All-Star Teacher Finalists


Vote for your favorite All-Star Teacher finalist today! Check out their videos and bios, then vote for the teacher you think deserves $20,000 for his or her school. The voting period ends on June 18.

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For the past 34 years, Danielle Anderson has shared her love and passion for movement, fitness and sports by teaching physical education to 6th, 7th and 8th graders at Francisco Middle School, a low socio-economic school in the San Francisco Unified School District. She also serves as Athletic Director and Department Head.   

Danielle was born and raised in the Bay Area. She obtained her Bachelor of Art’s degree from Chico State University and her teaching credential from San Francisco State University, and then immediately headed to Francisco Middle School.

Danielle knows that exercise and fitness are key for kids who face obstacles, whether it’s poverty or adapting to a new culture. She challenges each student to enjoy physical activity, which will inspire them to become healthier adults. One of her top priorities is to provide a safe environment where students feel supported and cared for. She maintains high standards and expectations for her students in and out of the classroom, and she empowers them to pursue leadership and success in their formative middle school years. She challenges each student to enjoy physical activity, which will inspire them to become healthier adults, and to learn the importance of teamwork.  

Danielle strives to give every student an opportunity to become more involved in sports and make it a memorable experience. After school, she has coached boys’ and girls’ teams in basketball, track, softball and soccer. She goes beyond the call of duty to provide students with shoes or clothing or to help them obtain physicals in order for them to participate on after-school sports teams. She also supports students in their extra-curricular activities by attending non-school sporting events and performing arts productions. 

Danielle is very devoted to her Francisco school community. She has taught thousands of students and now teaches children of her former students. She maintains relationships with families all over San Francisco who have benefited from her kindness and dedication over the years. She spends time on the weekends and during the summer fundraising for the school and organizing events off-campus for students. She spearheads and coordinates donations from the community at large as well as alumni to provide gifts for students during the holidays.  

In March 2020 when COVID shut down the SFUSD schools, Danielle started a GoFundMe to provide Safeway gift cards for students and their families at Francisco. Danielle’s initial goal of $10,000 was far exceeded due to her determination and perseverance to support her struggling school community. Over $27,000 was raised and Danielle personally delivered many of these cards, which were distributed to over 250 families. Her caring and compassionate nature and the family hardships imposed by the pandemic was the driving force behind her fundraising efforts.

Collaboration with colleagues is important for Danielle to improving school climate, student performance and school spirit for the entire school. She generously shares her knowledge about teaching by mentoring teachers from other schools, supporting new teachers in the district by helping them set up their own classrooms, and spearheading school-wide functions.

In 2015, Danielle received the Gloria Siech Physical Education Award from the San Francisco Unified School District for commitment and excellence in quality physical education instruction and leadership. She knows she has but one opportunity to influence her kids and perhaps change the direction of their lives, and she takes it, each and every time.  

I have loved teaching in San Francisco for the last 34 years. I have had the most amazing students who motivate me every day. I have also had the pleasure of working with so many   dedicated educators and administrators. The Francisco Middle School community is very special and I am so blessed to be a part of it.

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