PTG Ecology Chair

All Saints Catholic School

Lety has been instrumental in implementing an environmental awareness program at All Saints that has had an immediate and long term major impact both on campus and in the community. Her leadership in working with Waste Management to roll out the recycling/composting program at the school, teaching the community about the 5 R's as well as educating the community about environmentally friendly ways to live have been instrumental in the program's success. She has rounded out the success of the program with a new weekly Green Corner article in the school's eNewsletter, ensuring a 3-can system was placed throughout the campus, and supports the school and program regularly with new ideas such as No Waste November and Waste Free Wednesday's. We are thankful for our Hero - Lety Padilla!

Hero Award Sponsored by John Puzariclk & Safe and Sound Systems


Instructional Aide

Bayside Seventh-Day Adventist Christian School

Mr. Ozzie, as he is affectionately known to our students, is an instructional aide that students, families and staff all cherish. His skill at building lasting relationships with middle-school students benefits everyone greatly as he helps instruct them with math, PE, or music, while his energetic love for learning endears him to our elementary students. Ozzie is a picture of what a team player looks like.  Our students benefit greatly from his presence and our school is a better place because he is here. Beyond the classroom, he volunteers in Hayward mentoring teens through his faith-based community. Ozzie is more than "just" an instructional aide...he is a positive role model, an advocate, a continual learner, and a friend.

Hero Award Sponsored by Paul Wallace


Office Manager

Bowman Elementary School

Azalia is an amazing asset to our community. Having her at Bowman Elementary has been wonderful. She holds our students accountable in a loving way. Her positive attitude and calm demeanor has made families feel welcomed and safe. Azalia has helped enhance our school spirit, planning events such as food drives and Dia de los Muertos. We are so privileged to have this Made in Hayward shining star as a critical part of our school.

Hero Award Sponsored by The Joseph & Lois Velasquez Family



Brenkwitz High School

Kevin Buckely has been teaching at Brenkwitz for 11 years and wears many hats at our school.  He is the head of our Science Department, teaches Biology, Health, Robotics, 3-D Printing and also provides technological support. Kevin has been instrumental in implementing our Advanced Manufacturing Career Pathway, giving our students the opportunity to learn about new technology that will improve the lives of many. On a daily basis, he shows our students that he cares about them by bringing them fruit/veggies from local farmers markets. To say he is a team player is an understatement, Kevin is a teacher and colleague that can always be counted on to take on projects that benefit both students and the community. His dedication to our community is inspiring!

Hero Award Sponsored by Jeff McGary, Diversified Mortgage Group



Bret Harte Middle School

Mr. Johnson is a paraeducator in a Special Education classroom. Not only does he provide academic and social-emotional support for his students, Mr. Johnson is an essential member of our campus community. He DJ's our school dances, supports our GSA club, and is the Assistant Coach for our football team. He is a mentor and role model for many of our young men. We at Bret Harte, including our staff, students, and parents, are lucky to have Mr. Johnson as a member of our community who has dedicated himself to the students of Hayward.

Hero Award Sponsored by Sam Falk, Minuteman Press & Fryer Insurance


Language Arts Specialist

Burbank Elementary School

Jo Ellen is an exceptional individual who has dedicated herself to the Burbank community. Her colleagues and leadership often say "Mrs. Anderson works 150% in everything that she does for our school." She shares her passion of reading with our students by making sure we are always able to donate one book to every child at school events, especially around the winter holidays. In addition to being a partner teacher, Ms. Anderson often expands her duties at the site to include: recognizing our volunteers, developing school fundraising activities and creating a culture of reading. We are so grateful for her devotion to our students, community, and staff.

Hero Award Sponsored by Dianne McDermott, HEF Board of Directors


Partner Teacher

Cesar Chavez Middle School

Ms. Espinoza is a selfless, dedicated, and committed teammate at Cesar Chavez Middle School. She puts in countless hours to support students and staff on campus. When Chavez had no music teacher, she increased her course load so that students could continue to have music classes. She teaches leadership classes and supports students' programs and ideas on campus. She teaches math and challenges students with well-planned lessons. She facilitates committee meetings and serves on several working committees on campus. And even after doing all of this she always asks if there is anything that she can do to help. Ms. Espinoza is the personification of a hero and we thank her for everything that she's done at Cesar Chavez Middle School.

Hero Award Sponsored by Richard Bartholomew & West Coast Signal


Office Manager

Cherryland Elementary School

Roberta is the rock that provides the foundation for our school. She goes above and beyond her regular duties by helping after hours and on weekends when we have special community engagement events. Her wisdom and memory are invaluable.  She works tirelessly to support teachers and often advocates for things they need. As the office manager, she processes everything from accolades to complaints from students, staff, parents, and community members.  Her commitment to the community is evident in the annual African American Read In she organizes to celebrate Black History month. She plans staff events, happy hours, and reminds us that has hard as we work, we have to party just as hard! She has given more than 20 years to the students and families of Hayward, and we are blessed that her last seven years were at Cherryland.  Ms. Roberta is Cherryland's HERO.

Hero Award Sponsored by Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley & Miguel Delgado, Financial Adviser


Attendance Clerk

East Avenue Elementary School

Debbie has held several positions in in HUSD and has accumulated a vast amount of knowledge. She is extremely efficient with her work and generous with her time. Debbie routinely goes out of her way to assist staff on projects that are not her responsibility. As a result, East Avenue students benefit! Debbie, THANK YOU for all that you do!

Hero Award Sponsored by B & G Transportation Group & to Paul McCreary


Parent Volunteer

Eden Gardens Elementary School

Anything Renee does she does it with love and passion for our school. She is a very dedicated, hardworking and creative person. She is always thinking of ways to improve and make our school community thrive in every way. The students love and respect her because they see how devoted she is to them and E.G. She is a great leader and teacher. "Renee is a ROCK STAR P.E. teacher at Eden Gardens...she goes above and beyond the call of duty for students, parents, EG staff and colleagues, and HUSD colleagues. From rock star Physical Education lessons to Jump-Rope-For Heart to Playday to PBIS Assemblies to Yearbooks to Student Council to Chili Cook-offs to School Beautification to helping wherever she is needed, she does everything with enthusiasm and a smile."

Hero Award Sponsored by Sean Reinhart, President, Hayward Rotary Club


Office Manager

Eldridge Elementary School

Nori is a great asset to the Eldridge community. She is the ultimate office manager. She is always organized and makes sure that the office is up to par. The school will not run without her. She goes the extra mile and volunteers for important school events such as carnival, fundraisers, and dances. Nori also deeply cares about students, teachers and parents alike. She is always concerned about the well-being of our students and staff. When students come to the office with a scratch she always gives them that needed band-aid and the appropriate amount of TLC. She also cares about all staff members and always lends that helping hand to them when needed. Nori is a great person to work with and a great human being!!! Nori is our Hero!!!

Hero Award Sponsored by Annabelle Candy Company


Attendance Clerk

Fairview Elementary

Ms. Garcia has served Fairview Elementary School as Attendance Clerk for 15 years. Ms. Garcia is an Attendance Clerk by title, but she does so much more for Fairview students, families and staff. Ms. Garcia attends to the work of monitoring student attendance with attention and precision. When a student or family struggles to attend school, she works collaboratively with the family to find solutions to support them. She also has served as a Spanish translator and interpreter for the school and has served as a valuable link between the school and families. Through her personal relationships, Ms. Garcia is a resource for students and families alike and many seek out her counsel for her keen insight.  Thank you Ms. Garcia!

Hero Award Sponsored by Paul & Pat Hodges of Hodges Realty & Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley



Faith Ringgold Elementary School

Ms. McGee is an amazing Para-Educator. She has been serving the needs of all students for many years at Faith Ringgold. She often adds her artistic talent in making the school beautiful inside and out. Ellen has the patience of an angel and gives selfishly to all those that she works with. Faith Ringgold would not be the same without her.

Hero Award Sponsored by Francisco Zermeño, City of Hayward Council Member


Literacy Coach/Partner Teacher

Glassbrook Elementary School

Tatiana Peugnet Alan is Glassbrook’s Hero of the Year Awards Winner.  She provides learning opportunities for all our students through various educational initiatives. We are all impressed with Mrs. Peugnet Alan’s work ethic, high standards for student achievement and her efforts to provide a quality education to all students.  She gives back to her community of Hayward that witnessed her extraordinary professional growth. Mrs. Peugnet Alan is always ready to provide a hand for those who need it. She is an advocate of underrepresented students' rights, a knowledgeable colleague and excellent friend.   She is truly a great service leader and coach. Tatiana Peugnet Alan is our Glassbrook Hero 2017!

Hero Award Sponsored by Mark & Lety Salinas


Computer Library Technician

Harder Elementary School

Selfless: Mr. Shular always puts everyone else first. He gets to school every morning looking for ways to help students, staff, and our community. Significant: Mr. Shular has gone out of his way to create a drone program to support our students. He is always checking in with students and staff to see how students are doing with their behavior. Betterment of Education: Mr. Shular recognizes the importance of maximizing every minute students spend in the classroom. Which is why he goes above and beyond every day to support students and teachers in every possible way.

Hero Award Sponsored by Rick Bartholomew, HEF Board President


CTE Teacher

Hayward Adult School for Education & Careers

Robert is a key player in the Career Technical Education (CTE) department, providing outstanding instruction and knowledge that benefit both employers and student’s technical needs. Robert’s ongoing support to his students even after they have completed his class is a great example of why Robert is a great instructor.  He enjoys providing that long-term support for students to ensure their success. Robert is passionate about his work and continues to serve our students with the same level of caring as he did coming into the adult school. He has been at the Hayward Adult School for over 19 years teaching several open entry courses allowing students the opportunity to begin learning at almost any time during the adult school’s academic calendar. We are very pleased to continue to have Robert as part of our adult school family and as our Hero!

Hero Award Sponsored by Heidi Louwaert



Hayward High School

Carla Schick is retiring after 28 years in Hayward Unified, with the last 22 being at Hayward High School. Carla has been an enthusiastic and engaging math instructor that has taught all levels from Algebra to AP Calculus. She has served as a Union representative and earned the trust and respect of all of her colleagues. Some of her greatest contributions to the school have been her consistent championing of social justice issues and advising the school's Gay Straight Alliance club. Her retirement will leave a huge void at Hayward High, and we wish her all the best in her future endeavors.

Hero Award Sponsored by The Hayward Area Historical Society & Shaun Griffith


Parent Volunteer

Impact Academy of Arts & Technology 

Maria Taleno is amazing! Her presence is felt by all the students, families and faculty she volunteers to support in our community. She has spent countless hours, over the past 5 years, in our front office, on leadership council, supporting our lunch program, field trips, and translating for families during parent conferences. Her willingness to contribute her time and enthusiasm to our community has been a tremendous asset. We are lucky to have families and parents like her.

Hero Award Sponsored by Dr. Alex Budde, DVM



KEY Academy 

Kasa Allen is always putting students first when making decisions. He's a selfless individual who will stay late to help other staff members with their projects or will give up his prep time to help the principal cover a class. He took the initiative of starting a Leadership Club this past year and has become the main individual in charge of the after-school program. He has become an integral part of the KEY Academy community and his contributions have not gone unnoticed.

Hero Award Sponsored by Antonio Filo & Aaron Marx



Longwood Elementary School

Ms. Ochoa knows every family in the school. She has worked hard to build relationships with all stakeholders at Longwood School. People know that when they need help, they call Ms. Ochoa. She is constantly going above and beyond the call of duty and is one of few who have been at Longwood for more than 10 years. She is truly Longwood's Hayward Hero.

Hero Award Sponsored by Sean Reinhart, President, Hayward Rotary Club



Lorin Eden Elementary School

Richard was the unanimous selection by the entire Staff to be our Hero.  Richard stands out with his care and dedication to the Lorin Eden School. For Richard, it is his strong work ethic, quiet dedication and honest approach to his constant care of our site that has made him our Hero. Richard is and has been a huge part of not only the student lives as they learn at Lorin Eden, but the connection he has with families, who are often past students. The students and staff applaud his dedication, as he mentors many of our students, taking a personal interest in their academic day with words of encouragement and validation. Richard has taken care of not only the Lorin Eden site, but the students, staff and parents for close to twenty-five years. This staff member and his ongoing commitment to our site, is a gift to all of our students, families and staff.

Hero Award Sponsored by Marivn Peixoto, City of Hayward Council Member


PE Teacher

Martin Luther King Jr., Middle School

Ms. Zahniser is an excellent teacher whose caring and positive nature contribute to an excellent school climate. Whether it is organizing the district-wide track meet or the school carnival, Ms. Zahniser can be counted on to always look for ways to ensure that students are engaged in their school. As the PE department chair person, Ms. Zahniser is extremely organized. Students really enjoy being in Shireen's class.

Hero Award Sponsored by Carrie Morales, HEF Board Secretary


Assistant Athletic Director

Moreau Catholic High School

For the past nine years, Heidi has faithfully served our Athletic Department, coordinating everything from parent volunteers, to scheduling and supervision for athletic contests, to planning and putting on the school's major fundraiser for the year - the Crab Feed. Though much of her work is done behind the scenes, Heidi has been instrumental in streamlining processes in the office; researching new and innovative programs, and patiently partnering with staff and students on their implementation. She has selflessly committed herself to improving our school community and our Athletic Department in particular. We are truly lucky to have such a dynamic and dedicated colleague.

Hero Award Sponsored by Eric Hansen


Library Media Technician

Mt. Eden High School

Lori Robertson has worked for the district for 28 years. She began working with the elementary school students as a yard duty, then moved to the resource room and finally settled into attendance. From there, she moved to Mt. Eden High School where she started in attendance before filling in as a registrar and finally settling in as the world's best Library Tech. Lori is one of the most giving staff members at MEHS. She goes out of her way to accommodate staff and search for media they might need or to assist their classes while they are doing research. Her library is well known for being a safe and inclusive space where all are welcome and where any student or staff member can take a break from the hectic world.  Lori is an Alumni of Mt. Eden as are her husband and children. She is our HERO because she exudes cheerfulness, is a team player, and is generous to a fault.

Hero Award Sponsored by SSean Reinhart, President, Hayward Rotary Club


ELA Department Chair & Teacher

Ochoa Middle School

Ms. Chamberlain-Engel (or Ms. C-E as she is known around campus) not only serves as Ochoa's English Language Arts Department Chair but has been a faculty leader in spearheading grants and donations. For example, Ms. C-E has secured a classroom set of chromebooks and an entire class set of furniture through Donor's Choose. And now, along with other teachers, is leading an initiative for a Mastery Design Collaborative grant with Silicon Schools. These two concrete examples demonstrate how Ms. C-E leads by example and goes above and beyond for the students and community of Ochoa Middle. We LOVE her!!!

Hero Award Sponsored by Dr. María Ochoa and Mike Sweeney


5th Grade Teacher

Palma Ceia Elementary School

Lamberto Roque-Hernandez is an extraordinary Fifth Grade Bilingual Teacher in addition to being a published author and an accomplished artist.   He builds rapport with students and their parents throughout the school year. His relevant, rigorous and creative lessons go beyond the expected. He continually challenges students to be thoughtful thinkers and persuasive public speakers. Mr. Roque integrates the visual and musical arts in his instruction and coaches our school soccer team. Through his hard work he achieved his dream of establishing a library in his hometown of San Martin Tilcajete where he continues to bring books. Lamberto has an obsession with reading and his students always have several books on their desks to read and discuss as a class. Mr. Roque is currently teaching a Spanish Literature class for adults in the evening. For inspiring our students, families and staff with innovative ideas, literature and art, Lamberto Roque-Hernandez is our Hayward Hero.

Hero Award Sponsored by John Hazatone, former HUSD Teacher and Principal


4th Grade Teacher

Park Elementary School

Student centered and 100% committed to the school 's progress and climate. Danielle is a true teacher, leader, and a driving force on many school events and activities that go way beyond her own classroom. She authored a play titled, Hidden Figures: No Longer in the Shadows. Under her leadership, our students learned, practiced and performed the play during our Black History Month assembly.  She leads her peers during collaboration and inspires students to reach for the stars. She is true professional.  Danielle is a role model and a dedicated educator committed to excellence.

Hero Award Sponsored by Dianne McDermott, HEF Board of Directors



Ruus Elementary School

Paul Garrison encourages the academic growth along with the social development that is needed to create a level of maturity and balance. The high level of self-confidence that he instills in our students is admired through their presence when they are in class and when they are performing in the Shakespeare production of the year. All students are given the opportunity to become the best they can be and demonstrate how multi-talented they all are!

Hero Award Sponsored by Sara Lamnin, City of Hayward Council Member


Instructional Assistant/Office Assistant

St. Bede Catholic School

Endearingly known as "Mrs. B," she has selflessly taken on many different roles. She started off as a parent who brought all three of her children through Saint Clement Catholic School (SC), and later, she decided to join the SC Staff as an Instructional Assistant. Today, she works as an Office Assistant and is a well-loved representative and bridge to our Latino community. She is the true essence of the saying, "If you see a need, you fill a need," as she always graciously steps up to help with everything from morning safety, to child care during Parent Club meetings, recess and lunch duty, as well as catering to teacher needs and office responsibilities.  She always says with a smile, "I will go wherever you need me!” Mrs. B shares her positive attitude with all that she encounters. On any given day, should you be so blessed to meet Mrs. B, you may just get the honor of being called her "sweet potato pie," but to us, she is considered one of our sweetest blessings within our school community. SC LOVES YOU, Mrs. B, and we thank you for all that you are and do for Saint Clement Catholic School!

Hero Award Sponsored by Eric & Theresa Hansen


Reading Specialist

Schafer Park Elementary School

Mrs. Janetos is our school reading specialist. She provides intervention to all first, second, and third grade students that need it, based on our data. She currently volunteers her time every Wednesday in one of our first grade classrooms. Harriett has spent countless hours leveling books for teacher libraries and provided teachers with tools so they can reach their struggling readers. She also coordinates our Accelerated Reader Program. Mrs. Janetos is our Hero for everything she does to ensure student success!

Hero Award Sponsored by Hayward Area Recreation & Park District


Office Manager

Silver Oak High School

Mayra has been the Office Manager since 2013. Her patience, humility and kind heart are apparent in all she does at our school. She works at always keeping a "student focused" approach in making sure we look at how our decisions will affect them. The consideration she has for our staff and school community is of great impact. She has supported our school in tasks that go above and beyond her call of duty. Assisting us in field trips, afterschool activities and our annual "Fiesta" weekend event in which she puts her own time in to provide our school community the opportunity to come together to celebrate. She is very often found mentoring and giving our students the safe space to share with her what is going on with them. Mayra is without a doubt the kind of "hero" we all need at our schools. Silver Oak High School would not be the same without her.

Hero Award Sponsored by The Hayward Area Historical Society &  Joseph Ochoa



Southgate Elementary School

Ms. Gonzalez is a pillar in the Southgate community. She approaches her job with the utmost care and responsibility. She views every student as if they were her own. She loves her job; one can tell by the unconditional love and support she shows each and every person she encounters on campus. Ms. Gonzalez has taken on several leadership roles at Southgate. She leads our ELAC as the teacher liaison. She is an intricate part of the school’s PTA. She works to strengthen parent relations between all families and staff on campus. Ms. Gonzalez is extremely valued by the Southgate community. We are lucky to have her here.

Hero Award Sponsored by Bruce & Kathleen Roberts


Parent Volunteer

Stonebrae Elementary School

Maude volunteers at Stonebrae almost every day. She coordinates activities between the PTA and the school, she volunteers in classrooms, she assists in getting volunteers for the classrooms, and she assists teachers in setting up their field trips. She is the go to person for the staff when we need anything.  Thank you Ms. Carreon!

Hero Award Sponsored by Hayward Chamber of Commerce


Office Manager

Strobridge Elementary School

Mrs. Sagi is the backbone of Strobridge Elementary School. She greets everyone with her infectious smile and welcoming demeanor, creating a positive atmosphere in the office. Mrs. Sagi is the great multitasker- she handles the constant stream of needs and requests from students, parents, staff, and school visitors in a friendly and timely manner, without ever missing a beat. Her kindness, dependability, knowledge, and efficiency are what makes the school run smoothly every day. Thank you, Mrs. Sagi, for always going above and beyond to serve the Strobridge family. You're a true Hayward Hero!

Hero Award Sponsored by Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley 


Technology Support 

Tennyson High School

Mr. Victor Serrano goes above and beyond for all staff members here at Tennyson High School. He is a former teacher here at Tennyson and now works and volunteers a huge amount of his time to make sure all of our technology needs are taken care of. He keeps our network running smoothly and always stops what he is doing when his assistance is requested no matter what. He is the true definition of our Hayward Hero.

Hero Award Sponsored by Diane Laine & Anita Hall 


Office Manager, PTA Parliamentarian, Parent Volunteer

Treeview/Bidwell Elementary School

Claudia is not just an Office Manager at our school, she is also a Parent, Volunteer, and PTA Parliamentarian. She is always willing to offer a helping hand without thinking twice. She is available before and after school to help out our students, teachers and parents and always with a smile on her face. She is an example to our community.  Thank you Ms. Rivas!!

Hero Award Sponsored by Dianne McDermott, HEF Board of Directors


Office Manager

Tyrrell Elementary School

Clara Lax has a long history with our school community. For many years, she was the face of Tyrrell as our Office Manager. Her smile greeted both staff members and parents daily as they entered the front doors. As our office manager, she continuously displayed professionalism to all those she served for 17 years. Clara always put forth her personal best so that we each could do our jobs effectively. However, the way she chose to live each day showed us the resilience of the human spirit. Through her personal perils, she displayed dignity, strength and insurmountable courage, the hallmarks of what makes a true Hayward Hero. Though she recently passed away, she will be remembered for the difference she made at Tyrrell; for contributing to the lives of the staff and community through all of her years of service at Tyrrell; for giving of herself in the midst of the battle of her life; she continued to give and make a difference at Tyrrell elementary school.

Hero Award Sponsored by Elisa Márquez, City of Hayward Council Member


Detention Supervisor

Winton Middle School

Mr. Latchman has been a valuable member of the Winton community for many years. He always does his job and then more than is required. He always puts the students first and reaches out to help everyone on the campus. He stays late and is always there to help after school, on field trips and always does things with a positive attitude. He is a well-regarded member of the community, is active in charities and helps off campus as well as on campus.
Mr. Latchman is a vital part of our team and we are a better school because of him.

Hero Award Sponsored by Andrea Peixoto, HEF Board Treasurer


Y.E.P. Program Leader

Youth Enrichment Program

Stacie exemplifies what all Hayward Unified School District Youth Enrichment Program employees should strive to be: kind, supportive, friendly and helpful. In the ___ years that Stacie has been here, she has never been less than warm-hearted and hard-working. Stacie is never too busy to help out above her call of duty. She has a great eye for detail and has always gone above and beyond on any requests…she saved a student’s life while choking on food during the after-school program dinner time. Most importantly, she is thoughtful and really cares about the students she works with.

Hero Award Sponsored by Betty Brannan & Bob Sutton


© 2020 Hayward Hero Foundation