DCSD Rock Stars
DCSD Rock Stars is a program created to recognize and celebrate the accomplishments and outstanding work of DCSD employees. Nominated by District leaders, ‘Rock Stars’ are recognized in THINK, the DCSD employee newsletter. Is there somebody you would like to recognize? Nominate them by clicking here!
DCSD Employee Rockstars: May 1, 2017
SED Team, Sand Creek Elementary School
Hallie Winschuh, ELA Teacher, Mesa Middle School
Hallie has been a constant support for myself and the other new teacher on our team. Her continued leadership and attention to detail ensures that everything runs smoothly for our team. In addition, she is always looking to do something amazing with our students in terms of lessons, like reading a book in a day by having each group read one chapter.
Denise Ruthenbeck, Grant Accountant, Business Services
Denise is always willing to pitch in and lend a hand when asked. She is so dedicated to her job and she handles so many tasks at one time. Such a great heart and easy to work with.
DCSD Employee Rockstars: April 17, 2017
Bridget Santoyo, Accountant, Personalized Learning
Bridget is so competent in what she does and she does it with a smile. She is always willing to help and often goes out of her way if needed. I am always amazed with her organization and thoroughness and she is a joy to work with!!!
Amber Jachetta, SSN Educational Assistant, Timber Trail Elementary
Amber is the epitome of excellence and is an exemplary employee of Douglas County School District. Easily put…she “gets it”! Her skills surpass any and all specialists I have encountered. She continuously goes above and beyond to support students with cognitive impairments, as well as every student in our school! Her innate ability to continuously challenge students allows them to continue to grow into their full potential. Amber easily sees the vision I have set for our students and works diligently to make this vision a reality. Douglas County schools need more employees like Amber, she is truly, TRULY one in a million!
Linda Conway, Director, Innovation & Design Center
Linda Conway is the leader of our team of six serving all schools and all libraries across the District. She is a woman of amazing energy and talents and has turned our District Library Media Center into an Innovation and Design Center that is visited from folks across the state because of her leading edge ideas. She and Marci Milius speak at national conferences to present their work on Learning Environment Design and we offer such an array of creative resources from books, eBooks, Digital Resources, Computer Science Technology (robots) and much more. We even have a sewing and embroidery machine to “sew electric” computer pieces into clothes. Her passion is to make learning the best and most interesting it can be for all students and to support our library staff and teachers across the District.
DCSD Employee Rockstars: April 3, 2017
Heather Golden, Counselor, Castle View High School
Heather has implemented a robust Climate and Culture Program at Castle View. She has created a survey for all staff and students to take and has collaborated with her fellow Mental Health Teammates in making positive changes on our campus. Some of the programs include: Mental Health Week, Freshman Seminars and Staff Development.
Don Rauh, Woodshop Teacher, Ponderosa High School
Melynda Sprockett, Health Assistant/Copy Room Assistant, Douglas County High School
Melynda goes above and beyond in every was possible in helping students in the health room. Always putting on a happy and helpful face even if it's the fourth time she's seen them that day. She always has her running shoes on for emergencies and never complains about anything that comes her way. The copy room has been a much more cohesive place, since she started this last year, as we have two building and she's always willing to walk copies over to the South building. We're ultra-happy that her son will be starting at DCHS in the Fall as a freshman and couldn't be happier with her as an employee and a friend.
Dori Kellams, Clerical/Bookkeeper, Arrowwood Elementary
On Friday, Mar. 10th, one of our EA's was not feeling well with a high heart rate and some pain. It was Dori's quick response in contacting our school nurse, calling 911, and grabbing the AED, just in case. 911 did arrive, Dori provided all necessary details, and our EA made it to the hospital. He did, in fact, have a heart attack but underwent surgery and is doing fine. She potentially saved his life by her quick response and actions!
DCSD Employee Rockstars: March 6, 2017
Ann Rhinehart, Eighth-Grade Social Studies Teacher, Ranch View Middle School
Ann ALWAYS puts kids first. She pays attention to the closest need of each student and shapes her curriculum, her interaction, and her interventions around the individual needs of the students. Ann teaches and leads with love and it shows in everything she says and does. I'm honored to work with her each day.
Heather Groff, Gifted Talented Teacher, Roxborough Primary
Heather is the GT teacher at RXP, but took on an additional role as the GT lead for our feeder. We give our teachers so much and at times it feels like teachers are just “surviving”. Our school is a declining enrollment school and a highly impacted school. In order to keep class sizes low, we had to reduce our GT certified teacher position and hire a classified GT support to help facilitate interventions and support differentiation. We could have not provided the support to our students in the GT program without the support and guidance of Heather. She goes above and beyond for a school that is not even her school. She responds to me right away. She not only offers guidance to me and our teachers, but is willing to take the time (often outside of work hours) to offer her time and expertise with the gifted learner. I am blown away by her dedication to our district. She is so knowledgeable of how to support the gifted learner and how to support general teachers. She is absolutely amazing!
Allison Porter, Secretary of Athletics, Ponderosa High School
Allison is extremely intelligent and dependable, and works very hard making sure all the details surrounding athletics is taken care of. She takes personal ownership of important decisions and communication among coaches. She is the backbone of the Ponderosa athletic department!
Bernadette Welle, Transactional Accounting System Specialist, Accounts and Accounts Payable
Bernadette always responds quickly, kindly, and is efficient with all of her correspondence. She pays close attention to detail and always is willing to go out of her way to assist. I'm sure she has an overwhelming job keeping track of all of us but continually treats everyone with the highest respect.
Grace Sims, Athletic Trainer, Rock Canyon High School
Grace is a shining star. She is an amazing role model for her students. Her care and concern about each one of them is evident in all that she does. My daughter experienced an emergency in her class. Not only did Grace, support her, she demonstrated to the class how important it was to take care of each other. She rallied the class to advocate to the administration for additional safety equipment. That's just one example of why she deserves “Rock Star” status. She also coached the Rock Canyon/ Chaparral team in the Athletic Training Competition, always encouraging them. Her care and concern, academically and personally, was so evident through her connections with her students. She is an asset to Rock Canyon and DCSD.
DCSD Employee Rockstars: February 22, 2017
LeeAnn Westfall, Sustainability Manager, Operations and Maintenance
LeeAnn is a DCSD Rockstar! Her leadership and upbeat spirit are admirable and contagious. She’s fun and has an obvious passion for life! She consistently gets the best out of her employees while encouraging us to have a positive attitude while focusing on the tasks at hand. LeeAnn is compassionate and kind and always encourages open communication with her team. Furthermore, her creativity is inspirational to those around her and she is a pivotal aspect of the operations and maintenance team!
David Burns, Building Engineer, Flagstone Elementary
David has been the long term substitute while our custodian is out on leave. He goes above and beyond every day to make sure things are running smoothly in our building. He is an extremely hard worker and never complains about the work that he is asked to do. He has even completed several projects for us that we have been unable to complete the past couple of years. We sincerely appreciate how much he does while our custodian is out on leave.
Erin (Heather) Carroll, Dean of Students, Fox Creek Elementary
Heather goes above and beyond the role of Dean/Assistant Principal. She is there for any student that needs support and helps students sort through interpersonal or personal problems. She lends advice and gives guidance to staff in a kind and compassionate manner that allows staff to flourish and better develop his or her professional skill. Heather also gives personal recognition to others for the work that he or she performs that makes one feel and believe there is value in what you do for the school and profession.
Beverly Liebchen, SPED teacher, Wildcat Mountain Elementary
Bev works with some of the district's most behaviorally-challenging kids every day. She effectively manages her students' social-emotional needs while ensuring they receive the academic support necessary for learning. She engages in collaboration with a wide range of grade level teachers, other SPED staff, parents, and out of district personnel. She does all of this with grace, intuition, and a welcome sense of humor.
Jenn Ford, Building Engineer, Cherry Valley Elementary
Jenn isn't just the building engineer she's a jack of all trades. Janitor, lunch room assistant and much more. She goes above and beyond for kids and staff of Cherry Valley. The bus drivers thank her every day for keeping the sidewalks clear & salted at the school. Even at 6:00 am she's always got a smile. She's definitely not an average employee she's Cherry Valleys Rock Star! Thanks Jenn for all you do!
Wendy Lewis, Educational Assistant, Flagstone Elementary
Wendy has been at the school for many years and always has the students best interest at heart. She is a natural leader and goes above and beyond her job duties and expectations to help our special needs students succeed. She is a great mentor and is always open to new ideas that she can add to her overflowing toolbox of skills.
Kelly Manley, Principal's Secretary, Larkspur Elementary
Kelly is so helpful to everyone in the Larkspur community. She is always willing and able to provide answers, assistance, and encouragement to our students and staff. Kelly is the go to person for community and school communication. We are fortunate to have Kelly's warm smile and bounding enthusiasm here at Larkspur! Thanks Kelly; we appreciate you!
Jason Becker Irrigation Groundskeeper, Operations and Maintenance
Jason has such a hard work ethic and a positive attitude. We are lucky to have him.
Terri Nelson, Registrar, Cimarron Middle School
Terri Nelson has been my mentor. She is incredibly knowledgeable regarding all registrar responsibilities. Even though I know she is extremely busy herself, she has patiently guided me through tasks and procedures. Terri is always a phone call or email away. I cannot say enough about her wealth of knowledge and ability. I know that I am not the only person she has quietly assisted during her many years as a Douglas County Employee. She is simply the best!!
Laura Carey, Registrar, Castle Rock Middle School
Laura goes above and beyond in her registrar job. She welcomes new students, pairs them with new friends and continues to check on them within the following weeks. Laura continues to be amazing building new schedules, working on the 2017-2018 scheduling and doing it all with a beautiful smile. She is an amazing person to work with and she makes everyone's job easier.
DCSD Employee Rockstars: February 6, 2017
Christy Smith, Registrar, Buffalo Ridge Elementary
Christy has been there for all of us from the very beginning. As a new employee, it is awesome to have some one assist you at the drop of a hat and be as kind and caring the entire time. She walks you through issues and listens to you as you express newbie frustrations. She is the best, If I could give her more I would!! Thank you!! And that is not enough :)
Yvette Brown, Dean, Academy Charter School
Dean Brown’s strengths are her ability as a leader and the relationships she develops with her teachers, students, and their families. With her guidance, Academy Charter School continues to strive for academic excellence. In addition, Dean Brown’s amalgamation of teaching excellence, administrative skills and community building comes “packaged” in a wonderfully friendly, witty, sincere and caring human being. Her personality is delightful. She is sensitive, flexible, respected and admired by students, parents, teachers, and colleagues alike. She is a true Rock Star!!
Shane Foust, Assistant Principal, Academy Charter School
Shane Foust has a great understanding of how students’ learn and how to help teachers reach all students’ potential. His strengths lie in his ability to help teachers see the whole student. He develops a rapport with students and their parents. He understands teaching and can readily relate to teachers. He promotes a school environment of rigor and excellence while understanding differentiation of needs and abilities. He understands the importance of modifications and accommodations of some students but still keeps the bar high for academic success.
Nancy Irvin, RTI/GT/504 Coordinator, Ranch View Middle School
Nancy is someone who goes above and beyond her job responsibilities every day. She not only facilitates intervention groups for struggling students throughout the week during lunch, but she manages and communicates staff recognition through weekly Howl awards, she acts on our Sunshine Committee to help struggling staff members, and she is constantly meeting with students, staff, and parents to problem-solve with how we can help each student. We are so fortunate to have her and for all the hats she wears.
DCSD Employee Rockstars: January 23, 2017
Ann Braccia, SPED Educational Assistant, Sage Canyon Elementary
Ann puts kids first, constantly. She always makes every child feel extremely loved and cared for and always goes above and beyond. Ann is always positive and does her best to implement the district's policies. She comes in with a smile on her face every single day (which usually lasts about 11 hours for her).
Brenda Knight, Instructional Assistant Supervisor, Academy Charter School
Brenda Knight is a valuable employee who can be counted on at any time. She goes above and beyond her typical job description and responsibilities. Her strong work ethic is evident in every task she performs. Brenda works well with both students and their parents. She is willing to hear suggestions as well as complaints from parents and staff with an open heart. Academy Charter School would not be as successful without the support of Brenda and her staff. They are the unsung heroes of ACS who do not receive enough recognition for their accomplishments and hard work.
Amanda Kalina, Communications Manager, HOPE Online Learning Academy
Amanda Kalina is a cheerleader! Amanda has a can do, will do, and does get the job done, kind of attitude! She takes her job seriously and is very passionate about the students in our school. The minute an event is over, Amanda is already posting or disseminating any photos or information that communicates the story to the public, and within our 26 Learning Centers. Amanda goes beyond the call-of-duty, and when there are inclement weather conditions that need to be communicated to the staff, Amanda is making sure we are properly informed whether she is in town or out of town, she makes sure we are covered. She has a positive attitude, and a great working relationship with the staff, DCSD, media representatives and HOPE clientele. Amanda Kalina ensures that HOPE has their best foot forward!
Deric Hodges, Building Engineer, Sedalia Elementary
Deric, is well known around the district in the most admired and loving way. His joking, hard exterior can't fool anyone here at Sedalia Elem. There is absolutely nothing he would not do for anyone in this building, even if he “says” he doesn't have the time or gives you one of his looks like "you want me to do what!). He always makes it happen! We are all lucky he chooses to stick with this tiny little school. Thank you Deric, you are appreciated.
Sherri Carlson, Admin Dean/Response to Intervention, Iron Horse Elementary & Cherokee Trail Elementary
Sherri is an amazing employee! She is balancing the demands and needs of two schools, leaders, and teachers effortlessly and effectively. Sherri has been integral in the development of our literacy plan and supporting staff in developing their skills to support students. Thank you for all you do!
DCSD Employee Rockstars: January 9, 2017
Siri Morken, School Nurse Consultant, DCSD Nursing
Siri took the National Board Exam and is now a nationally certified School Nurse. Siri is one of about only 80 school nurses state-wide to achieve her Board Certification. Congratulations Siri!
Denine Kysar, Buyer, Strategic Sourcing and Contract Management
Denine is always doing that one more “thing” to move the organization forward. Whether it's going out of her way to get a purchase order processed, providing coverage for her teammates, or playing detective to find the answer a fellow employee needs. Denine is always one I can count on to get the job done.
Tim Smith, Biology Teacher, SkyView Academy
Tim is a master at creating excitement and inquiry in science students at SkyView Academy. Besides teaching his regular class load, every year he guides 10-15 students in developing sophisticated science projects that are ultimately submitted to the Colorado State Science Fair. This requires numerous hours above and beyond his teaching responsibilities. Last year Tim's students won numerous awards at the Colorado State Science Fair.
Francesca Wilder, Assistant Principal, Arrowwood and Sand Creek Elementary
Your openness and willingness to teach others is beyond measure. Thank you for your help in this time of transition.
Katie Stasiak, Teacher, Acres Green Elementary
Katie is an innovative first grade teacher. This year, she is implementing interactive science and social studies activities in her literacy block. For example, students are building communities, creating with sand and sorting rocks. The students love these activities and are learning as they explore.
DCSD Employee Rockstars: December 12, 2016
Eileen Culbreth, Educational Assistant, Prairie Crossing Elementary School
Eileen is the hardest working person I know! She comes in every day with a smile, asking everyone how she can help them. She uses her break and lunch time to help with additional projects and even takes things home to finish. Eileen makes learning for the kids engaging, while still holding them to high expectations. She always puts children first and makes her reading groups so much fun! Kiddos learn short vowels and blends by bowling, sorting toys or making a craft. She is an incredible support to the teachers as well, always going above and beyond! Her heart is genuine and her laugh is infectious. She makes everyone – kiddos and adults- feel special.
Donna Baty, Occupational Therapist, Rock Ridge Elementary
Donna strives to go above and beyond what is expected in the classroom. She has great rapport with her teammates and students. Donna is always looking for ways to improve and to offer ideas and strategies for implementation in the classroom. She encourages students to be the best they can be!! Donna has teamed up with and is collaborating with Special Olympics and Rock Ridge Preschool to offer a yearlong all-inclusive program called Young Athletes. This program will encourage leadership skills, builds character, and provides opportunities to participate in lifelong physical activities. Donna is an asset to Early Childhood Education and to the District!
Zach Davis, Fleet Mechanic, Transportation Fleet Maintenance
I would like to nominate Zach Davis for this award for his unselfish and dedicated service to Douglas County Schools while serving as a Fleet Mechanic for Transportation Fleet Maintenance. Zach’s accomplishments are without question of the highest caliber. In June of 2016, Zach competed against thirty other technicians across Colorado and Wyoming during the annual Colorado State Pupil Transportation Association (CSPTA) and took first place in a hands on competition. This identified Zach as the best maintenance technician in the state of Colorado and Wyoming. Winning the CSPTA gave Zach the opportunity to compete at the highest level in Kansas City this November. Only the top technicians in every state are invited to compete at the National Association for Pupil Transportation (NAPT). Zach finished fourth overall against 21 other technicians to be named best in the nation. To finish and be placed in the top 5% of the best technicians in the nation is an incredible honor. Zach Davis represented himself and Douglas County at not only a state level this past June but the national level with honor and distinction.
Casey Turnbaugh, Dean of Students, Douglas County High School
Casey does a great job in his role as Dean of Students because he is such a caring person and truly wants the best for all our students. He handles discipline matters with compassion and at the same time is able to be firm with the students when needed. I truly believe he has a special gift to be able to utilize both skill sets and still be effective in his role. He is the epitome of a TEAM player and goes above and beyond to help out whenever and wherever needed.
Shelly Boyd, SSN Teacher, Legend High School
Shelley goes above and beyond, on a daily basis to keep our parents informed on what is going on for our SSN students. She also is very integral in the Unified Sports program for our students. She gives 110% of herself to make our students H.S. years positive and productive.
Mary Page, Principal, Plum Creek Academy
Mary is the epitome of Rock and Star! She is our school's rock and firm foundation when things seem to be difficult. Mary is our stability to take the time to ensure that each student and staff member is individually taken care of not in a “one size fits all” model but a “what size fits you” approach and it is not only successful but proves to build a positive culture. Mary is also our Star because she pushes us to reach for higher and brighter! She herself is furthering her education and encourages all to reach their full potential. Whether it be, professional development for employees or encouraging life skills for our Dual Diagnosis students, Mary is the Star that keeps us shining bright. She truly is the epitome of a ROCKSTAR!!!!
Darrell Meredith Principal Sierra Middle School
We are so grateful to have Darrell as our Principal. He has led us through some tough times this year and has helped to repair the morale at our school. He truly embodies the spirit of our school and is our fearless leader. Thank you Darrell for all that you do!
DCSD Employee Rockstars: November 21, 2016
DCSD School Nurse Consultant, Peggy Brown, Nominated for Statewide School Nurse of the Year
Peggy Brown, DCSD School Nurse Consultant was one of 3 finalists for the state School Nurse of the Year Award earlier this month at the Colorado Association of School Nurses annual conference. Peggy has been a nurse with DCSD for 17 years. She is dedicated to the health & wellness of all students & staff. Peggy teaches CPR /First Aid and babysitting classes to students. She is a Trainer of Trainers for CPR/ First Aid and has been instrumental to the DCSD system in addressing the need for CPR certification for our staff. Peggy is a wonderful asset to our DCSD School Nurse Consultant group and to the district as a whole. Congratulations Peggy on this great honor. We are so proud of you!
DCSD Employee Rockstars: November 7, 2016
Roberta McDonough, Forth-grade teacher, South Ridge Elementary School
Roberta worked with our student leadership to build a Student Council that is dreaming big and making beautiful things happen at South Ridge. They are driven to empower students to brainstorm ideas and to make these ideas happen. Our Student Council, in their first month of impact, has implemented creative student ideas to make Red Ribbon Week a meaningful experience for our student body, initiated a drive to provide affordable artificial limbs to amputees in South America, and prepared for our annual community Fall Festival.
Challeen Flick, Sixth-grade teacher, South Ridge Elementary
Challeen worked with our student leadership to build a Student Council that is dreaming big and making beautiful things happen at South Ridge. They are driven to empower students to brainstorm ideas and to make these ideas happen. Our Student Council, in their first month of impact, has implemented creative student ideas to make Red Ribbon Week a meaningful experience for our student body, initiated a drive to provide affordable artificial limbs to amputees in South America, and prepared for our annual community Fall Festival.
Brittnie Coveney Fifth-grade teacher, South Ridge Elementary
Brittnie worked with our student leadership to build a Student Council that is dreaming big and making beautiful things happen at South Ridge. They are driven to empower students to brainstorm ideas and to make these ideas happen. Our Student Council, in their first month of impact, has implemented creative student ideas to make Red Ribbon Week a meaningful experience for our student body, initiated a drive to provide affordable artificial limbs to amputees in South America, and prepared for our annual community Fall Festival.
Yvonne Jellison, Principal Secretary, Castle Rock Middle School
Yvonne “Jelli” is such a great asset to our school. She is full of love, patience, kindness and a can do attitude. We don't know what we would do without her.
Scottie Martin, Learning Specialist, Rock Ridge Elementary
Scottie is an incredible learning specialist and leader at Rock Ridge Elementary. Her devotion and dedication to her students is evident on a daily basis. Scottie never hesitates to take the initiative in supporting student needs. She is also a resource and support for teachers in our building and has taken on the MTSS process for students in need at the primary level. She is one of the hardest working teachers that I know. Her rapport with teachers and parents is a great example to all of us!
Cory Pettee, Campus Security Specialist, Ponderosa High School
Cory transferred from the Ponderosa HS Special Education Department as a Para Educator. He continues to build relationships and gain respect from the student body and staff. Cory is the point of contact for the Special Education Department which keeps him busy, but he is never without a smile and willingness to help all within the building. He is a part of an integral and unified security team and strives to improve his tactics every day. He serves as a role model to the entire school and teaches our students to behave like young adults and to be responsible in and out of school.
Debra Tiernan, Security Specialist, Ponderosa High School
Debra serves as a role models for our students in how to conduct themselves as young adults and as responsible individuals in and out of school. She is always promoting individual student responsibility in our school and has a great personality that demonstrates interpersonal skills that relate well with students, staff, administration, and parents.
Dawn Clarke, Interventionist, Legacy Point Elementary
Dawn works tirelessly to data dig with teachers to help them support their students, as well as works extremely hard to find interventions that meet the needs of students. She is passionate about students and is always sharing ideas with the staff members of Legacy Point Elementary. Finally, Dawn always has a smile on her face and helps make LPE a fabulous place to be!
Martha Cisneros, Second Language Translator, South Ridge Elementary
Martha Cisneros has been part of DCSD since for over 9 years and part of the South Ridge family for over 6 years as an integral part of our school and Castle Rock community. Martha is the main point of contact for our Spanish speaking families at South Ridge, and continues to support them throughout their extended years in middle school and high school. On a daily basis, Martha communicates with families to set up community services, assist with students and family needs, as well as be a resource for teachers and staff to help in keeping open and clear communication with our second language families. Martha also connects with the families in the community on a regular basis and has such positive relationships that even after students leave South Ridge, families still reach out to Martha for a variety of help and assistance.
DCSD Employee Rockstars: October 24, 2016
Michele Ramos, Literacy Interventionist, Trailblazer Elementary School
Michele’s position is a classified interventionist and not only does she step up to the role she was hired for but she quickly took her position to the next level. She has started our Dibels BURST Intervention program and with her love of literacy and her dedication to our most needy students- we have seen so much growth in such a short time! It just goes to show that the NUMBER 1 thing we can do for our students is put the right people in front of them. We are so lucky to have Michele at Trailblazer. She works so hard and is always helping our students and staff.
Stephanie Braden, Speech Language Pathologist, Gold Rush Elementary
Steph always goes above and beyond to support her students and coworkers. She is a mastermind at communication with staff and students as well as a determined problem-solver. She leads by example each and every day and instills strategies in her students which allows them to reach their full potential and will enhance their future success!
Roxanne Derks, Application Support Specialist, Professional Development Dept.
Roxanne is a Rock Star because she goes above and beyond in her role as Application Support Specialist. Whenever I am having difficulty with getting classes organized or set up, Roxanne is the first name that pops into my head. She is someone that I know I can count on to get the job done. Her responses are always positive and helpful. We are lucky to have her at DCSD!
Kathy Hakim, Administrative Assistant, Early Childhood Care Center South – Preschool
Kathy Hakim remembers every student's name and greets them with a smile, a high five or a hug while they are coming into class or as they leave for the day. She makes every child feel special and loved. As the Building Manger she schedules and supervises fire drills, lock down/out drills. She plans playground upgrades and maintenance, helps to plan trainings, celebrations, so many things that we take for granted and does all of it while keeping us in compliance with licensing and on budget!! An amazing task!!
Erin Brown, Severe Needs Teacher, Mammoth Heights Elementary
Erin Brown is an example of World Class Education for our students with significant needs. Sometimes differentiating instruction for our student that receive SSN support is a tricky business. Erin has it figured out!! All of her students participate in all academic areas at their own speed. Erin and her team of exceptional Educational Assistants use Assistive Technology (First Author software, switches, eye gaze frames, and low tech writing flip charts) to give each of her students access to GVCs and EEO Standards. Every single student in her class is writing and reading every day!! Way to go Mammoth Heights SSN Department! You have high expectations for students and they are rising to the challenge!
Sadie Levine, Professional Learning Specialist, Sierra Middle School
Sadie is a kind, caring and giving individual. She goes out of her way to help you, acknowledge achievements, willing to listen. Sadie is always putting others before herself. She is an amazing person who deserves to be recognized for all she does, but usually without a “Thank you” from those around her.
Chris Goldsberry, Educational Assistant, Fox Creek Elementary
The Franklin College Athletic department inducted Chris Goldsberry, a former student-athlete into its Athletic Hall of Fame. Goldsberry, was a standout on the court in basketball and volleyball from 1979 through 1983 seasons.
May 16, 2016 - Heather Carroll, Dean of Students, Fox Creek Elementary:
"1. Heather is always available to help at any time and is a tremendous support to the entire staff of FCE.
2. Heather goes out of her way to be encouraging and supportive. No task is too small for her.
3. Even although this is the first year with her in the Dean of Students position, she has driven and supported the PARCC and MAPs testing, without a hitch and facilitated a stress-free testing period.
4. Heather truly listens to your each and every concern.
5. I am proud to work with her."
January 19, 2016- Ron Wood, Special Education Coordinator for all Highlands Ranch elementary schools, works tirelessly to work with school teams and parents to meet the unique needs of each individual student. His dedication to finding a reasonable solution and educating all he interacts with ensures every student has the opportunity to succeed, no matter what their disability. Parents and staff alike know Ron will find the answer and will go above and beyond to ensure teams and parents are able to work collaboratively to deliver high quality programming and services to our students with special needs.
November 30, 2015 - Nicole Jones, Educational Assistant at Clear Sky Elementary, works with a 6th grade student in a 1 to 1 environment when the student can not handle the demands of the classroom. This in itself is not an easy undertaking. In addition to this however, she also helps with math class students beyond her 1 to 1. She also helps monitor the 6th graders in the lunch room and out at brain breaks. The whole time, she is positive and will do whatever she can to make the lives of others even just a smidgeon better. We are so very lucky to have someone with her work ethic, determination and attitude at Clear Sky.
November 16, 2015 - Terri Bryant, Principal's Secretary and Office Manager at Sierra Middle School, rocks everyday because she works through any challenge with a smile. She goes out of her way to make everyone at Sierra feel welcome and supported.
November 16, 2015 - Mandi Zimmerman, the math department Chair at Rock Canyon High School, provides excellence in instruction, encompassing her teaching style for all types of learners. She does this by creatively employing student collaboration in groups, utilizing a variety of learning tools to encourage critical thinking, and communicating clearly. Mandi's students enjoy her chosen methods of acquiring content understanding to the point that even the students in RC's lowest level algebra have called her class fun. Establishing rapport with her students ranks at the top of her priority list because she values each one of them as individuals and contributors to the betterment of America. In addition to chairing the math department and encouraging excellence in the entire math staff, Mandi extends that high expectation to her sponsorship of Student Council and a new leadership club at RC.
November 9, 2015 – Juan Avila, the building engineer at Saddle Ranch Elementary School, is an amazing support to all people at the school, and he does so with a smile on his face. He takes pride in the building and it shows. He is always willing and eager to help anyone he can. He goes above and beyond and puts student safety as his first concern. His positive attitude and strong work ethic make him a gem in the building. We are so grateful for Juan!
May 21, 2015 – At Ponderosa High School, Campus Security Specialist Leonard Govea has a great team and he leads them well; they know their job and work well with staff and students. They communicate well with one another and they are the eyes of the building.
May 14 2015 – I have never seen anyone work as hard as Lisa Sharp, the registrar at Sagewood Middle School. She welcomes every parent and child with open arms. She makes them feel so warm and invited. Lisa demonstrates so well our values as a school and our strong belief in making every child feel safe, welcome, accepted and challenged. She works as long and as hard as she needs to to get the job done. If there is something she doesn't know the answer to or doesn't understand she will search it out until she finds the answer. She is kind to everyone, helpful, generous and has only kind words to say about everyone. She is a work horse. I think she is amazing and everything I strive to be. If there is an employee that reflects everything that a Douglas County employee should be, it would be Lisa Sharpe.
May 7, 2015 – Early Childhood Education Coordinator Leigh Quintana always listens and hears my issues and responds. Although she has a busy schedule, she takes time to meet with me and support me in any way that she can. Leigh is a positive and supportive leader and I know that she is a rock star!
April 29, 2015 – As a relatively new employee to Plum Creek Academy, and having the opportunity to work closely with Administrative Assistant Pam Fairley, I am amazed and astounded by the dedication, patience and perseverance Pam shows on a daily basis. She is helpful to everyone...employees, students, transportation, etc. Pam is ALWAYS on top of her game. She wears many hats here at Plum Creek. It is amazing to watch the dedication and love Pam gives on a continuous basis!
April 23, 2015 – Energy Manager Mike Duncan has an amazing amount of knowledge in his area of expertise! He is always available to educate us or to work on a problem that will affect the school district or the department. His knowledge base is unreal... he truly understands the concept of energy and he can share the knowledge, going into detail as needed. He constantly works with the team to overcome any obstacles that pertain to energy – gas, electric and water. He is a great team player and we love having him on the Facilities team!
April 16, 2015 – A member of the Health Services department, Rosa Kilcullen does an excellent job conducting vision screening for students, and following up to assist if the student has resources to receive glasses. In addition to her job requirements, Rosa collects used eye glasses and those not claimed in lost and found. She gives them to the Lion's Club from DCSD each year to be donated to under-privileged children. Rosa has been doing this for over 5 years and collects approximately 125 pairs of glasses each year.
April 9, 2015 – I have worked with many building engineers and head custodians, but few have the dedication and flexibiliy that Harald Bjerga has. Harald is the building engineer at Legend High School. He rarely takes time off, works extra hours to make sure every department at Legend is comfortable and takes care of projects that have been in limbo from the previous year. He is a new addition to Douglas County, but it feels like he has been part of the District for years. For me personally, Harald is always quick to respond and help me with any needs I have for the theater space. A work order had been misplaced in transition between Building Managers to replace the house lights in the Theater, and Harald went out of his way to make sure that he got the amazing electrical crew here so we had a fully lit house for opening night. He is amazing, and we are so lucky to have him.
March 19, 2015 – Traci Heffron, the principal's secretary at Legacy Point Elementary School is ALWAYS kind to staff, students, and families. It is such a pleasant part of my day to drop into the office to clock in/out, pick up mail, or make copies. She really went to bat for me when my assignment changed; she helped to make certain I got my paycheck!
March 11, 2015 – Occupational Therapist Assistant Genelle Joseph has gone above and beyond in leading the occupational therapists (OTs) at Frontier Valley Elementary School, and supporting our students. She has developed Google form data collection templates and assisted numerous OTs with using these forms to document student progress. Thanks to Genelle, 90% of our OTs have moved from paper to online data collection. Genelle also created our OT website, which houses resources for students and staff. Thanks so much Genelle!
March 5, 2015 – I wanted to take a minute after our first day of testing to celebrate the incredible work that IT Tech Evan Mellichampe put into making Gold Rush Elementary's deployment a success. He went above and beyond my expectations by providing both phone and email support. With the time that Evan put into GRE ahead of time, I'm happy to report that our first day of testing was a huge success. We had two little glitches in the morning session and two glitches in the afternoon session, but Evan had prepared me to be able to troubleshoot each problem and get the students back into testing within 5 minutes.
February 26, 2015 – This is Cara Fiske's first year as an audiologist in DCSD. She is young, energetic and jumped right in, learning about a big caseload of children, covering 20 different schools. Cara treats everyone like valued colleagues and is so gracious and nice to work with. We know her students love her as much as we do! She has made our job easier by being part of the team, rolling up her sleeves and being there at every school screening. Her laughter is contagious and she never complains about anything!
February 19, 2015 – Ann Orcutt, the administrative assistant in the Athletics and Activities department, is that "go to" person when you need a question answered or a policy explained. She always answers her phone, and the best part is when Ann doesn't know the answer to a question, she will find out. Ann never gives a person's name and expects you to give them a call. She will go to task and get the answer. I always appreciate her effort and willingness to go the extra mile!
February 12, 2015 – Stephanie Baker, an Educational Assistant at Larkspur Elementary School, is a rock star for so many reasons! The epitome of a team player, Stephanie is always ready to jump in and help whenever, whereever and however she's needed. She truly cares about each and every person who is connected to Larkspur Elementary. Stephanie started out as a parent volunteer at our school when six of her seven children attended the school. She became so passionate about our school, she chose to devote her time and career to Larkspur. Stephanie goes out of her way to make both students and faculty feel cared for and special, often leaving little notes, cards or kind words for those around her. We are blessed to have her as part of our family!
February 5, 2015 – Cathy Wilson and Rochelle Sheffield, who work in the office at Sedalia Elementary School, provide personalized service for all staff, children, parents, and community members. They always take the time to answer questions, greet parents, take care of our sick kids, and support teachers in many ways. These gals always have a smile on their face. When talking with Cathy or Rochelle, everyone feels special. These gals provide the best of the best in stake holder service! Thank you ladies!
January 29, 2015 – Laurie DeGeorge is the Kitchen Manager at Ranch View Middle School and Plum Creek Academy. Her main focus is always the needs of her students and staff. She recognizes individual concerns and takes on the challenges of specializing the needs of each person that she touches. She is never afraid to face a challenge, no matter how big or small. She seems to work effortlessly when it comes to customer service! Thanks to Laurie for caring about each day, each student, and each staff member!
January 22, 2015 – Special Education Coordinator Jennifer Templeton has given her all to ensure staff and administrators are fully trained in the Enrich IEP system and Section 504 programming. In addition, she has spent countless hours, often beyond her work day, to ensure individual staff members have the training they need to be successful with the Enrich program, and to write compliant and comprehensive IEP plans that are student focused and service oriented. Way to go Jennifer!
January 15, 2015 – Legend High School Assistant Principal Staci Batterson devotes herself to students each day. She works tirelessly to provide support and encouragement to all students. She recently facilitated a girls conference that featured 16 workshops and two keynote speakers – a huge undertaking! She is dedicated to helping students be the best they can be, district-wide.
January 8, 2015 – Kristina Cordes, a planner and scheduler in the Facilities department, comes in everyday with a positive attitude and is always willing to help me out! Thanks for your reliability and refreshing attitude.
December 18, 2014 – Administrative Secretary to the Principal and Registrar Sandy Davis is the heart of Heritage Elementary School! She always has a smile for everyone; staff, students, and parents. She is never too busy to be courteous, kind, and help with whatever anyone might need. More importantly, she does so with a smile! No matter what the situation, she remains calm, cool, collected, and caring.
December 11, 2014 – Katie Hwang always has a positive attitude, an incredibly good work ethic and she strives to do her best in all of her endeavors. This past summer and fall, Katie was integral in getting the Early Childhood department technology purchase inventoried and programmed. In addition, she went above and beyond in helping to create and provide the necessary training. Katie also supports our teams that have students with significant challenging behaviors, and she assists in the technical assistance and support for Teaching Strategies GOLD. Katie's dedication to students, families and our department is amazing – we couldn't do half of what we do without great people like Katie!
December 4, 2014 – Administrative Assistant Lisa Kuta has been an incredible resource for me as I learn the ropes at Saddle Ranch Elementary School. She meets each challenge with a great attitude, a smile and is always ready to pitch in and help with anything. She welcomes all with a great outlook; she truly wants Saddle Ranch to be a place unlike any other. Lisa is a great team player!
November 20, 2014 – Leah Wyckoff has many accomplishments, including Colorado Director for the National Association of School Nurses, author of many publications on diabetes and nursing models, and teacher of nationally recognized programs regarding diabetes. She collaborated with the Barbara Davis Center to compose diabetes guidelines that all school nurses in Colorado follow. Her most valuable contribution to DCSD is her work as Diabetes Resource Nurse. This role requires many hours of study and a final certification from the Colorado Department of Education. Leah works with students and their families to increase understanding of this lifelong condition, and provide techniques for controlling diabetes. She does all of this with a beautiful smile for everyone. Leah is truly a shinning star.
November 13, 2014 – Amy Kopp at South Ridge Elementary School has the most amazing way of reaching out to our most challenging children. Her gentle spirit and demeanor works wonders with our kiddos, who often times don't have the ability to speak for themselves. Mrs. Kopp has the patience and understanding under some of the most difficult situations, using her skills to give a voice to those who have none. I am amazed daily at the wonderful things she does.
November 6, 2014 – It is a joy to work with Jennifer Talley at Flagstone Elementary School. Jennifer is a hard worker and no matter how many times she gets interrupted she always has a smile on her face. Jennifer has thrown herself into the secretary role and is doing a awesome job. Flagstone is so fortunate to have a wonderful person manage the front office.
October 9, 2014 – Jan Avant is an outstanding employee in the Human Resources department. Her calm and pleasant attitude is always their to help when my frustration can be peaking. I sincerely appreciate her knowledge of Taleo and the exceptional customer service she provides.
September 18, 2014 – We are so grateful for the incredible service that we have received from Mina Parthasarathy and Charles Henrikson in the IT department. They have been invaluable to us as we return to the use of Infinite Campus and are willing to answer our long lists of questions. We are impressed with them and the entire Douglas County IT team and their dedication to excellence!
September 11, 2014 – Erik Prouty and Amy Corr for their work on the World Class Target review and the World Class Target revisions. Particpants in the process took notice of their contributions!
September 4, 2014 – Barb Stander is a buyer in the Purchasing department. Barb was nominated for Rock Star recognition by an administrator who commented about Barb's level of professionalism. "Her level of customer service was exemplary in spite of a very stressful timeframe."
August 28, 2014 – Joann Lee, Cheryl DeCristino and Vivienne Alvarez jumped in to ensure that the Business Services department had everything ready for the beginning of the 2014-15 school year. Their willingness to assist in areas outside of their normal job duties resulted in excellent service for schools and administrative offices.
August 21, 2014 – Assessment and Data Specialist Denine Jimmerson has provided stellar support to school staffers–even during her vacation! "Denine has so much expertise and can speak assessment in a language that makes sense to a wide audience. She is smart, genuine, funny and personable."
August 14, 2014 – Janet VanZant and Cindy Kim, both members of the IT team, did a fantastic job with setting up the computers for the Skype interviews. They did a great job of managing technology, time schedules and multiple speakers.
August 14, 2014 – Joan Morey is an Assistant Principal at Ranch View Middle School. She did a “superb” job of welcoming students to the new year and kicking off the school year.
August 14, 2014 – Sue Thompson is a lead on the SchoolMessenger implementation to schools. Sue has worked tirelessly at ensuring attendance staff at every school has been fully trained. She has coordinated a large amount of manual effort to provide many schools custom schedules for sending attendance calls at their convenience, as compared to being locked down to one standard scheduled attendance call batch. Leading up to the start of the school year this week, Sue ensured our vendor delivered on all project requirements in order for critical attendance calls to be performed starting Monday. In addition, Sue has handled exception requests to the process from many schools with patience and an phenomenal "can-do" attitude without hesitation. Our schools, and especially our attendance clerks, are incredibly fortunate to have Sue at the helm of making sure parents receive absence notification promptly and accurately.
August 7, 2014 – Stephanie Kawamura is a gifted education classroom teacher in the Discovery Program at Pine Lane Intermediate. Kawamura has been recognized as a state finalist for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) award. The PAEMST is the nation's highest honor for teachers of mathematics and science. As a state finalist, her name has been sent to Washington, DC for consideration for the national award. Ms. Kawamura will be recognized at the Colorado Association of Science Teachers conference in November. Read story: Elementary teacher recognized for leadersihp in science education.
August 7, 2014 – Brandon Petersen is part of the Center for Professional Development team. Throughout the summer, Petersen has gone above and beyond to help facilitate professional development opportunities for teachers and leaders, improve learning tools, and generally support all of the efforts of the office.