Spanish teacher Paco Arévalo and special education para-educator Monica Knott awarded Staff of the Year
By Shauli Bar-On and Aria Hejazi
Published March 2, 2016
Two staff members were named HHS Staff of the Year at the FUHSD board meeting in the cafeteria last Tuesday.
Para educator Monica Knott was awarded the Classified Staff of the Year award, while Spanish teacher Francisco “Paco” Arévalo was honored as Teacher of the Year.
Marjorie Fisher, an instructional assistant for the special education department, introduced Knott and praised her ability to interact with her students. .
“[Knott] looks at a student from all perspectives,” Fisher said.
Working for the special education department has been very rewarding, Knott said.
“Every single day at Homestead is a new experience. There are no repeats….without a doubt, the single best part of my job,” she said.
As Knott accepted her award, she spoke mainly of her gratitude and admiration of her colleagues.
“I felt very honored to hear I was given this award,” Knott said, “mostly because the award is from individuals I work with every day, those people I admire and regard very highly.”
Arévalo has been teaching Spanish at HHS since 2001 and is currently the head of the Spanish department.
When receiving the award, Arévalo cited one of his favorite lines, “no man is an island,” in describing his experience at HHS. He expressed his honor for receiving the award and explained how his job has shaped who he is today. He said he never feels alone at HHS.
“[My job] has really shaped the way that I think and feel,” Arévalo said as he accepted the award.
Arévalo said the best part about his job is interacting with his students through writing.
“I am interested in reading what students have to say and their opinions,” he said.
“I don’t have a favorite moment… it’s like what my son says. He says ‘this is my favorite’ for everything. I can’t decide a specific moment,” Arévalo said.
Arévalo thanked his colleagues from the entire language department, his motivated students and HHS as a whole for making his job so enjoyable.