For her entire career as an educator, Charlene Ellen Fried has been dedicated to the students of Sierra Vista High School in Baldwin Park, California. She considers being present for her students and witnessing their successes to be her most notable achievements and believes all credit for her accolades belongs to her students. Under Ms. Fried’s instruction, her students won essay contests with both the California Association for Bilingual Education and the National Association for Bilingual Education for three years in a row. Ms. Fried was also recognized as Bilingual Teacher of the Year by the National Association for Bilingual Education for her work as a lecturer at California State University. She was subsequently asked to teach at California State University, Los Angeles, and Loyola Marymount University, where she currently serves as an adjunct professor. Despite branching out and expanding her professional reach, Ms. Fried has never left her position at Sierra Vista High School.
For her students at Sierra Vista High School, Ms. Fried teaches English and English language development classes. When needed, she writes letters of recommendation for students applying for credentialing programs, and one of her students earned a scholarship that will support her through completing a doctorate degree in statistics. Ms. Fried’s students come from diverse backgrounds and circumstances and have taught her to believe that anyone can achieve literacy. She says her students “saved her life,” making her a better advocate for English language learners. In 2022, Sierra Vista High School renamed its library the Charlene Fried Library in recognition of her service as an educator and champion for her students. As the first bilingual teacher at the school, Ms. Fried leverages her expertise in social-emotional learning and English as a second language to provide an environment in which students are empowered to succeed.
At Loyola Marymount University, Ms. Fried supervises student teachers and shares her knowledge as an adjunct professor of literacy, Spanish methodology and assessment. Alongside this role, she is a lecturer in the Charter College of Education’s Department of Curriculum and Instruction at California State University, Los Angeles. Active in her field, Ms. Fried has been a workshop presenter for both the California Association for Bilingual Education and the National Association for Bilingual Education. She prepared for her professional pursuits at San Francisco State University, earning a Bachelor of Arts in English and public speaking in 1968. More than 15 years later, Ms. Fried graduated from Pepperdine University with a Master of Science in bilingual cross-cultural education. Eminently qualified, she holds a certificate in Spanish from the University of Salamanca in Spain, which she earned after the Spanish government invited her to study and work on her Spanish language skills. She is also a certified bilingual cross-cultural specialist in bilingual Spanish education, a credential she earned at Pepperdine University.
In recognition of her career achievements and professional excellence, Ms. Fried was named Educator of the Year by Senator Susan Rubio in California in 2023. She received a Corazon Award from the Association for Bilingual Education in 2016 and was named Teacher of the Year by the same organization in 1998. The California Association for Bilingual Education named her Teacher of the Year in 1997. Continuing to excel, Ms. Fried received an Upper District Water Education Grant in 2023. She is a Marquis Who’s Who Top Educator, a Marquis Who’s Who Humanitarian, a featured listee in the Marquis Millennium Magazine, and a recipient of the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award, the highest honor bestowed by Marquis Who’s Who. Ms. Fried believes in the importance of focusing on students as assets to the classroom environment rather than focusing on their deficits. She teaches by giving students the freedom to create with guidance and inspiration, fostering their passion, and helping them strive for better outcomes. In the future, Ms. Fried is considering retirement and hopes to spend her newfound free time volunteering and traveling. She also looks forward to exploring her passion for writing.