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2017 All-Star Teacher finalist Alia Ghabra

2017 All-Star Teacher finalist Alia Ghabra

Alia has taken a very untraditional path to the classroom.  Being raised in California, as a mixed-Syrian/Italian person who is outside of the gender binary, Alia has always been passionate about learning; whether learning a language, a new subject, or starting community-based projects.  Growing up under the shadow of the Iraq War and seeing her own family be displaced through war drove Alia into community work at a young age.  In college, she was able to stretch her wings by writing for a political newspaper, joining various organizing groups, and falling in love with direct actions. In 2007, she took her passions to Oakland where she volunteered at a local needle exchange, the People’s Grocery, and the Arab Resource and Organizing Center.

After living in Syria for a year with family, upon coming back to the Bay she felt the drive to start a career.  Alia then spent two years teaching after-school program through Americorps, and ended up staying in that elementary school for an additional year in after-school program.  It is through this experience that she was inspired to extend her impact on young people by going into a credentialing program.  In 2012, she took over a 2nd grade bilingual (Spanish) classroom at that same school after a colleague had passed away.  In 2013, she decided to challenge herself even more and took the leap from teaching in an elementary school, to teaching at a middle school.

Ms. Ghabra has been a foundational teacher at Alliance Academy public middle school in Deep East Oakland for 4 years now.  Although the school and community see much fluctuation with teachers, Ms. Ghabra has been extremely committed and an invaluable member of the community.  She has taken it upon herself to join a Maker’s Empowerment fellowship this year, in addition to having many leadership positions on campus (History Department Lead, Instructional Leadership Team, and Data and Technology Lead).  Alia has also been trained in Arts and Technology Integration and it currently working with the Alameda County Office of Education to bring more arts-based projects to her students.  Students of color coming from majority-working class neighborhoods are often not given the opportunities in school to explore, make, and experiment – Alia is hoping to shift that reality at Alliance Academy. 

If nominated for the CSN All-Star Teacher award, the $20,000 will be used to bring to fruition some classroom re-design ideas, grow our maker’s space, and provide technology for our students.

Steph Curry's 30th birthday party was so epic that the Warriors cancelled Tuesday's practice

Kevin Durant/Instagram

Steph Curry's 30th birthday party was so epic that the Warriors cancelled Tuesday's practice

Steph Curry turns 30 years old on Wednesday, but with the Warriors playing the Lakers, his friends and family decided to hold the party for him on Monday night.

Most of Curry's Warriors teammates attended the bash. Things must have gone late into the night because the team cancelled the planned practice for 11am on Tuesday.

Special guests included E-40, Paramore  and Lecrae. Curry himself took a turn on the mic and belted out a few bars.

Based on the videos from the party, it appears Curry may have gotten a small yacht for a present.

Don't feel bad that you weren't invited. There were enough videos posted on Instagram Stories by Steph, his wife Ayesha, his sister Sydel, his brother Seth and E-40, among others. Check out some of the best here:

Counting down top plays of Steph Curry's career before 30th birthday -- No. 2

Counting down top plays of Steph Curry's career before 30th birthday -- No. 2

Programming note: In the lead up to Stephen Curry's 30th birthday on March 14th, we will be unveiling the top plays of his historic career. Check back Wednesday for the No. 1.

Curry No. 2: Epic 35-foot game-winner in OT vs Thunder on Feb. 27, 2016

The Warriors are locked in an epic battle against an Oklahoma City team featuring Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook and it looks bad when Curry leaves in the third quarter after rolling his left ankle.

He not only returns but also conquers, scoring 46 points, including 12 3-pointers, punctuated by pulling up from 35 feet to sink the game-winner in OT. It is the biggest shot of the regular season.

[RELATED: Counting down top plays of Steph Curry's career before 30th birthday -- No. 3]