The Cambridge Rindge and Latin School (CRLS) Class of 2020 graduated remotely with an online ceremony on Thursday, June 11. For the 14th consecutive year, Friends of CRLS sponsored the Faculty Distinction Awards, helping each graduating class honor four of the teachers and staff members who had the most meaningful influences on their high school years. Awardees received their framed certificates, which recognized them for inspiring students, building relationships, exemplifying dedication and more, by mail earlier in the week.
Congratulations and Thank You to the 2020 Faculty Distinction Awardees:
Janira Arocho has been a biology teacher for 26 years, sixteen of which she spent teaching in Boston, at English High School, Boston International High School and the Winsor School. She has taught at CRLS for ten years, where she currently teaches AP Biology and Sheltered English Instruction (SEI) Biology. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Wellesley College, where she double-majored in Biological Sciences and Spanish Literature, and also holds a Master’s Degree in Education with a concentration in Human Development and Psychology from Harvard University. In her class, Ms. Arocho strives to create an atmosphere where students are challenged yet receive support, learn how to cultivate analytical skills and make connections between seemingly unrelated topics. She is energized by her students’ love of science and finds inspiration in her students, especially those who show incredible resilience in the face of what may seem like insurmountable obstacles.
Dionne Campbell is a Cambridge native. She graduated from Ripon College in Wisconsin, receiving her Bachelor of Arts Degree in History. Mrs. Campbell completed a graduate degree at Tufts University, receiving a Master of Arts in Teaching. Her teaching career began at the Longfellow Elementary School; and after one year, she accepted a position at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School in the History Department. Mrs. Campbell became a James Conant Fellowship recipient and earned her Ed.M. at Harvard Graduate School of Education. During her tenure, she has held positions as co-coach for the CRLS Basketball Cheerleading Team, co-advisor to the Junior class, advisor to the Senior class and advisor to the Black Student Union. Currently, she is the advisor to the K-Pop Club and volunteers at the Salvation Army. Mrs. Campbell has been married to Devon Campbell for 25 years, and they are parents to four children.
Christopher Montero has been teaching introductory and AP U.S. History courses at CRLS since 2017. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Vassar College in 2011 and a Master of Law in Criminal Justice and Human Rights from the National University of Ireland, Galway in 2012. In 2019, he and other educators launched a pathway program for young people of color interested in a career in education through a new course and internship program called “Our Schools: Sites of Liberation or Oppression?” He is also a co-chair of the Latinx Educator Resource Group, the advisor to the student Latinx Club and a co-advisor to the #HerVote Club dedicated to expanding political participation among women. Chris loves teaching in a diverse community with brilliant young people and learning about the great City of Cambridge through local history projects on housing and civic activism. He wishes the Class of 2020 had been able to celebrate their accomplishments in grand style but has great faith that our world will be better for having them take another step forward in leading it through these historic times.
Brendon Snyder decided that he was going to be an English teacher when he was 12 years old. Following that path, he spent the bulk of the last 20 years teaching in different urban, suburban, and rural systems before finding his way to CRLS in the fall of 2016. Throughout his first four years at the high school, he has taught Sophomore English, Junior English, Psychology and Literature, Immersion Journalism and Examining the Works of Alfred Hitchcock. He fundamentally believes that teaching literature should facilitate the exchange of ideas, using the voices of different authors to push our understanding of ourselves and the world around us. He hopes the study of literature will help his students find their own moral base as they learn about the nature of both society and the self. He is very thankful to have had the pleasure to meet so many wonderful students throughout his time in the classroom.
Friends of CRLS is a 501c3 nonprofit that supports opportunities for students, graduates, and faculty of Cambridge Rindge and Latin School. Learn more about Friends of CRLS at focrls.org.