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Lydia Sacasa Hill

A brief biography

Lydia Sacasa Hill--teacher of enlightened classroom management and subject of Sunrise at 602 classroom management book

Lydia Sacasa Hill
"Self-esteem is key to enlightened classroom management"

Lydia Victoria Sacasa was born in Tela, Honduras, the daughter of Torivia and Marcial Sacasa from Trujillo, Honduras. She was the middle child of seven children. Her father worked for the United Fruit Company as a time keeper, and her mother was a housewife and, not surprisingly, a full time mother. Though Hispanic, her family were of the Garifuna culture, black Caribes.

Lydia’s father believed strongly in education, and told his family repeatedly that "education opens the doors to opportunity." The words were, in fact, his motto. All her life, Lydia wanted to be a teacher, and she began that practice while she was in Honduras, after graduating. She believed from the start that students were a reflection of their teacher, and the proud teacher needed to leave her imprint on the character of her students. Character education was essential to her way of teaching, and she did not believe that schools could get by with just teaching the three R’s.

In 1971, Lydia moved to New York City, where her husband was working, and her first-born, Andy, arrived in 1973. Jeffrey followed in 1976, after which she went back to school part time at Medgar Evars College in Brooklyn, where she earned her Bachelors degree in 1979 and her Masters in 1988, all the while working in the Brooklyn schools as a paraprofessional and raising her two boys.

In addition to working in education, Lydia became extremely active in the Garifuna community in the United States and internationally, becoming president of MUGAMA, a Garifuna woman's empowerment organization, and joining the Garifuna Coalition, the most prestigious organization dealing with advocacy and concerns of the Garifuna people worldwide. She soon became secretary for that organization, and joined the The Horizon Investment Club, a New York City-based group of Garifuna investors dedicated to using their money to improve the financial status and to participate in the economic development of Honduras and the Garifuna people.

In 1987, she received her teaching license and assumed the position of full time teacher in an inner city school in East New York, a mostly Hispanic and African American section of Brooklyn, where she taught junior high school students in English as a Second Language (ESL), and bilingual education. While in the district, she started a parent program at her school, teaching new immigrant adults in ESL. With both parents and young teenage students, her goal was to help them to become functional members of society, help them speak the language, and develop in them a sense of self-confidence.

But in 2002, her current school in East New York had to undergo a redesign process. Having been on the S.U.R.R. school (School Under Regents Review) list for 3 years without successfully improving the overall student performance, the administration was forced to redesign the school, or close. Lydia was moved from her position as an ESL teacher, after a stellar record with model reviews of her teaching work, and placed in a mainstream, monolingual 6th grade in another S.U.R.R. school in the same district.

She joined this new school two weeks after the term had started, and quickly realized that her previous assignment in ESL had kept her in a comfortable cocoon with generally well behaving bilingual students. Now, however, she felt as if she had been thrown to the lions: she was dealing with a low achieving, unmotivated class which was totally out of control. But by steady application of those principles she had always believed in and taught to her students about character development, Lydia Hill was able to make a complete transformation in the class and in the lives of most of her students.

Lydia Sacasa Hill continued to teach in East New York until 2008 when she passed away suddenly from Pancreatic Cancer. During her long and colorful career she influenced hundreds of students in her classes, and motivated hundreds of adults through her motivational speaking. When she left us in November of 2008, the world lost a great educator and a compassionate woman. She will be sorely missed by her friends, family and colleagues.


To read about the book which describes Lydia's story and how she turned an out of control class of students around within weeks, click here. This classroom management book is the story of Lydia Sacasa Hill, a middle school teacher in an inner city S.U.R.R. school (School Under Regents Review—a failing school which has been taken over by the state) in East New York, as told to Creative Educational Systems. It is the account of her first year in the school and how she transformed an out-of-control, failing group of 6th graders. The incidents recounted in this book are all true. The names have been changed to protect individuals’ identities. And the dialogue, though true to the spirit of the incidents, has often been edited for the sake of brevity. But in essence, each of the incidents in this book actually happened and they all illustrate the points that are important about dealing with students on the question of behavior and class management.

Don't wait if you want your class to be working in a focused, motivated, harmonious manner. Go ahead and order the book!

But if you are still not sure, then go ahead!! Read Chapter 1, absolutely free.

You may download the ebook "Sunrise at 602" at the special price of

Buy Implementing Classroom Management Ideas
You will receive a Zip file containing a Word document.

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Implementing Classroom Management Ideas


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