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Reed district recognizes stand-out teachers, staff at year-end ceremony

Updated: May 30

Teachers and staff honored at the Reed Union School District’s annual Celebration of Education event May 22 in Belvedere included, front from left, Lindsey Smith, Michelle Lee, Jennifer Chitsaz, Abby O’Leary and Stacy Corsiglia, and rear from left, Jeb Gist, Keith Woodard, Eve Swagerty, Rekha Sanjeev and Kristen Commesso, along with district Superintendent Kimberly McGrath, who emceed the event. Not pictured are honorees Danyel Harrington, Sarah Vattuone, Deanne Wilson, Andrea Robin, Carlos Estrella and Charlesetta Smith. (Ted McDonnell / For The Ark)

Jennifer Chitsaz is the kind of teacher all educators should aspire to be, says Bel Aire Elementary School Principal John DiCosmo.


She’s always seeking out best practices or new techniques to incorporate into her third-grade classroom, DiCosmo says, and is a leader among her peers at the school, where she’s served as a grade-level chair and spearheaded a schoolwide initiative to implement a structured multisensory reading-intervention program. 

Beyond that, DiCosmo says, Chitsaz is known for her ability to connect with her students. He recalled passing by Chitsaz’s classroom one morning and seeing her give “just a big beautiful authentic hug” to each kid coming in for a reading session.


“That’s what you want done for your kid going into that classroom every day, is creating that sense of belonging,” he says.


For her efforts, Chitsaz was named the Reed Union School District’s Teacher of the Year for 2023-2024. She was one of more than a dozen teachers, classified staff and retirees honored at the district’s year-end Celebration of Education, which was held May 22 at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Belvedere.

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