The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

Meet the 2023 MVLA Teacher of the Year Award Winner: Sarah Alvarado

Sahana Srinivasan
Sarah Alvarado won the 2023 MVLA Teacher of the Year award. At Los Altos High School, Alvarado teaches AP U.S. History, Student Community Leaders (SCL) and Innovative Design Essentials.

At first glance it seems like Advanced Placement (AP) U.S. History, Student Community Leaders (SCL) and Innovative Design Essentials have nothing in common, except for one —  all of these classes share the same teacher: Sarah Alvarado. 

Out of over 400 candidates for the MVLA Teacher of the Year award, this year’s winner is Los Altos High School teacher Sarah Alvarado. The award celebrates exceptional teaching skills and highlights the transformative power a dedicated educator can wield. Alvarado set herself apart from other teachers; from teaching three different subjects, to being a key negotiator in the Teachers Union, Alvarado shows remarkable passion in involving herself in the events on campus. Through the award, she is celebrated for her constant inspiration among students and peers to perform to the best of their abilities. 

Alvarado began her teaching journey at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where she obtained her Bachelor of Arts in history and education and completed her graduate degree in education. She has taught at Los Altos High School for 10 years, teaching AP U.S. History and SCL for over six years and has dedicated her recent years to direct Innovative Design Essentials. 

Alvarado knew she wanted to be a teacher since her junior year of high school. Now, every day spent teaching is a day fulfilling her lifelong dream. 

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“The fact that I get to do this every day of the school year is really exciting for me,” Alvarado said. “I knew I wanted to teach for a long time, so being able to work with students on a day-to-day basis is always fun.”

“Sarah was really key in helping create the Design Building and the Science Technology Engineering Arts Mathematics (STEAM) classes,” Hine said. “It’s due to her hard work that we have these amazing facilities and classes.”

Hine believes Alvarado works hard to involve herself in the school community in any way she can, and is constantly helping her students become the best versions of themselves. 

“She really pushes her students to do their best and has high expectations for them, but is caring and reflective so they rise to the challenge,” Hine said. “All her students perform very well thanks to her teaching style.”

Alvarado’s favorite aspect of teaching is making connections and learning from students.

“I really enjoy that I get to be a small part of someone else’s journey and we can hopefully learn from each other in our time together,” Alvarado said. “It’s the way we can build a community and connect with each other.”

SCL President senior Asha Parker has known Alvarado since her freshman year. 

“Being a freshman, I was really nervous, but Ms. Alvarado was always so welcoming,” Asha said. “She was one of the only teachers I wasn’t scared of at first.”

Asha said Alvarado has taught her valuable lessons by creating a strong community. 

“She’s super good at teaching you to be a better leader, but she also brings an empathetic side, which allows for all of the class to be more connected,” Asha said. “It makes our dynamic less like a teacher-to-student thing and more like a friend-to-friend sort of thing. The class would definitely be less fun without her.”

Alvarado’s influence on the school has touched many people across campus, among both staff and students. 

“Sarah is involved in so many different parts of the school, and has impacted so many teachers and students it’s no surprise she won the award,” Hine said.

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Sahana Srinivasan
Sahana Srinivasan, Staff Writer

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