Turlock High School Advisor, Chad Russell, has been awarded the Yosemite Regional Occupation Program (YROP) Teacher of the Year award from the Stanislaus County Office of Education. Mr. Russell attended the September 6th Board of Trustees meeting to receive recognition for his contribution to the YROP program.
ROP is a program designed to prepare students for a career by providing a wide variety of specialized career education programs for high school students. The goal is for students to develop marketable skills, abilities, attitudes and work habits so that they can secure jobs, upgrade skills, and prepare for advanced careers. The areas that Mr. Russell teaches include Welding and Ag Mechanics.
Alice Pollard, Principal of Adult and Career Education at Turlock Unified School District, was given the first opportunity to congratulate Mr. Russell.
Pollard nominated Chad Russell for the YROP award due to his commitment to his students’ success.
"Chad selflessly gives up his weekends, his spring and winter breaks, as well as spending more hours than you want to know during the summer helping his students," said Pollard.
His commitment extends beyond the classroom as Pollard explained that Mr. Russell goes out into the community to find businesses to help sponsor projects so that all students have an opportunity for projects regardless of their ability to purchase supplies.
Pollard took her recognition a step further by sharing a personal story of her nephew and the fact that his success in school was due to Mr. Russell and the hard work and perseverance that her nephew learned in his classroom. She then recalled that Mr. Russell’s mother had once commented that Chad had the same experience in school with ROP.
Cindy Young, Director of the YROP in Stanislaus County, reiterated her awe to his commitment to his students, "When I visit his classroom, I see more than a classroom, I see a business. His students are involved and engaged. They are committed to excellence. They are respectful and he is respectful of them. Mr. Russell is building tomorrow’s workforce."
Even though he did not go to the California Association of Regional Occupational Centers and Programs in San Diego, she made a presentation of his reasons for not attending and his achievements to a round of applause.
Each Trustee had congratulatory comments for Mr. Russell. Starting with Trustee Bob Weaver, who pointed out that his students have won the Golden Bear Top Ag Mechanic award at California State Fair three years in a row.
"I just want to say what an excellent job you have done and that it will be a hard record to beat," said Weaver.
Tami Muniz, who has known Chad since he was a boy, said "I’ve been following you in your career and want to say how proud I am of you and what you have done for your students. It will be interesting to see in ten years the students that come back and seeing what they have done with their lives. A lot of it will be because of you."
Trustee Eileen Hamilton expressed her gratitude for taking time to show the students work and share his knowledge of the equipment with her at the fair each year.
"I love to visit your classroom. It’s a wonderful learning place for all of these young people,” said Hamilton. “Thank you so much, we are proud of you."
Frank Lima, Board President, pointed out that TUSD recently received a grant and was able to modernize the Ag facilities and hopes that it helps Mr. Russell in continuing his efforts to provide excellent instruction for the students.
Lima also thanked Mr. Russell and said, "We are all here because of the kids and that’s why you are as good as you are, because of your dedication to the kids. All of us can learn from your example."