Blogging Bayport Alameda

May 19, 2023

Good news break

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 5:59 am

I had meant to write about this but had forgotten until #2 son engaged us in a conversation about his English class and a set of poems he turned in for a project around the book The Other Wes Moore, a book which has been on book banning lists in the past. He clearly wanted us to read these poems and, well, they were good. Yes, yes, I know I am a parents so I am predisposed to enjoying the works of my children but I am not that parent who is physically unable to critique the work of her children so I was surprised at how good it was because so much poetry from teenagers is so very overwrought and bad. I know this from experience having written bad and overwrought poetry of my own as a teenager.

Anyway, his poetry was well received by his English teacher which reminded me that his English teacher at Encinal was AUSD’s Teacher of the Year this year and will be eligible to be selected as the Alameda County’s Teacher of the Year which would be a nice honor for Alameda’s scrappy little West End high school which will, apparently, not be able to offer AP French next year because not enough students will be signing up.

From the Press Release:

Colleagues who submitted recommendation letters cited Ms. Kerber’s high professional standards and ability to both engage and connect with students. “Jessica’s teaching style is both engaging and effective,” one nominator wrote. “She has a natural ability to connect with her students and make content come alive for them. One of the things that I appreciate about Ms. Kerber is her ability to hold her students to high expectations while simultaneously differentiating instruction based on their individual needs. She is masterful at this.”
Nominators also referenced Ms. Kerber’s skill as a leader (she has served as chair of the EHS English Department as well as the professional development lead) and collaborator, as well as her creation and initiation of the “Mental Health Matters” English class at the site. In that course, students read novels that focus on mental health matters and also research topics such as PTSD, depression, anxiety, and gender norms.

In addition to teaching the lowly Freshman, she also teachers AP Literature which #1 daughter will be taking in her final year at Encinal next year which serves as a reminder to me (and to those of you who have been with this blog since the beginning) that next year this blog will see its 18th year of existence since I started this a few days before I went into labor and the picked it back up after a couple of months of hanging about with a newborn.


  1. It’s always heartening to hear about dedicated and effective teachers like Ms. Kerber who are making a real impact in their students’ lives. Congratulations to her for being recognized as Teacher of the Year, and to her students for producing such excellent work!
    founder of balance thy life

    Comment by Balance Thy Life — May 19, 2023 @ 6:07 am

  2. Kerber, as the kids call her, is such an wonderful person who makes connections with all around her, especially the students. I so enjoyed my brief interactions with Jessica (and the EHS team) over the years we were there, but my kids really engaged with her. The award is well deserved.
    Congratulations to Jessica!
    Congratulations to Lauren for keeping this blog going … it hardly seems it could be, but then I look at my kids and are shocked they are 30-26-21 … how just how could this be?
    Ask #2 if you may publish his work!
    Senior year for #1 … really?

    Comment by Ron Mooney — May 19, 2023 @ 7:39 am

  3. Congratulations and thank you for keeping your great blog going, Lauren!!!

    Comment by egelblock — May 19, 2023 @ 8:17 am

  4. Kerber is the best! I had the pleasure of working with her for many years, and my youngest was lucky enough to have her at EHS. It should be noted though, that that little west end school currently has three AUSD Teachers of the Year on staff, and two Alameda County Teachers of the Year in Dr. Pauline Stahl and Kevin Gorham. Both Stahl and Gorham were honored for their innovative programs of Genomics and the Radio Station/Class. I am hopeful Kerbs (as my daughter and her friends call her) is equally honored at the county level due to her innovation in teaching her Mental Health Matters class, as well as all the other classes she teaches.

    As always, Go Jets!

    Comment by Tracy Allegrotti — May 24, 2023 @ 9:09 am

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