Meet our September Teacher of the Month!

We’re delighted to announce Tasha Pasternack as our September Teacher of the Month! Tasha is an English teacher at Balboa High School, where she’s recognized by students and colleagues alike for her collaborative teaching style and fierce commitment to students in Balboa’s English Learner program.

Equal parts teacher and advocate, Tasha brings an incredible amount of heart to her work with newcomer students. As one colleague writes: “In a school where the ELs and their teachers are historically under-funded, overlooked, and under-supported, Tasha is a voice for these students and this program, advocating for students and educators well beyond her scope of teaching students in the classroom.”

In her EL classroom, Tasha is known for her impeccable organization and innovative, responsive curriculum. Teachers applaud her “engaging curriculum that speaks to immigrant experiences and hopes” and appreciate her collaborative efforts to help “get new speakers of English talking and working together.” Her students love her patient teaching style, noting how she was “always there supporting us and explaining to us when we didn’t understand.” This helpfulness was always accompanied by kindness, too, as one student writes, “Thank you for every single smile you gave us.”

Tasha’s impact reaches beyond just the students in her classroom. As just a single example every Friday lunch period Tasha hosts 415 Unidos, a group she helped create in order to provide a safe space for Balboa’s undocumented students and allies. She has also volunteered her weekends to provide extra support for an English Learner with visual impairments, allowing them to participate in wilderness pathway excursions to several California national parks.

For her unfaltering dedication to her community of teachers and students, it’s no surprise that her coworkers call her “inspiring to us all.”

Thanks for all your hard work, Ms. Pasternack, and congratulations on landing our Teacher of the Month Award!


Read more about our Teacher of the Month Program and how to nominate a special teacher in your life.