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Moreno Valley USD educators named 2020 Riverside County Educators of the Year

Moreno Valley Unified School District is honored to announce Michelle Gomez, Counselor at Canyon Springs High School, and Dr. Amna Ahmad, Professional Development Specialist, as 2020 Riverside County Educators of the Year! The Riverside County Office of Education stopped by on Thursday, February 20 to surprise both educators at Canyon Springs High School.

 

Michelle Gomez has been an educator for 20 years and served as a school counselor for 13 years at Canyon Springs High School in the Moreno Valley Unified School District.


“Oh my goodness! Are you serious?” were the first words Michelle Gomez said as she walked into the school’s gymnasium that was full of cheering students and colleagues.


After receiving her award, she addressed the students directly and said, “This wouldn’t be possible without you.”


The award Mrs. Gomez received was the 2020 Riverside County School Counselor of the Year.

 

“We love excellence on purpose. Michelle Gomez is the reason we are shining brighter,” said Superintendent Dr. Martinrex Kedziora. “Thank you for helping us shine brighter and be better people.”

 

“On behalf of the school board, we are so honored and thrilled to have you with us,” said School Board President Dr. Marsha Locke. “Counseling is so important to our students, and you, you pour your heart and soul into it.”

 

Mrs. Gomez started her career as an elementary school custodian while attending community college. She decided to become a school counselor when she witnessed first-hand, the positive impact educators could have on students, and knew she wanted to have that type of impact herself.

 

Mrs. Gomez is a pillar in her community who has been an Anti-Bullying Club advisor since 2011, an elderly caretaker since 2003, and a community mentor since 2018. Mrs. Gomez’s efforts extend beyond her campus as her leadership, support, and assistance has led to expanded counseling services across the district. Her students view her as an individual “determined and motivated to provide her students with the tools they need to be successful.”

 

Dr. Amna Ahmad was in the audience at Canyon Springs High School for the surprise announcement for Michelle Gomez. Little did she know, that the surprise would continue with Dr. Ahmad being named as the 2020 Riverside County Site Support Employee of the Year—an award given to educators who support students and staff in roles that are not typically part of other recognition categories such as librarians, nurses, and more.

 

“You are so loved and so appreciated,” said Riverside County Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Judy D. White, when presenting the award to Dr. Ahmad. “You maximize the potential in all of the staff and students.”

 

Dr. Ahmad’s experience as a teacher and parent has driven her to introduce and expand exposure to the concepts of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) for all Moreno Valley Unified School District (MVUSD) students and educators. Her role as a professional development specialist has led to the development of the district’s STEAM Expo, STEAM-based field trips, STEAM learning labs, a STEAM Unity Expo for students with disabilities, and a STEAM Certificate for educators offered through the UC Riverside Extension.

 

“I want to thank my family. My children are the motivation for what I do,” Dr. Ahmad said. “And, to our district leadership team—thank you for all your support.”