Sam Dawood
Posted on 05/04/2021
Sam Dawood

Today’s #HCSHeroes Spotlight is Sam Dawood, an ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher at East Ridge Elementary. Mr. Dawood is being recognized for his dedication to students and families with diverse cultural backgrounds.

“Mr. Dawood is so passionate about our diverse population that I am always amazed by the passion he shows for their families and our community,” said Juan Moreno, principal at East Ridge Elementary. “Our students feel supported and empowered by the level of care and compassion he shows for their needs. In the class, Mr. Dawood is always encouraging our students to work through challenges, embrace their culture, and find opportunities to build their arsenal of tools while they navigate a new language and new learning..”

Mardi Leonard, Hamilton County Schools Lead District Interpreter, adds, “I know that any time our contracted Arabic interpreter cannot assist with something, especially now during the pandemic, Mr. Dawood has always said ‘yes’ and will help us communicate with our Arabic families in any school in the district.”

The COVID-19 pandemic posed a challenge to our educators, but Mr. Dawood has worked inside and outside of the classroom to support students and families in spite of the circumstances.

“Last year was a real challenge for most of us,” said Mr. Dawood. “My coworkers and I at East Ridge Elementary helped by distributing food to needy families in the area. We helped anyway we could to give parents feedback on their children’s progress during that difficult time.”

It is rewarding to see teachers like Mr. Dawood who are invested in the success of students from diverse backgrounds and parts of the world.

“My favorite part about my job is the thrill I get by watching my students grow. Many of the students I teach come to our school with almost no English at all. By the end of the first year they are able to speak fairly good English,” said Mr. Dawood.

Mr. Dawood adds, “During the pandemic many parents reach out to me and ask for help with different things so I actually also help with telephone calls, testing, information I gather from other school districts, and other emergency situations. I also help Spanish speaking families with registration and parent conferences.”

The efforts of our teachers and staff are truly heroic, and we are proud to have people like Mr. Dawood on our team to support our students! 

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