2021 CA Teacher of the Year, Keisa Brown

RUSD Teacher Keisa Brown Announced as 2021 CA Teacher of the Year
Posted on 10/30/2020
Keisa Brown, Teacher at University Heights Middle SchoolRIVERSIDE - On October 28, 2020 State Superintendent Tony Thurmond announced Keisa Brown, teacher at University Heights Middle School (UHMS), as one of five 2021 CA Teachers of the Year. This recognition honors five outstanding and talented teachers who go above and beyond to educate, inspire, and empower students, families, and communities.

The California Teachers of the Year Program began in 1972 to honor outstanding teachers and encourage and inspire new teachers to enter the profession. Being named a CA Teacher of the Year is testimony to Brown’s personal journey as a professional teacher and the impact she continues to have on the UHMS community.

Out of many highly qualified county nominees representing hundreds of thousands of teachers across the State only five were ultimately designated to receive this honor. "Keisa Brown deserves this honor. She has made the whole District proud by sharing her talents with our students in Riverside. We congratulate her on this wonderful recognition.” shared Kathy Allavie, President of the Riverside Unified School District (RUSD) Board of Education.

“Keisa strives to make connections and build relationships with each and every one of her students, ensuring that they feel heard, connected, and like they have a voice on campus,” Kathryn Grimble explained, Principal at UHMS. “She has a way of pushing students to achieve and hold them to high standards while also being their biggest advocate.”

Brown started at UHMS over 20 years ago as an Americorp tutor. She now serves as an AVID coordinator and manages Club Live, a group dedicated to educating students about the dangers of drug and alcohol. She also coordinates college and career awareness events on campus.

“It is a blessing and honor serving as a representative of University Heights Middle School, Riverside Unified School District and Riverside County. I am humbled and in awe,” shared Brown. “We give to our scholars on a daily basis looking for nothing in return. Teaching is a true calling, and I hope all vow to make a difference in the lives of our students and families. I am a reflection of the University Heights community. It takes a team to make things work! Ubuntu, I am because we are. As indicated by Frederick Douglas, ‘It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.’ Said fact is the premise and grounds for ‘heart work’ on a daily basis.”

To learn more about Keisa Brown, please follow the link to watch this short video: bit.ly/2JeE6t6. For more information on the award program, please visit the CDE's California Teachers of the Year web page.