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Grimmer Elementary's Saroda Chattopadhyay Named FUSD's 2019 Teacher of the Year
Posted 4/10/19

Selecting from another impressive class of educators, the Fremont Unified School District (FUSD) was proud to name Grimmer Elementary School Technology Teacher, Saroda Chattopadhyay, as its 2019 'Teacher of the Year.' At a District Office ceremony April 10th, the five-year FUSD employee was chosen from 41 candidates and six finalists, representing all FUSD schools and programs for the honor. (See video of the naming of the seven finalists here and video recognizing all 42 nominees here.)


“I feel so fortunate to be a teacher at Grimmer Elementary and to have such amazing colleagues, the most supportive principal any teacher can wish for, and excited students who are so eager to learn,” Chattopadhyay said. “I am honored to be chosen as the Fremont Unified School District Teacher of the Year and look forward to representing the District at the County level next fall.” 


Chattopadhyay holds a double Master’s Degree in Electronics and Telecommunications systems from the University of Calcutta, India and CSU-East Bay.  Inspired by her parents who are both educators, she always wanted to make a positive impact on her community through teaching.  She has been an educator for twelve years and strongly believes that teaching students Computer Science at the elementary school level is vital in the expanding Digital Age.


“Saroda inspires students and staff alike to always do our best and provide every possible opportunity to our students and families, especially in the fast-paced technology field,” said Grimmer Elementary Principal, Judy Nye. “Her voracious appetite for learning is contagious. She literally bounces around the campus like a ball of energy, every word she speaks is positive and encouraging which makes students and staff members alike want to learn even more. ”


Chattopadhyay’s students inspire her to be the best teacher she can be every day and she looks forward to looking for opportunities for her students to have access to quality STEM programs. She works to run a makerspace in her computer lab with Google Cardboard VR kits, 3D printers, Legos, Snap Circuits, solar kits, robots, magnetic tiles, and much more. Her lab is an exciting place to be during open lab time at recess where all the students have an opportunity to build, design, code and create things they are interested in starting from building solar powered cars to designing jewelry for 3D printing. She twice was winner of the Fremont Education Foundation Innovative Education Grant to acquire funds to buy EV3 Lego robotics kits and school-wide Tynker Software License for her students to learn programming.  She runs a robotics club during the school day for three months every year for students who are interested in designing, building and programming robots.


Chattopadhyay strongly believes in collaboration with other teachers not only at Grimmer, but also across sites in the district. She is a design leader in the IDEO Teachers Guild, Fremont Chapter, where she is designing a solution to help teachers integrate more technology into their daily classroom lessons. She holds mini workshops during lunch time to help the teachers learn new educational technology tools that they may use in their classrooms right away. A Google certified educator and certified educator for digital citizenship through Common Sense Media, she was nominated as the 2016 CA finalist for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science teaching.  She will be attending the highly selective Raspberry Pi Academy this summer to bring Raspberry Pi coding to her school next year.


For the Teacher of the Year Award, each FUSD school nominates one teacher for consideration. In addition to Chattopadhyay, finalists included Susan Condio-Hernandez from Mattos Elementary School, Karen Downing from Millard Elementary School, Bryan Kilby from Weibel Elementary School, Nancy Lambert from Parkmont Elementary School, Lisa Pietsch from Brier Elementary School and Carolyn Puklus from Robertson High School. Chattopadhyay will represent FUSD at the Alameda County 2019 ‘Teacher of the Year’ Celebration in October.


FUSD s 2019 Teacher of the Year Saroda Chattopadhyay  center  poses with fellow finalists.