Renee Gonzalez

Position: Office Manager School: John R. Peterson Elementary School

School District: Huntington Beach City School District

City, State: Huntington Beach, California

About the Nominee: Renee Gonzalez was nominated by her principal, Dr. Constance Polhemus.

Renee Gonzalez takes a personal interest in the needs and struggles of students and their families. Her friendly and warm personality allows parents and students to easily share their stories with her. She is an amazing listener and source of support in times of need, and she is able to provide valuable guidance and assistance to these families. Ms. Gonzalez has located housing, food and clothing for several of Peterson Elementary's homeless students and their families. She even connected a single, homeless mother with a local businessman who trained and hired the mother to work in his office.

Ms. Gonzalez has also led a holiday drive to collect toys, gift cards and clothing for students in need. No Peterson student has gone without a gift at Christmas. She personally wraps and delivers the gifts to all the families right before Christmas. Ms. Gonzalez has also been a Boy Scout Den Mother for many years and has supported and led hundreds of young men through the journey of scouting. These scouts have donated their time and efforts to the school and community on a variety of Eagle Projects. Peterson Elementary School is beautiful and well-maintained thanks to her guidance and leadership.

Ms. Gonzalez is the face of her school, and the first person students and parents interact with when they enroll. She sets the tone of the educational journey ahead. Her amazing humor can lighten even the toughest situation, and her deep insight into other perspectives allow her to easily solve problems and ensure that students receive the best education possible. Parents and staff trust Ms. Gonzalez. She is truly a priceless gem at school and in her community, which she loves with all her heart and would do anything to support.

Ms. Gonzalez changes lives everyday. One can't help but be changed for the better when she is in their life!

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