It is important to retain Ms. Cascella and Mr. Rodriguez as teachers at Valley High School because they have made a positive impact at Valley. The Board has stated that teachers are the backbone, and we, the students and alumni of Valley High School, fully believe that. Ms. Cascella and Mr. Rodriguez have been our backbone for the past two years. They have supported and guided us through academic and personal trials, which has proven that they are a good fit for current and future students of Valley High School and the Santa Ana Unified School District. We, the students and alumni of Valley High School, are petitioning the Santa Ana School Board, Dr. Melendez, Chad Hammitt, and the future Superintendent to retain Ms. Cascella and Mr. Rodriguez because they are a good fit for Valley High School, and they strengthen the culture and community at Valley High School in the following ways.
1. Ms. Cascella goes above and beyond to ensure her students’ success by arriving at school at 6:30am and staying until 7pm to tutor students.
2. Ms. Cascella counsels students that are going through personal and academic problems by listening, giving advice, and being there in all situations.
3. Ms. Cascella gives students with any necessary school supplies to ensure that we have everything we need to learn.
4. Because of her teaching technique, she has helped students move up proficient levels.
5. She works with students and their families to come together and have a better relationship.
6. Ms. Cascella helps change students’ negative mind set about school to positive mind set and willingness to learn.
7. Ms. Cascella brings positivity, happiness, and good heartedness to her classroom and Valley, which breaks our hearts to see her forced to leave.
8. She spends her prep period checking up on students in other classes to ensure they are being successful in all classes.
9. Ms. Cascella is willing go to counselor meetings and teacher conferences if parents are unavailable to attend and will contact parents to keep them informed.
10. She spends countless dollars making sure we have food/snacks to eat, supporting our fundraisers, and going to activities and events that we participate in.
11. As the Academic Coach for the Freshman Football Team, Ms. Cascella makes sure that all athletes have a 2.0 and are eligible to play.
12. Many students have come to see Ms. Cascella as a second mom due to her willingness to support, help, and listen to us.
13. She constantly encourages students to do their best and speak up for what they believe in.
14. She refuses to give up, no matter the situation, on any of her kids and treats all students as if they were her own child.
1. If Mr. Rodriguez stays at Valley, future students will benefit from the support that he gives to his students because of his high quality of teaching.
2. Mr. Rodriguez goes above and beyond his teaching duties to ensure students get the education that they deserve.
3. Mr. Rodriguez has received high evaluation scores and should be retained.
4. His students’ CST scores jumped after his first year of teaching proving he is learning and growing as a professional.
5. He helped students bring their ideas to reality. For example, he worked with the Green Club to create a Student Garden on campus, which will be used to educate future students on sustainable food production and the science behind it.
6. Freshmen, sophomores, and juniors are looking forward to learning in Mr. Rodriguez’s class next year because of his teaching style and the connection he creates with the students.
7. When asked by Mr. Patrick to teach 0 period AVID at 7am every morning, he took on the assignment without hesitation, knowing how AVID helps first generation, low-income students attend college.
8. On an individual basis, he was a confidant, a counselor, a mentor, a friend, and he helps us.
9. He nurtures the belief that we need to take action to find ways to make Santa Ana a better community. In other words, he wants us not only to learn history, but also to make history.
10. Mr. Rodriguez treats us with the upmost respect, and encourages us to speak up for what we believe and who we are.
Both Ms. Cascella and Mr. Rodriguez treat all students with fairness, respect, and love, no matter what grade level or social background they come from. They also help us nurture our social and political consciousness and find ways to create a more just community in Santa Ana. Furthermore, Ms. Cascella and Mr. Rodriguez have taught us never to give up on our beliefs and to stay true to who we are. Their willingness to become a part of our community and reach out to us proves their desire to be a part of our community and their love for the students at Valley High School. Although we are youth, and many adults see us as kids, we know right from wrong, and we know our voices are important enough for you, the School Board, to hear this demand. We have minds of our own, and we, the undersigned students and alumni of Valley High School, feel that this situation needs to change. Please, reinstate Ms. Cascella and Mr. Rodriguez as teachers at Valley High School.