Posted by Dr. Honora Norton
The Rotary Club of Sun Lakes recently announced that Rajani Rastogi, LMSW received the Club’s 2021 Sandy Lundberg Educator of the Year Award.  The Club Award was established in 2017 as a prestigious annual award.  Its purpose is to demonstrate the Club’s continuing commitment to the Chandler Unified School District - its educational objectives and the educators who work so diligently and professionally to achieve those objectives.
In May 2018, the first Award was proudly presented to Sandy Lundberg, the principal of the newly opened Casteel High School.  Sandy was an active member of the Rotary Club of Sun Lakes , in which she provided the same energy to the Club endeavors as she did to her profession. Her passion for children and community shone through whatever she did.  Due to Sandy’s untimely passing, the Rotary Club of Sun Lakes proudly named the award - The Sandy Lundberg Educator of the Year Award. 
One of the components of the Award’s application process is for the educators to provide a presentation to the Rotary Club.  During Rajani’s presentation, she provided an overview of how, as a social worker, she integrates Rotary values when assisting students achieve holistic success in school and beyond academics;  These values are:   
  • Commitment – for Hamilton High School to be committed, be supportive, deliver value and be engaged with each student’s well-being. 
  • Excellence – for Hamilton High School to build trust, provide quality programs and provide sustainable capacity.
  • Integrity – for Hamilton High School to provide student  tracking, transparency and accountability.
  • Collaboration – for Hamilton High School to work jointly with Chandler School District, students, families and community partners. 
Rajani, a social worker at Chandler’s Hamilton High School, is a licensed Social Worker (LMSW) with over twenty years of experience in client support services in health care, education, and human resources settings.  Rajani works with families, children, teenagers and the elderly to provide education, counseling, resources and support.   
Rajani in her role as one of the social workers at Hamilton High School’s 4200 student population, assists students experiencing emotional and/or social difficulties that may interfere with their academic success. As applicable, the social workers provide students and families with counseling, resources, and referrals to community agencies. Additionally, they conduct mental health screening assessments and, as needed, address substance abuse, anger, suicide/homicide ideation, self image, abuse or neglect, teen pregnancy, anxiety, depression, homelessness, financial, and any other issues. 
Rajani collaborates with the school interdisciplinary team to provide crisis management services and advocate on behalf of the student. In addition to ongoing services, she conducts support groups for students and families.  Rajani has developed programs that have addressed Parent and Student Educational Presentations, food assistance, student support groups, laptop giving program, mindfulness program, ISS student support, fundraisers, and mentorship.
Rajani’s education includes Masters of Social Work (M.S.W.) Medical Social Work/Gerontology at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey – New Brunswick; and Bachelors of Social Work (B.S.W.) from Kean University - Union, New Jersey.  Over the years, Rajani has earned various certifications and other honors/awards.