Hook Junior High School teacher Mona Saad was recognized as one of the best middle school teachers in the region last week at the 2023 California League of Educators Region 10 Educator of the Year Awards.
Saad, a multi-subject teacher at Hook, was among 15 middle school teachers recognized at an awards dinner in downtown Riverside.
“It is an honor and pleasure to work with Mrs. Saad and see the impact she has not only on her students and their learning, but the positive impact she has with her fellow colleagues,” Hook Principal Carlos Cerna said. “She is a champion for all Hook students both inside and outside of the classroom and embraces all opportunities to grow professionally."
Saad, who has been with the Victor Valley Union High School District since 2015, is known for the welcoming environment she creates for students.
“Every time I go into her classroom, it just feels so good, even going in there as an adult,” VVUHSD Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services Dr. Ratmony Yee said as she introduced Saad at the ceremony. “Her classroom is a place where students feel loved and cared for. For her to choose our district and to serve our students has just been amazing.”
In her pre-recorded speech shown at the event, Saad talked about her own experience of arriving in the United States many years ago from Egypt “not speaking a word of English” and struggling in school.
“Now students may finally have the opportunities I didn’t have,” Saad said. “I teach with love, understanding, and respect. Through all this, I learn from my students as well. I see the struggles they endure and try to help them as much as I can. The relationship we establish in the classroom empowers them and impacts their lives in and out of the classroom.”
Saad was the only honoree from the High Desert and one of three from San Bernardino County recognized by CLE Region 10, which also includes Inyo, Mono, and Riverside counties.
“This is a great honor for Mrs. Saad as well as Hook and our entire district,” VVUHSD Superintendent Carl Coles said. “There is nothing more important in education than the connection between teacher and student. Mrs. Saad exemplifies how powerful and impactful that connection can be.”
From left to right: VVUHSD Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services Dr. Ratmony Yee, Hook Junior High School teacher Mona Saad, and Hook Principal Carlos Cerna at the 2023 California League of Educators Region 10 Educator of the Year Awards in Riverside.