Generations of Sierra Vista High School students, teachers and staff gathered together for a special library dedication ceremony on Dec. 20 in which the school library was named after longtime English teacher and mentor Charlene Fried, recognizing her years of service to the Dons’ community and her advocacy for the success of English learners.
At the beginning of 2022, the District chose to formally recognize Fried for her dedication to the BPUSD community by naming the SVHS library in her honor. Fried was surprised by District leaders and Board of Education members during a staff meeting to announce the decision on May 25, 2022.
“When I think about the library, I think that we are books ourselves. Each time we walk through the doors of that library, we are reminded that we are books and our stories shape our culture, traditions, families and lives,” Fried said. “So, when we take students into that library, we walk in with our stories and then we can read about other people’s stories, and when we learn about other people’s stories, we learn more about ourselves, and we learn to love, to have understanding and tolerance of others who may be different from ourselves.”
More than 80 people were in attendance to celebrate Fried, including Board of Education members and representatives from State Senator Susan Rubio’s office and State Assemblymember Blanca Rubio.
During the event, colleagues and previous students of Fried spoke about their love and admiration for her, including Class of 2019 graduate and Cal State University Student Trustee Diana Aguilar-Cruz.
“Ms. Charlene Fried teaches students to embrace their culture, voice and roots,” Aguilar-Cruz said. “She sees so much potential in each of her students and consistently supports them so that no student is left behind. Ms. Fried has helped students find themselves by providing a safe environment in which they are able to heal from trauma. She has built a trusted community within her classroom that serves to empower her students.”
Fried started her career in 1970 at Sierra Vista High School. For the last 52 years, Fried has taught all levels of English language development and English for grades nine through 12.
As well as mentoring students, Fried has a long history of training student teachers. She has received numerous awards, including Sierra Vista High School Teacher of the Year for 2016-17, 1998 NABE Teacher of the Year and 1997 CABE Teacher of the Year.
“Charlene Fried has the heart to serve,” Sierra Vista High School Principal Vince Pratt said. “Education is truly her calling. She is very humble, she gives a lot of love and she has done that throughout her years at SVHS.”
SVHS_Library: Sierra Vista High School celebrated English teacher Charlene Fried for her 52 years of service to students and families. From left to right: Sierra Vista High School Principal Vince Pratt; SVHS Assistant Principal Stacey Merrick; Assistant Principal Alma Canal; SVHS teacher Charlene Fried; ASB Director Laura Glaviano; and Assistant Principal Norma Cervantes.