Shhh! SCUSD to surprise Teacher of the Year on first day of school tomorrow
Early morning ‘ambush’ at Rosemont High School will kick off new campaign to build excitement for math

Press release

August 31, 2016 (Sacramento):  Sacramento City Unified School District officials will surprise Teacher of the Year Daniel Crenshaw on the first day of school  tomorrow (Thursday, September 1) with Kings tickets, Santa Cruz Beach and Boardwalk passes, restaurant gift cards, swag and more.

The first day surprise is aimed at both honoring Crenshaw, a Rosemont High School math teacher, and kicking off SCUSD’s new “With Math I Can” campaign, a partnership with Amazon Education aimed at promoting the idea that all students can achieve math success at the highest levels. Media are invited to join Superintendent José L. Banda, Board President Christina Pritchett, Kings’ mascot Slamson and others as they surprise Crenshaw in his first period class.

Later in the day, Superintendent Banda will bring an identical gift basket to Phoebe Hearst Elementary School kindergarten teacher Carrie Meagher Relles, who shares the Teacher of the Year title with Crenshaw. Each basket contains about $2,000 in tickets, gift cards and merchandise donated by district partners.

“We are excited to begin a new year of school and a new campaign to change the way students and our community think about who can – and who can’t – learn math,” Superintendent Banda said. “Our goal is to ensure that every student at every school truly believes that math is something anyone can master with patience, practice and a willingness to work through mistakes. Great teachers like Mr. Crenshaw and Ms. Relles are at the heart of this effort.”

“With Math I Can” was developed by Amazon Education and TenMarks, an Amazon company, to challenge long-held beliefs about math. For example, more than 50 percent of young adults report saying “I’m not good at math,” according a survey by Change the Equation. Yet 93 percent of Americans responding to the survey agree that developing good math skills is essential to success in life.

“With Math I Can” asks teachers of mathematics and their students to pledge that they will replace “I’m not good at math” with “I am working to get better at math.” The latter embraces the concept of “growth mindset” championed by Stanford University math professor Jo Boaler, whose website is a repository of ideas to help youngsters overcome math anxiety.

Through a partnership, SCUSD will utilize “With Man I Can” tools and resources to build student enthusiasm for math and community support for teachers who push their students to achieve.

Crenshaw exemplifies the kind of teacher who encourages brain development in the learning math. Crenshaw received his BA in math from Colorado State University and his masters in Math Education from Western Governors University. A 10-year classroom veteran, he currently teaches Integrated Math II and Algebra II. In his Teacher of the Year essays he wrote about “giving students the opportunity to be curious and teach them that failure is an expectation.”     

  • WHAT:  With Math I Can Launch
  • WHEN:  Thursday, September 1. Media should arrive at 7:45 a.m. for the 8:10 a.m. surprise.
  • WHERE:  Rosemont High School, 9594 Kiefer Blvd., Sacramento (Room E100)
  • WHO:  Teacher of the Year Daniel Crenshaw, Superintendent Banda, Board President Christina Pritchett, Slamson, students and others


Schools Financial Credit Union

Greater Sacramento United Way

Delta Dental

Aerojet Rocketdyne

Sacramento Regional Community Foundation

Clear Channel Outdoors

Entravision Media

Sacramento State

Sierra Health Foundation

Sacramento Kings

Sacramento River Cats

Sacramento FC Republic

Esquire IMAX Theatre

Chick-fil-A Arden

B Street Theater

California Musical Theatre

Sacramento Theatre Company

Firestone Public House/Cafeteria 15L

Broderick Midtown

Saddle Rock Restaurant

De Vere’s Irish Pub

JK Ryan Salon

SCUSD Board Member Darrel Woo

McDonald’s Restaurant/Moroch Public Relations

*list not inclusive