Sonoma County Office of Education

Ryan Kurada Named Teacher of the Month

11/03/2017 -

KuradaRyan Kurada, a first grade teacher at University Elementary in Rohnert Park, has been named Sonoma County Teacher of the Month for October 2017.

The monthly award honors one of Sonoma County's most outstanding teachers from October through May. It is sponsored by the Sonoma County Office of Education (SCOE), K-HITS 1049, and Community First Credit Union (CFCU), with additional support from Platinum Chevrolet.

“During these challenging times of post-fire recovery, we need teachers more than ever to help our students overcome adversity and thrive,” said Steven D. Herrington, Sonoma County Superintendent of Schools. “The Teacher of the Month program this year seeks to honor, support, and thank those teachers.”

More than 50 nominations were received for the month of October, but those for Mr. Kurada stood out for his enthusiasm, cheerfulness, empathy for students, and commitment to hands-on, meaningful learning.

Nominations described Mr. Kurada as a “project-based learning superstar.” Project-based learning uses meaningful, hands-on projects to teach basic subject matter. Students become engaged in the projects and are more motivated to learn the subject matter because they see a connection to their lives.

“The dedication he shows to project-based learning is impressive but it’s his flexibility with his class that we really admire,” wrote a colleague. “He takes input from his first graders and forms his curriculum around that. This not only makes his lessons dynamic, it reminds the kids that their opinions matter...something often lost in traditional classrooms. The world is a better place with Mr. Kurada teaching our youth and we’re so blessed to have him.”

“His love for education and empowering kids is contagious —it makes us better parents,” raved another parent.

Mr. Kurada was surprised at a school-wide assembly with the award, which includes a plaque and $400 classroom supply gift card. Students cheered happily when they heard he had won.