District Recognitions

District Recognitions

The power of our district is the people – students, staff, volunteers, parents and our community.  At this time of year, we want to take the time to recognize a few of the many who make our district great!

  • LGHS Volunteer of the Year – Randi Chen - LGHS
  • SHS Volunteer of the Year – Ranjana Sivaram - SHS
  • District Classified Employee of the Year – Mandy Armes, Attendance Office - SHS
  • District Teacher of the Year – Cathy Messenger, Science - LGHS

LGHS Volunteer of the Year:  Randi Chen has worked tirelessly on behalf of our students and school since 2008 - as President of the New Millennium Foundation, a lead volunteer support person for our theater arts program, as well as a volunteer in so many areas, including the Attendance office, past parent volunteer coordinator for Wildcat Days, play producer, Wrestling Team Mom, two-time chair of Grad Night and as a Community Service hours record keeper.  She’s writing the Lynx this year, proctored AP exams, and helped in the Career Center.  Obviously, Randi's contributions are not small--she lives by a value of service before self and has the best interests of students and the school always at heart.  We are indebted to her for her calm, reasonable, can-do approach, her wisdom and her ability to lead groups to accomplish amazing goals for the benefit of our school.  The New Millennium Foundation, under Randi's leadership, has augmented their annual fundraising efforts to bring in over half a million dollars annually to support excellence in our school programming and innovation in classroom instruction.  Outside of volunteering at the school, Randi works at the Los Gatos Chamber of Commerce, runs and works out, cooks, bakes, and spends time with family and friends.

Any school would be incredibly fortunate to have even a fraction of the generous service of someone like Randi Chen.  It just so happens that Los Gatos High School has been the lucky beneficiary of Randi's excellent volunteer work and many hours of service annually, several years in a row.  For her continuity of care and commitment, and for many more reasons, we would like to honor Randi Chen as Los Gatos High School's Volunteer of the Year.

SHS Volunteer of the Year:  Ranjana Sivaram is being also being honored as Volunteer of the Year.  Principal Robinson notes “I can’t believe that the last Sivaram child is graduating, and we will see Ranjana far less on campus that ever before.  Ranjana Sivaram is a magician.” Whenever there is a need, Ranjana finds the answer, fills the void, or makes the connection.  Failure is not an option working with her.  No matter what the obstacle she finds a way around it.  As our PTSO president this year she has strengthened our Student Support causes on campus by her advocacy and influence.  Ranjana gets it.  She knows of the tremendous work our students do in the classroom, and she has helped to make sure students, staff, and parents are healthy and well outside of the classroom.  For all of the school events I may attend in a week, Ranjana is there, too.  She volunteers for this group, that group, and anyone else that needs assistance.  I don’t think the word “no” is in her vocabulary.  All of this while caring for her father continents away.  Ranjana’s dedication to her family, to the PTSO, and to Saratoga High School is unwavering.  For that she has made Saratoga High School a place where everyone feels cared for.

mandyClassified Employee of the YearMandy Armes is sunshineShe makes coming to school each day a blessing.  Her positivity explodes from her position as our attendance clerk, yet it’s her willingness to get involved beyond her post that makes her amazing. She is known for her ability to bridge the gap between classified staff, teachers and students at Saratoga High School. She brings compassion, fun and a true spirit of caring to her job and daily life at Saratoga.

Before Mandy came to the Attendance Office full time, she was a sought- after substitute teacher in the district and she is also an alumni of Saratoga High. She exudes school spirit in everything she does. From wearing her all-red SHS track suit and dressing up on spirit days, to jumping in on daily announcements as an extraordinary announcer.

She has helped with our Girls with Courage outreach to help young women grow strong in their convictions about living healthy and well.  Mandy has also gone above and beyond and volunteered her time as a class advisor for the last 4 years. She enjoys working with students from all walks of life and has gained their admiration and respect.  Her enthusiasm, connection to students, diligence to get the job done, and creativity have made our seniors one of the best classes to ever graduate from SHS.

Mandy is a fantastic employee, and an incredible person.  She works hard, and enjoys her colleagues and students like no one else on campus.  Students frequently stop by the Attendance office just to say hi and chat. Mandy is what we as educators strive to emulate. Today, SHS owes her a debt of gratitude that we can never repay because she has given us so much.  We all look forward to her sunshine every day.  Mandy is the spirit of Saratoga High! 

Teacher of the Year:  Cathy Messenger as this year’s Teacher of cathythe Year.  Cathy is currently, the Science Department Chairperson at Los Gatos High, is a leader amongst her peers, an exceptional educator and educational inspiration who models the highest level of integrity for all of us who are privileged to work with her.

She is also an amazing leader for students. Cathy leads and teaches the Advanced Science Research class and writes a grant every year for funding to keep the class going. Cathy mentors students and assists them with creating amazing research projects. These students have gone on to earn many prestigious awards, including 24 awards at the Synopsys Silicon Valley Science and Technology Championship.  This high level of achievement by our students is a reflection of Cathy’s dedication and commitment to her students. 

This year, Cathy selflessly stepped up to head the WASC self-study process this year.  She put in many extra hours during evenings and on the weekends to put together an amazing report for our school.  Cathy worked very effectively and efficiently with staff and the visiting committee to create a productive and successful visit and report.   Cathy is a teacher, department chair and true mentor and inspiration for her students and peers!