Student Nomination Story

I nominate Ms. Serrano because of the ground-shaking impact she has on her students. I shared this award with her other students as well because I know they will say the same. Although Ms. Serrano is a highschool teacher, I met her in my 8th-grade year. It was during a High school Speech and Debate travel tournament. During this time, I was extremely suicidal and depressed and she was the reason I came out of it. During the duration of the trip, she was the only one to reassure and take care of me. I was at the end of our travel line so no one else talked to me except for her. She did not know about my depression or recently diagnosed chronic illness but she gave me a reason to live. She was the reason I decided to go to Santa Ana High school and join their Speech and Debate team. Little did I know that Serrano had also been diagnosed with an extreme chronic illness similar to mine. I remember having conversations with her, in which we both cried, talking about staying strong together. And we did. She is the reason why I continue to wake up every day and fight my disability because she does too and she believes me. Everyone in our classroom loves this woman. Especially the speech and debate team in Santa Ana high school. Other Speech schools from our district also know Serrano very well and she treats them as if they were their own. Many times students have run to her in the middle of a crisis or just for the comfort of a mother that students can not get at home. We are a low-income minority school but she treats us like treasures. Many times have students slept, cried, rested, healed, and looked for safety in her room when she is available. And when she is not, she makes time to even when she doesn’t feel her best or has a very important scheduled appointment. She is my strength at school and the reason I am still here today. She believes in me like almost no one ever has in my education. Her students and even others from different schools consider her a mother, a safe zone, a relief from rigorous pressure, an amazing teacher... She makes us smile and happy even when the Speech team feels our lowest. She encourages us to change the world when we feel oppressed. She has first hand stood up for her students whenever we were on travel tournaments and racially insulted or discriminated against. Please strongly consider Ms. Serrano for the winner of this award. It would mean the world for the entire school and city. We all know and love her.

Destiny Ceja

I met Ms. Serrano during my freshman year and have had her as my Speech and Debate teacher for the past 3 years, now going on to the fourth. I was new to Speech and Debate, shy and very private. However, I stayed in the class because the environment was incredibly supportive. Ms. Serrano always reminds everyone that as long as they’re doing their best, results don’t matter. She has taught me the importance of caring for each team member and that a win for one is a win for all. Also, she is never afraid to talk with each of us and offer as much support as she can, whether it be with school or with personal matters. She receives each and every one of her students with open hands and an open mind. Because of that, I nominate Ms. Serrano, a teacher I will remember long after high school.

Brenda Rivera

To see more exceptional teacher nominees, visit The Honor Roll.