School: Bridges Academy at Melrose
District: Oakland Unified School District
County: Alameda County
Region: Northern California
Grade: Elementary School
Subject: Multiple Subjects
Award Year: 2016
Ann Park has been an educator for 29 years — her first four years as a Math Specialist in the Bay Area and the last 25 as an elementary teacher in the Oakland Unified School District. She currently teaches 5th grade at Bridges Academy at Melrose, a TK-5 elementary school in East Oakland.
Park’s passion for mathematics led her to the field of education. She knew it was critical that students have early successful experiences with math and higher-level thinking, so intent on setting a solid foundation in mathematical thinking, she chose to work at the elementary level to help students develop critical thinking skills and become creative problem solvers. Her 5th grade classroom is one of robust discussion, where students are enthusiastically using hand signals to express agreement or thoughtful disagreement.
Throughout her career, Park has supported the induction of a new generation of teachers into this complex profession. To date, she has mentored 45 student teachers from multiple local universities.
Park has also been tremendously active in the school community as a leader and team member, making collaboration a priority. She has designed and facilitated numerous professional development workshops in various subject areas. In addition to being on multiple school site committees, Park is presently a member of the Oakland Unified NGSS Core Leadership Team, as well as the District Instructional Leadership Team.
According to Nyere da Silva, Program Coordinator of the West Contra Costa County Office of Education Teacher Induction Program and former Lead New Teacher Coach in Oakland, “Ann still truly loves teaching and the challenges that every unique class brings. She has an unwavering belief that every single one of her students can succeed, and her high expectations are evident in all aspects of her practice.”
Park received her BA in Mathematics from UC Berkeley, MA in Folklore and Folklife from the University of Pennsylvania, and teaching credential from Holy Names University.