By: Jamie Kang and Jessica Rosas

Laima Haider has always been passionate about school and always cared about her students. The Pleasant Hill community also feels the same way. With her fervent teaching skills and her wide range of student interactions, she won the Pleasant Hill Educator of the Year Award on March 27, 2018 at the Pleasant Hill Community Center.

“I was shocked,” said Haider. “ I didn’t expect to win an award tonight.”

While she was receiving her award, she had to recite a speech in front of the whole Pleasant Hill Community Award Night participants.

“To be very honest, I didn’t know know what to say. I wasn’t even prepared at all!” said Haider.

Ms. Haider has also won many more awards during her years of teaching at College Park High School. She also won the 2017 Educator of the Year Award, the 2018 Certificate of Recognition by the California Senate, the honorable Mark De Launier 11th Congressional District of California certificate and many more.

Ms. Haider was born in Walnut Creek, California and mostly spent her childhood in Concord and Pleasant Hill. Before she was born, her parents had to escape Afghanistan due to the Soviet Union invading Afghanistan. Due to that reason, the US government gave them Visas to escape to America. Ms. Haider attended Northgate High School when she was a teenager and later on went to University of California, Berkeley majoring in History. After she graduated college, she taught many different high schools and was a debate coach for 6 years for students during her teaching years.

Haider is very outgoing with her students. She goes to her students plays and events for support and she loves her students.

Sophomore Connor Clarke loves Haider’s classroom.

“We all feel welcome, we feel like a family in her class. We work efficiently and she has positive relationships with students”

Haider has a strong connection with her students.

According to sophomore Alphonso Palermo, “She’s a brilliant teacher and it’s a privilege to be in a class with her.”

Her students believe she’s prepared as a teacher.

“She’s very organized and plans out everything. She makes teaching real and makes the material understandable,” sophomore Taylor Thomas said.

Haider also has a club called Model United Nations. It’s an educational simulation and academic activity in which students can learn about diplomacy, and international relations.

I love it, it’s a great opportunity for kids and helps them learn about the world and makes students open their eyes,“ Haider said.

The club started when two students asked about it and she thought they would be perfect presidents for the club.  It’s been two years since Model UN started at CPHS.

Haider is well deserved of her awards as she is a prepared and a superb teacher.  She had a dream to become a teacher since she was young and her parents found her teaching stuff animals at age four. Originally, she wanted to become an English teacher at first, but ever since she had Ms. Weaver as her history teacher she got encouraged to teach history. Now Haider is living her dream job.  


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