Katharine Da Silva is a first generation Brazilian-American from Elizabeth, New Jersey. Her parents immigrated to America from Brazil to ensure a better life for their children. Unlike most immigrants, the road to “a better life” came without great struggle. Ms. Da Silva has had the burden and blessing of bearing witness to a new cultural experience. Today, she credits her mother for being the living example of resilience, hard work and compassion in times of uncertainty; qualities that she incorporates into all areas of her life.
Coming up in a working class immigrant family has not only impacted Ms. Da Silva’s decision to become a teacher but has directly influenced her relationships with her students. Ms. DaSilva works from a place of love and great hope, and her motivation includes them becoming lifelong advocates for themselves as well as their communities. Katharine began working for Grace King in 2013 and has had the pleasure of teaching Civics to the most incrediblely diverse group of students. She has sponsored the Latin American Students Association (LASA) for the past three years, served as the PBIS team leader for the past two, and currently works with ESCALERA in its inaugural year at Grace King. In addition, she serves as gate manager for the home football games, securing people to work the ticket booths and the chains. Katharine is grateful to be able to work with and serve a school community with such amazing young people and an incredibly dynamic faculty. She is honored to received the distinction of Grace King High School 2017 Teacher of the Year.
Our nominees included math faculty member Omar Mendez and English faculty member Andre Rome.