For the second year running, a University of San Francisco School of Education alumnus
has been named California Teacher of the Year.
Kadhir Rajagopal ’05, who for seven years has taught Algebra
I, special day class in math, and English, is one of five educators who was
recently honored for their high standards and dedication to the teaching
profession by Jack O’Connell, state superintendent of public education.
“Our California teachers of the year are amazing
instructional leaders who have a great passion for helping students reach their
full potential,” O’Connell said when announcing the awards. “They each have
unique ways of teaching and thinking that inspire their students to love
He hopes other veteran and incoming educators will model the
award winners and follow in their footsteps, O’Connell said.
Rajagopal, who earned a master’s degree in teaching at USF
before earning a doctorate from California State University, Sacramento, now
teaches math at Grant Union High School in the Twin Rivers Unified School
District in North Highlands, outside Sacramento.
“I put more emphasis on students’ mastery of key concepts
than simply racing through concepts,” Rajagopal said. “I teach with the belief
that my students’ lives depend on their success in my class. If my students
fail, I would feel like I am a doctor who has failed his patients. If they
fail, I fail. This belief is at the heart of my teaching.”
Rajagopal and the four additional teachers of the
year will be honored for their achievement at a special ceremony this spring.