Michele Lamons-Raiford, a Pinole Valley High School American Sign Language Teacher is one of five Bay Area educators named a Dr. Harry Edwards Follow Your Bliss Grant award winner.
The San Francisco 49ers Community
created the grant in partnership with Dr. Edwards in 2017 to recognize "full-time educators across the Bay Area who exemplify a commitment to their students, families, and communities to lead the future generation with purpose, passion, dedication, and love."
"I strongly believe in giving back what was afforded to you," Lamons-Raiford said about why she teaches. "I wanted to be not only a mentor, but a person that a student would say played a significant role in their life. I want to help them experience that epiphany wherein they finally decided what they wanted to do for the rest of their lives."
"Michele is so deserving of this award," WCCUSD Superintendent Matthew Duffy said. "Her students, families, and team at Pinole Valley love her because she does so many amazing things for her students."
Recipients of the Dr. Harry Edwards Follow Your Bliss award receive a $5,000 stipend for in-classroom materials and resources for the next academic year, mentorship of the recipients and his or her fellow teachers led by Dr. Edwards, and formal recognition at a Levi's Stadium event with family and colleagues.