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Videos about teachers

CalSTRS is sharing video profiles of some of our educators, active and retired.
Tell your story! How are you making a difference as a teacher? How are you spending your retirement? Email with the subject line "Teacher videos."

Susan Garcia, Kaylah Ailman

Susan Garcia, a retired Yolo County teacher, talks about the legacy her brother Christopher Ailman has made at CalSTRS. "This is just astonishing my little brother has become this internationally recognized leader." Chris Ailman's daughter Kaylah Ailman is a PE teacher in Santa Maria who was inspired by her own teachers. "It's really awesome being your daughter. I'm glad that I get to carry on our awesome family name."

Lura Wilhelm

Lura Wilhelm's art teaching career goes the distance, as she maintains relationships with teachers, administrators and students.

Wilhelm, who is an art teacher at University Preparatory School in Redding, said she encourages anybody to be a teacher. "It's the most fulfilling thing that I've ever done."

As an artist, she creates murals across the city and hosts community art shows. And then there's the swimming.

Wilhelm started marathon swimming a few years ago, with her most recent challenges including swimming the English Channel and the Catalina Channel.

She knows she'll make the swim to retirement, too. "Having a retirement for myself through CalSTRS is pretty nice because I know I'm going to have a paycheck for the rest of my life. I'm able to see when I'm able to finish and have a plan for that."

Teachers make a difference in the classroom, retirement

CalSTRS catches up with some of our active and retired teachers. "I love not having to worry about what to do when I retire as far as financially. I love that it's being taken care of."

Marielle Tsukamoto

Marielle Tsukamoto, a longtime teacher and administrator in Elk Grove, California, followed in the footsteps of her mother.

The Tsukamoto family survived Japanese incarceration during World War II, and after the war, her mother, Mary Tsukamoto, finally got to live the dream she had given up, of becoming a teacher.

"She had a way of looking at each child, reaching them and telling them, you know, you are important. And you are worthy, and I believe in you. That's where I learned that I wanted to be a teacher."

Marielle Tsukamoto enjoys traveling in retirement and volunteers at the California Museum. There, Uprooted: An American Story, shares the experiences of the mass incarceration of Japanese Americans. "All of us that are now volunteering at the museum, we do it because have an obligation to the next generation, because of what the last generation did for us."

Josie Peavy

Second grade teacher Josie Peavy of Two Rivers Elementary talks about her career. "It's really empowering to see students see their growth from the beginning to the end."

Outside her work at Natomas Unified School District, this U.S. Army Reserves veteran likes to be in nature and make wine.

"Teaching has been my life, but knowing that I have this lifetime benefit has really kept me going."

Sarah Kirby-Gonzalez

Mather Heights Elementary teacher Sarah Kirby-Gonzalez says she loves working with students. "I always think that the best place to make a difference with individual kids is up close to them in the classroom. This is where the hardest work will always happen."

Just about halfway through her career with Folsom Cordova Unified School District, she also urges educators, especially new ones, to start saving extra for retirement.

Jessica Pagan

Jessica Pagan, a first grade teacher at Bridgeway Island Elementary School in West Sacramento, started running about 15 years ago. "One of the things I'm most proud of is the relationships that I've built with my students."

Samantha Nunes

Samantha Nunes, first grade teacher at Anderson Elementary in Dixon, takes us into her classroom and discusses her experience in a retirement planning session with CalSTRS. "Now I do know where my money is going and what I need to do to get to the ultimate goal of not struggling when I retire."

Dolly Sandoval

Dolly Sandoval, a newly retired math teacher from Los Gatos High School, talks with CalSTRS about her CalSTRS pension and retirement.

Lance Gunnersen

El Dorado High School trades and industry teacher Lance Gunnersen sits down with CalSTRS to talk about his love of teaching, his CalSTRS pension and his plans for retirement.

Bonus: Read Lance's Teacher Talk profile.