VINE HILL ELEMENTARY PAST RECIPIENTS
December 2017 – Peggy Benjamin, 1st Grade
I live in beautiful Boulder Creek near family and friends. My son, Evan is an electrical contractor and his wife Halley is a teacher at San Lorenzo Elementary. (Another Mrs. Benjamin!) My family’s farm, Camp Joy Garden, is a frequent field trip for Vine Hill students and a place I will spend a lot of time when I retire. I love reading, hiking, yoga, travel and foodie experiences.
I will be retiring after this year and am looking forward to traversing the next path that life brings me. With that said, I must say that leaving Vine Hill is a bittersweet feeling. I have loved teaching at Vine Hill. This is my 22nd year at V.H. I taught Kindergarten for 17 years, 2nd for 3 years and 1st for 2 (including this year). 17+3+2=22 correct.
Firstly, the students have shown me love, engagement, kindness, appreciation and challenge. This last year my focus has been intentionally on building champions in my students. I am teaching this by continuing our Mindfulness practice and modeling the importance of empathy, kindness and understanding of others. Love needs us right now.
My colleagues are some of my best friends; those who have moved on and the ones who are currently teaching with me. The value and support I’ve received from my co teachers has been immeasurable. Only a teacher can understand the complexity of educating and the conversations, collaborations and commiserating we share are the BEST!
May, 2017- MICHELE SANGUINETTI, Kindergarten
Michele enters the classroom with a sense of humor and curiosity about her students. What are their strengths and weaknesses, and in what way can she use that information to build students’ self-confidence, develop a sense of wonder, and to accomplish goal-specific mastery?
Michele has been married to her husband David for 35 years. Thirty-three of their years spent together were here in Scotts Valley where they raised their two children. Michele has been teaching at Vine Hill School for 16 years. She taught in a 2/3 multi-age and third grade classroom for 12 years before teaching kindergarten.
Before Michele was a teacher, she was a park ranger for the City of Palo Alto for 10 years. “Retiring” when she was raising her children allowed her to volunteer in classrooms and coach numerous sports. Recognizing how much joy she felt at mentoring youth, Michele returned to school so that she could teach and continue to make an impact on children’s lives.
Michele knows the value of her learning community. It is her belief that her successes as a teacher are in large part due to those she works with, the parents who give so selflessly, and most importantly, the children she teaches. She strongly believes that each child has individual needs. It is her job to value the uniqueness of each child.
When not at school, Michele can be found working in her garden, playing a round of golf, enjoying the sunset from the “treehouse” in her backyard, reading a good book, and traveling with her husband. The highlight of each summer is her family’s annual camping trip to the Sierras. Michele’s favorite classroom sayings are, “It’s okay to make mistakes” and “Are you making a good choice?”