Silverado’s Gomez honored among region’s best high school teachers

A Silverado High School teacher has been honored as one of the best high school educators in the region.

Janette Gomez, a longtime special education teacher, was among nine educators recognized by the California League of Educators Region 10 in a recent awards ceremony. The region includes Riverside, San Bernardino, Inyo and Mono counties.

Gomez has been with the Victor Valley Union High School District for 15 years; she teaches for VVUHSD’s Autism/Perspectives program, based at Silverado.

“She balances extreme behaviors while maintaining a sense of equity, inclusion, and access for these students,” said Silverado Principal Heather Conkle, who nominated Gomez for the award. “She is tireless in her attempts to mainstream these students into the school and community through transportation experiences, travel trips, school activities, etc. She handles all things with a great deal of patience and a calm demeanor.”

During her speech in the virtual awards presentation, Gomez spoke about why she became a special education teacher: She was a young mother whose own son was diagnosed with autism.

“After visiting and observing him in a preschool autism program, I knew that is where I needed to be,” Gomez said. “And I have not regretted my decision for one day.”

Gomez was honored at the CLE virtual ceremony and also visited in her classroom by Conkle and VVUHSD Superintendent Carl Coles. She was later honored at the district’s most recent Board of Trustees meeting.

“Nothing is more important in education than the connection between a teacher and a student,” Coles said. “That connection is often even more vital in a special education classroom. Ms. Gomez shows an ability to connect with students who can often present challenging behaviors, helping them to live their purpose after high school. We are extremely proud of Ms. Gomez, and we are lucky to have her as part of our team.”

Gomez was the second VVUHSD teacher honored by the CLE this winter. Hook Junior High School teacher Mona Saad was also recognized in the middle school category.

Silverado High School Teacher Janette Gomez (foreground center) and Victor Valley Union High School District Superintendent Carl Coles (foreground right) pose with the VVUHSD Board of Trustees, back row from left to right: Rosie Hinojos, Jose Berrios, Penny Edmiston, Barbara Dew and Kent Crosby. Gomez was recently recognized by the California League of Educators as one of the top high school teachers in the region.