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Hamilton High Five Past Recipients

HH5LogoHere are previous Hamilton High Five recipients nominated by colleagues, parents and students.

To view nominations from April click here.

To view nominations from May click here.

To view nominations from June click here.

To view nominations from July and August click here.

To view nominations from September click here.

To view nominations from October click here.

To view nominations from November click here.

To view nominations from December click here.

To view nominations from January click here.

To view nominations from February click here.

To view nominations from March click here.

To view nominations from April 2021 click here.

Katie Bernard, Maple Avenue Elementary School fourth grade teacher, was nominated by a co-worker:

Since joining the Maple staff several years ago, Katie has been a wonderful addition. She truly loves teaching and her enthusiastic thirst for knowledge and hunger for learning inspires her fourth graders to be the very best they can be. Thank you, Katie, for all you do and what you mean to Maple Ave.

Erin Ridosko, Maple Avenue Elementary School fourth grade teacher, was nominated by a co-worker:

Erin Ridosko really knows how to teach. Her grasp of the fourth-grade curriculum, innovative lessons, and passion for teaching and learning inspires her students to always try to do their very best. Erin is a beloved member of the Maple staff and her ever positive attitude is infectious. Thank you, Erin, for the positive impact you have on staff and students every day!

Diana Ruiz, Maple Avenue Elementary School third grade teacher, was nominated by a co-worker:

Diana Ruiz is a wily veteran teacher that works tirelessly to bring out the very best in her third graders. When you think of Maple Ave, one undoubtedly thinks of Diana Ruiz as an experienced educator who is kind, caring, and passionate about teaching and learning. Thanks, Diana, for being that steady veteran presence at Maple for all these years.

Sara Gale, Maple Avenue Elementary School kindergarten teacher, was nominated by a co-worker:

Sara Gale is skilled at creating an inclusive classroom where ALL students experience success. She builds strong working relationships with the special education staff who support her students. Together they adapt instruction to meet students’ needs and foster a learning environment that is cooperative and promotes socialization. Parents are continually impressed with the depth of knowledge that she shares during IEP meetings and the progress that their children make under her direction.

Dr. Christine Woywod Veettil, Maple Avenue Elementary School art teacher, was nominated by a co-worker:

Christine continues to go above and beyond to showcase the artistic talents of our Maple Avenue students. Our dull hallways have been transformed into beautiful art galleries. When COVID shut down our Art Crawl, Christine created a Virtual Art Crawl for families to enjoy in the comfort of their own homes. Recently, all staff and students were invited to visit the art exhibit of a talented 4th grade student. Christine has a special gift for making each young artist feel special and valued.

Tricia Rigg, Hamilton High School guidance counselor, was nominated by a parent:

Mrs. Rigg patiently and thoroughly explained the process to help my son get the classes he wants to take next year. She has always been quick to respond to e-mails and both of our kids have always felt comfortable to approach her with questions or for help. We are thankful for her help and guidance.

Ann Wodarczak, Lannon Elementary School administrative assistant, was nominated by a co-worker:

Ann works tirelessly everyday with a smile and a great sense of humor. She is patient with students, helpful to parents, and a fun coworker. She helped train me for a new position at Lannon this year and never gets frustrated if I have a question or need her help. She is always mindful to celebrate the successes of students and staff at Lannon and I am grateful I get to work with her.

Sheri Pellechia, Hamilton School District occupational therapist, was nominated by co-workers:

Sheri is only at our school one day a week and she was gracious enough to come in and help me problem solve about a student. I am so thankful for her time and expertise! She gave me some great, actionable recommendations for in-school as well as some to pass along to parents. We are lucky to have Sheri, even if it’s just one day a week! 🙂

Sheri takes extra time to get to know the unique needs of each of her students. She works with families and school teams to ensure that everyone understands what student supports include and how to implement strategies across all settings. She is positive, caring and hardworking. She’s the best around!!

Jake DeJarlais, Hamilton High School math teacher, was nominated by a parent:

My daughter has not only thrived this year in her math class with Mr. DeJarlais, but actually enjoys the subject now. He differentiates when necessary, gives students multiple opportunities to learn and demonstrate their knowledge, and keeps math interesting and relevant. Thankful for all of his efforts, especially during this crazy year!

Karen Zielinski, Templeton Middle School eighth grade teacher, was nominated by a parent:

Her dedication and positive attitude towards teaching my daughter and making her feel appreciated as a student. Thank you for going above and beyond as an educator! We appreciate you more than you know.

Kristy Laurich, Silver Spring Intermediate School sixth grade math and science teacher, was nominated by a co-worker:

Kristy is an amazing teacher, a supportive advocate for our students, and all around an amazing person to work with. She is a model for all around her! Blessed to work with her!

Joseph Premo, Hamilton High School applied engineering and technology teacher, was nominated by a co-worker:

Joe took four hours of his Friday evening to travel to Menards with me and help get materials for our construction classes this semester. It was a huge task to get lumber, siding, roofing, and hardware that is needed, and I would not have been able to get everything without his help.

John Plese, Templeton Middle School fitness education teacher, was nominated by a co-worker:

John is always very complimentary and promotes a positive environment in all of his interactions.

Paul Schmidt, Silver Spring Intermediate School sixth grade math and science teacher, was nominated by a co-worker:

For thinking of me and my colleague recently with a gift of our favorite pencils. It was such a nice gesture.

Deb Figueroa, Hamilton High School communication arts teacher, was nominated by a co-worker:

Deb is such a fantastic educator and a role model to us all. She’s so knowledgeable, such a great resource, and always willing to listen or lend a hand. I will surely miss her next year.

Marquea Goike, Silver Spring Intermediate School sixth grade math and science teacher, was nominated by a co-worker:

Marquea has gone above and beyond to build relationships with her students. She works hard to get to know each student as an individual and to ensure that they feel connected to the school community even though they are in a virtual environment. She is responsive to the unique needs of all learners, is understanding, empathetic and appreciates students for who they are. Our district is lucky to have someone as committed, hardworking, talented and positive as Marquea.

Michelle Prei, Silver Spring Intermediate School math support, was nominated by a co-worker:

Michelle values relationships with students and staff. With students who are struggling, she always has a patient approach that puts them at ease and she never gives up on them. Michelle goes out of her way to help others and is a reliable supportive co-worker to so many. I’ve enjoyed getting to work with Michelle daily and appreciate her knowledge, guidance, and friendship. SSI is so lucky to have her!

Lorie Block, Silver Spring Intermediate custodial staff member, was nominated by a co-worker:

I truly enjoy seeing Lorie each day when she comes to clean my classroom. Not only is she a kind person, but a very harder worker. And she does her job with a smile! Lorie isn’t one of those people who just goes through the motions. She takes pride in her job and wants others to be happy with their clean rooms and school. I appreciate all that she does for SSI, and we are very lucky to have her here!

Sarah Marsh, Hamilton High School custodial staff member, was nominated by a co-worker:

Sarah is an extremely hard worker who puts the time and effort into her job. She believes in getting it done right and does what it takes to keep our classrooms and school clean and ready for learning. Sarah also has a great sense of humor, loves to interact with staff, and is always willing to help when needed. We are very fortunate that she is part of the SSI staff!

Lisa Merritt, Silver Spring Intermediate School special education teacher, was nominated by a co-worker:

If you know Lisa, then you know her contagious smile and laugh! I’ve been fortunate enough to work with Lisa for many years, and she never ceases to amaze me with her patience, knowledge, and drive! Every school should have a Lisa Merritt because she is such a positive force to have, and our special education students thrive under her instruction. SSI is blessed to have Lisa as part of its staff!

Liz Rose, Silver Spring Intermediate School administrative assistant, was nominated by a co-worker:

With SSI being a new school last year, Liz was placed in a very challenging office role, and then COVID happened. This year, I’ve noticed that Liz has had a chance to settle into her job and has become a valued member of the SSI staff. The position Liz holds is no easy task, and it has been wonderful to watch the growth she has made this year. She continues to work hard to get to know staff and is always willing to help!

Jen Butscher, Woodside Elementary School first grade teacher, was nominated by a co-worker:

Jen is always willing to lend a helping hand. When I forgot my lunch, she picked up one for me on the way to work. She is also a great listener and I always feel better after talking with her. Jen, you rock!!!!

Cathy Seifert, Willow Springs Learning Center instructional and supervision paraprofessional, was nominated by a co-worker:

Cathy has taken on the challenges of this year with a positive attitude and continues to focus on what is best for each child. She is a hard worker and completes tasks quickly, brings new ideas and assists with all of the tasks in the classroom. Cathy makes each day that she is in the classroom enjoyable for everyone.

Stacey Benson, Templeton Middle School special services paraprofessional, was nominated by a co-worker:

Stacey has done an excellent job of supporting several students to be emotionally and academically ready for the day. She has developed great rapport with them and has played a major part in their success this spring!

Annette Busalacchi, Templeton Middle School special services paraprofessional, was nominated by a co-worker:

Annette is committed to inclusion and has done an excellent job supporting a student in successfully transitioning to full-time at Templeton. Annette works hard to support all students within Social Studies and Science.

Zachary Beckman, Templeton Middle School special education teacher, was nominated by a co-worker:

Zach has cultivated trusting relationships with parents and nurturing connections with students. He enthusiastically shares his experiences, knowledge, and perspectives with our department. Zach is an essential and valued member of our special education team at TMS.

Nanette Kern, Templeton Middle School special services paraprofessional, was nominated by a co-worker:

Nanette is a dedicated, nurturing, and talented member of our TMS team. She has great relationships with the students she works with. They know they can count on her to understand their unique needs. Nanette has skillfully worked with virtual and in-person students this year. She has done a fabulous job supporting students with special needs to grow academically, emotionally, and socially. You are GREATLY appreciated!!

Timothy Ferschl, Lannon Elementary School custodial staff member, was nominated by a co-worker:

Tim is a friendly face at Lannon, his attention to detail (small and large) is apparent. He is so personable and just a super cool guy! Lannon is SO lucky to have him, thank you for all of your hard work Tim, we appreciate you here at Lannon!

Ellen Smith, Templeton Middle School speech pathologist, was nominated by a co-worker:

Ellen is always willing to collaborate and be an advocate for our students. She is so wonderful to work with and I am so excited to continue our partnership!

Ariane Fischer, Templeton Middle School special services paraprofessional, was nominated by a co-worker:

Ariane is always willing to do whatever she is asked to help students. She is an amazing paraprofessional and is always coming up with great ideas to help. Looking forward to working with you next year! You are not only a great co-worker, but also a great friend! I am thankful for you!

Angie Kolesari, Templeton Middle School special services paraprofessional, was nominated by a co-worker:

Angie is always willing to think outside the box and encourage our reluctant learners to try harder. She is organized and is always communicating which is essential for our student success! Thank you for being a great co-worker!

Kris Gardipee, Templeton Middle School special education teacher, was nominated by a co-worker:

Kris is always willing to do what is best for our students. She is a great co-worker and I am so glad to be able to work alongside her this year! Her dedication is an inspiration to me!

Laura Busch, Lannon Elementary School technology integration resource, was nominated by a co-worker:

Laura is incredible! She is always willing to assist me with any technology project. Her knowledge of technology has fostered my growth as an educator. She is a true collaborator. My students are fully engaged in her lessons and she aligns and implements the units they are studying. Laura is an essential part of the Lannon family!

Cheryl Schroeder, Hamilton High School publications paraprofessional, was nominated by a co-worker:

Her lighthearted, thoughtful idea about highlighting people’s pets. Very often it was the highlight of my day and provided a cool opportunity for me to connect with other teachers. Thank you, Cheryl!

Cynthia Dow, Templeton Middle School special services paraprofessional, was nominated by a co-worker:

Cindy is very kind and patient even when working with the most challenging students with special needs. She offers to help others whenever they need something. She is a great team player! Thanks for all of your help!

Michelle Mattheis, Templeton Middle School special services paraprofessional, was nominated by a co-worker:

Michelle greets people every morning with a smile no matter what is happening in her day. She is very positive with her students and she goes above and beyond to make sure they have a good day at school. She helps them be successful in their classes while teaching them independence at the same time. She is a fantastic teammate!!

Kristin Seizer, Templeton Middle School special education teacher, was nominated by a co-worker:

Kirstin- thank you for being such a caring, trusting member of our Special Ed team! You always look at the bright side of things and put a positive twist on things that others would not be able to see. You are always willing to lend a helping hand, an ear to listen to other people’s problems, or offer infamous words of wisdom to both your students and co-workers. You are an inspirational leader in our department! Thank you for being such a great teacher and friend to all of us!

Sarah Pichler, Templeton Middle School special education teacher, was nominated by a co-worker:

Sarah is passionate about her students and is committed to inclusion. She helped organize awareness like the autism t-shirts.