“Am I Not a Teacher?”: a letter by a Teaching Excellence Awardee

Teaching Excellence Awards Presentation
Jasmine Johnson is a recipient of the 2017 Ed Fund Teaching Excellence Award and a 5th grade teacher at Richmond College Prep, a local charter public school. She wrote the following letter to urge WCCUSD leaders to embrace unity and collaboration to serve all students in our community.


March 27, 2017

To WCCUSD Board Members and Superintendent Duffy,

The purpose of my email is to express my concern and to request that the Board, moving forward, reconsiders their relationships with charter schools. This Wednesday’s agenda states that the Ed Fund Teaching Excellence Awardees will be honored by WCC board members. Excellent! I am one! However, I noticed that The WCCUSD agenda, Ed Fund Presentation, and GO Public Schools WCC Board Watch (sent via email today) all list 4 awardees. I have been omitted from each. I assume this is because I am employed by a charter school. If that is the case, then I am disheartened by our current education system. I, Jasmine Johnson, teach at Richmond College Prep, a school approved by WCCUSD, whose mission is to educate some of the district’s most disadvantaged youth. To borrow from the beloved Sojourner Truth, am I not a teacher? I’ve worked as long and as hard as the other awardees, yet that is being completely disregarded.

I want to encourage you, members of the board and Superintendent Duffy, to reflect on implicit decisions made that create more division than unity in our district. In the end, we serve the same kids, the same families, and the same communities. A true model of collaboration, between districts and charters, begins with uplifting one another. I sincerely hope we can move in that direction.

Educating ALL of our children should be a priority.


Ms. Jasmine Johnson


About the Author:

This marks Ms. Johnson’s fourth year at Richmond College Prep Elementary. Prior to working at Richmond College Prep, Ms. Johnson lived in Southern California where she was born and raised. Her experience navigating school systems in South Central Los Angeles, and, then, eventually, a predominately white institution for her undergraduate degree, led her to the classroom. She has a Master’s degree in Urban Education from Loyola Marymount University with a concentration in Education Policy and Administration.

Learn more about Ms. Johnson and the other winners of the 2017 Ed Fund Teaching Excellence Award winners here.

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