At the time of her award, the second-graders in Jessica Villanueva's class at Suisun Elementary School knew how to maximize the impact of technology in their classroom. They used Google Slides to put together presentations and iMovie to create book trailers promoting their favorite stories. Along the way, her students learned research skills, collaborated with their peers, and honed their public speaking skills as they presented their work to their class, parents and community members. Villanueva reinforced the Teach 4 Success strategies used throughout the high-need K-5 school, engaging students in academic conversations, checking in frequently to assess their understanding, facilitating student interactions, maintaining student engagement, and differentiating instruction. Her class activities included fun, hands-on problem-solving strategies that students carry with them throughout their learning and in the real world. Villanueva's background in special education helped her to meet all learners' needs in her general education classroom. She planned lessons so they were accessible to all learners and volunteered to take students with academic and behavioral challenges into her class, where they blossomed and thrived. All of Villanueva's students showed academic growth each year in reading, writing and mathematics. When the school piloted Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) assessments for English Language Arts (ELA) and math, Villanueva's students turned in some of the highest scores. Highly respected by the school community, Villanueva served as the Coordinator of the Positive Behavior Intervention and Support (PBIS) team, led the Tier I team, and worked as a vital member of the school leadership team to impact student achievement and improve school culture in a consistent and positive way. She has participated in the district's Units of Instruction Revising committee, the English Language Development (ELD) implementation teams, planned and presented professional development showcasing her renowned classroom management techniques, and supported her school's transition to a Trauma-Informed School. She has also served as the Coordinator of the Student Study Team (SST) and has extensive experience leading the special education team. In addition, Jessica Villanueva has provided support for both general education and special education teachers at her site and district wide by modeling and coaching differentiating instruction, classroom management strategies, small group instruction, integrating technology and designated and integrated ELD instruction. She has also assisted with planning and implementing curriculum and assessment, helped teachers analyze student work and use other evidence and assessment pieces to plan next steps and have helped teachers develop plans for strategic behavioral support. In August 2018, she will begin a new position coaching and supporting new teachers throughout her district as a Pre-Induction Specialist Support Provider. Villanueva earned a Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.) in elementary education and special education in 2007 from the University of Hawaii at Manoa.
"I know I'm succeeding as an educator when I see my students take risks without fear of making mistakes. That's when I know they feel..." (read more)