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West Oakland Kindergarten Teacher Arvella Hayden Set to Retire After 57 Years

Over the course of her career, Hayden has counted herself as lucky to have worked at such great schools. “The parents were very nice. I had nice principals, nice teachers, and everyone seemed just like one family.” 

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Arvella Hayden

Courtesy of the Oakland Unified School District

When Arvella Hayden started working in Oakland Unified School District, it was an entirely different world. That year, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act, Martin Luther King Jr. won the Nobel Peace Prize, Muhammad Ali, then known as Cassius Clay, won the World Heavyweight Championship, Beatlemania was all the rage as the Beatles released “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” the average cost of a house was $13,050, and gasoline cost 30 cents per gallon. 

The year was 1964.

Hayden joined the OUSD family 57 years ago. Now, in 2021, she is retiring from her job as a kindergarten teacher at Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School. “I hate to leave the children,” she said, but she knows the time is right.

Hayden started her career at Arroyo Viejo Child Development Center, then moved on to teach at Lafayette Elementary, before transferring to Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary. She spent almost 40 years at Lafayette. 

She was educated at Huston-Tillotson University in Austin, Texas, and said it was clear early on she was going to be a teacher. “My oldest sister was a teacher, and she taught for 40 years. She was my role model.”

 “Just looking at her and seeing the love she gives the kids, she’s just special… just being a teacher this long, that’s a big gift,” said Dinah Castle, the school’s noon supervisor who has also worked in Hayden’s class for more than 30 years. “This keeps her going. She loves kids. She doesn’t have any kids, but these are her kids. She looks forward to getting up every morning and coming here.”

Over the course of her career, Hayden has counted herself as lucky to have worked at such great schools. “The parents were very nice. I had nice principals, nice teachers, and everyone seemed just like one family.” 

She adds that people were the secret to why she was able to do the job for so long. “Everybody, like I said, was easy to get along with and helping each other… The community, the teachers and everything. It’s my family.”

    “It is an honor and a privilege to work with an educator who has seen many decades of change in how students learn and how the education system operates,” said Roma Groves-Waters, principal of King Elementary. “I am so appreciative to have worked with Arvella Hayden. She will be remembered as an icon for all teachers in America.”
 
Hayden has taught three generations of Oaklanders, saying she has had the grandchildren of some of her original students in her classes. “When I’m out in the community, I love to see and have them come and say, ‘Hi, Ms. Hayden. I remember you when you taught me.’ And that makes me feel real good.”

“We celebrate Arvella Hayden, a true living legend,” said Superintendent Kyla Johnson-Trammell. “I started in education in 1997, and at that point, Ms. Hayden had already been teaching for 33 years – which is itself a remarkable career in education. She has meant as much to the West Oakland community, and Oakland as a whole, as any single person in OUSD, and I cannot thank her enough for impacting the lives of so many students over the last half century plus.”

Arvella Hayden plans to spend her retirement traveling and spending time with her family.

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Oakland Post: Week of February 14 – 20, 2024

The printed Weekly Edition of the Oakland Post: Week of February 14 – 20, 2024

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Oakland Post: Week of February 7 – 13, 2024

The printed Weekly Edition of the Oakland Post: Week of February 7 – 13,, 2024

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PRESS ROOM: Oakland Pic Hosts New Year’s Career & Resource Expo 

OPIC CEO Pastor Raymond Lankford expressed his enthusiasm for the event, stating: “This Career Fair is not merely a gathering of employers and prospective employees; it’s a platform for opportunity, growth, and community collaboration. We are thrilled to bridge the gap between Oakland’s talented residents and the employers who recognize their potential. Together, we are building a stronger Oakland.” 

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Connecting Employers and Talent in Oakland and Beyond 

OAKLAND, CA – Oakland Private Industry Council, Inc., is hosting the New Year’s Career & resource Expo on Thursday, February 8, 2024, at 12 noon at the Oakland Coliseum – Eastside Club – 7000 Coliseum Way, Oakland CA 94621.

This exciting event brings together over 70 employers, all seeking to hire Oakland residents with various skill levels to fill a wide range of employment opportunities. Additionally, a collaborative of resource agencies will be in attendance, providing further assistance to job seekers.

OPIC CEO Pastor Raymond Lankford expressed his enthusiasm for the event, stating: “This Career Fair is not merely a gathering of employers and prospective employees; it’s a platform for opportunity, growth, and community collaboration. We are thrilled to bridge the gap between Oakland’s talented residents and the employers who recognize their potential. Together, we are building a stronger Oakland.”

For more information or to request media access, please contact Yawo Tekpa at yawot@oaklandpic.org.

OAKLAND PIC HOSTS NEW YEAR’S CAREER & RESOURCE EXPO 

  • Who:             All job seekers, with all ages and experiences welcome
  • What:              Connecting Employers and Talent in the Community
  • When: Thursday, February 8, 2024 at 12 noon
  • Where: Oakland Coliseum – Eastside Club – 7000 Coliseum Way, Oakland CA 94621.

OPIC INVITES YOUR ORGANIZATION TO PARTICIPATE IN OUR UPCOMING NEW YEAR’S CAREER & RESOURCE EXPO!!!

Dear Esteemed Employer & Community Organization Partner,

Oakland Private Industry Council, Inc. (OPIC) is excited to wish you a warm welcome into 2024! A new year, a new HOPE!!!

We enthusiastically invite your organization to participate in our NEW YEAR CAREER & RESOURCE EXPO at the OAKLAND COLISEUM!!!

DATE: THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 2024

TIME: 12:00 NOON – 3:00 P.M.

LOCATION: OAKLAND COLISEUM – EAST SIDE CLUB

ADDRESS: 7000 COLISEUM WAY, OAKLAND CA 94621

Participating Employer & and Community Resource Partners will receive one six-foot table and two (2) chairs for this event. Additional information, including event details and logistics, will be forwarded after you sign-up.

Please confirm your attendance by completing the online registration link below by JANUARY 31, 2024 at the latest.

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1bfv0LXBexc26AeE_cosSoQrpYrx2HXOIwn1bG47chwU/edit

Thanks to our invaluable network and partnership, we are giving HOPE to many community members through quality employment opportunities and supportive resources.

If you have questions, don’t hesitate to contact Yawo Tekpa, Assistant One-Stop Operator/Events Coordinator, at (510) 419-0392 office/ (510) 499-6657 cell.

Sincerely,

Raymond Lankford                Yawo S. Tekpa,

CEO                           Assistant One-Stop Operator/Events Coordinator

raymondl@oaklandpic.org                   yawot@oaklandpic.org

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