congratulations!