September High Five nominations

Kaye Hunt, Marcy Elementary School kindergarten teacher, was nominated by a co-worker because:

Kaye has been so flexible and accommodating to all students but especially to the student we share. She is open to switching things up and goes with the flow! I am so grateful to be working with her this year.

Melissa Latona, Marcy Elementary School kindergarten teacher, was nominated by a co-worker because:

Mel has taken on this new year with a positive and open mind. She is willing to try new ideas and switch things up to help a student we share. I am happy that we are working together this year.

Alan Mamerow, Hamilton High School applied engineering and technology teacher, was nominated by a co-worker because:

AJ has to be one of the busiest people I know. And yet…when I asked him for technology assistance, he dropped what he was doing and came into my room immediately to help me! He is an extraordinary teacher–he doesn’t take the “quick, efficient” route and fix the technology problem for you, he patiently helps you learn and understand how to do it yourself. He is an excellent teacher both for his students and his colleagues.

Laurie Roth, Hamilton School District executive assistant to supervisor of instructional services, was nominated by a co-worker because:

Laurie Roth is highly professional, and reliable. She always responds to my emails super promptly, and she gets things done in no time. I know that I can always count on her, and that she will go extra mile to help me with all my questions related to Infinite Campus, Fast Bridge, Map or placing a purchase order for instructional resources.

Addie Starrett, Templeton Middle School reading specialist, was nominated by a co-worker because:

Addie is such a wonderful resource and support for students and staff in the district. I appreciate her expertise and willingness to collaborate to come up with answers in situations that don’t have an easy solution. She’s intuitive, helpful, and knowledgeable.

Chris Oechsner, Hamilton High School business education teacher, was nominated by a co-worker because:

Chris has been at Hamilton for four weeks and has already made a tremendous impact on those around him. He has been a phenomenal colleague to collaborate with and is always willing to brainstorm new ideas, projects and initiatives. He has quickly made positive relationships with students. I have enjoyed hearing from our students how much they enjoy being in his class and how they appreciate his positive attitude and joy for teaching.

Joseph Sciortino, Hamilton High School math teacher, was nominated by a co-worker because:

Joe goes out of his way to help his colleagues in any way he can. He checks in on and touches base with his colleagues often and makes himself available for help at any time. He is generous with his classroom resources and lessons and does anything he can to help make our work easier and better. In addition, he has an extraordinary ability to connect with his students. HHS is fortunate to have him as a teacher and colleague!

Jenifer Van Able, Templeton Middle School administrative assistant, was nominated by a co-worker because:

On a Friday afternoon, Jen was alone in the office. She was making phone calls to parents, dealing with students that forgot shoes for after school activities, didn’t know how they were getting home and a student that continuously rang the doorbell. She was calm and collected. Rock Star!!!

Tracy Gordon, Hamilton School District nurse, was nominated by a co-worker because:

Tracy has been working extremely hard in helping all our schools work through COVID related situations. I am grateful for her knowledge, experience, and time she provides when a situation arises. Thank you so much for all your hard work!

Lynn McClone, Hamilton School District nurse, was nominated by a co-worker because:

Lynn has been a tremendous help in calling families that have COVID related questions. I am very thankful that Lynn is always willing to provide our schools and families with support especially during this busy time. Thank you so much!

Brian Balfany, Lannon Elementary School principal, was nominated by a co-worker because:

Brian is a dedicated, hard working leader who continues to go above and beyond in his work and support to his Lannfam and our 100% virtual learning team and families. The time and effort he puts in is immense and I am thankful for all Brian is doing for our school district.

David LaPerriere, Hamilton School District maintenance foreman, was nominated by a co-worker because:

In the early mourning hours, before the sun rises, Dave Laperierre is at the high school opening up the building and checking mechanical systems to make sure the districts buildings are functioning as they should be and fixing them when they are not. Many times staff is unaware there was even a problem because it is fixed before they come in. He also works diligently to preform preventative maintenance to keep equipment running at optimal performance. High Five!!! Dave also likes Turtles!!

Jessica Montiho, Marcy Elementary School kindergarten teacher, was nominated by a co-worker because:

Mrs. Montiho is in charge of 35 virtual kindergarten students and has handled this challenging task so wonderfully. The days are well planned, streamlined, kid friendly and fun. We so appreciate this virtual kindergarten experience for our daughter. Not knowing what to expect going in, this experience has exceeded our expectations thanks to Mrs. Montiho’s hard work and dedication. She has truly gone above and beyond for these students! Thank you!

Jake DeJarlais, Hamilton High School mathematics teacher, was nominated by a co-worker because:

Jake is extraordinarily generous with his time and his resources. He is always willing to help his colleagues by collaborating and sharing. He has volunteered to step in to help and support colleagues who have an overload, thereby also helping the students being taught by the teachers he is supporting. In addition, the resources and lesson plans he creates for students (and colleagues) are exceptional.

Helen Geracie, Hamilton High School guidance counselor, was nominated by a co-worker because:

Every time I talk to Helen about students, she has a thorough overview of their academic status and an evident relationship with them. I am amazed at her professionalism, her energy, and her passion for education. All her hard work does not go unnoticed!

David Johnson, Hamilton High School guidance counselor, was nominated by a co-worker because:

I have worked with David for his entire career here and have always admired his professionalism and compassion for the students he oversees. He will personally touch base with me and other teachers about kids, talking through some difficult placements or plans of action. His demeanor is approachable and his kindness is infectious! I’ve been honored to work with him.

Sarah Plamann, Hamilton High School music teacher, was nominated by a co-worker because:

She is working with almost EVERY grade level this year and I’m really impressed by her constantly positive attitude and creative thinking to make music work for all kids in this crazy environment. She has tons of energy and is a wonderful person to work with.

Kaitlin Schumaker, Hamilton High School communication arts teacher and reading specialist, was nominated by a co-worker because:

Kaitlin goes above and beyond in her Reading Specialist role to make sure all students are getting the support they need. Kaitlin wears many hats in the HHS building as well as the district which can be difficult to juggle but Kaitlin does it with organized ease! I enjoy working and collaborating with Kaitlin in our department and committees.

Grace Norton, Silver Spring Intermediate School assistant manager of food and nutrition services, was nominated by a co-worker because:

She is a great boss. She’s very approachable. Very down to earth. Very kind. She goes above and beyond. Works very hard and does a good job in my opinion.

Jodi Rupnow, Woodside Elementary School technology integration resource teacher, was nominated by a co-worker because:

Jodi is so much more than a teacher. She is so helpful, solving all kinds of technology issues. She juggles all of this while teaching and does it all so well!

Kristin Leaman, Willow Springs Learning Center K4 teacher, was nominated by a parent because:

Mrs. Leaman is delivering engaging and meaningful virtual instruction. We have been incredibly impressed by her ability to connect with her students and make them feel cared for and loved by their teacher, even through a screen. Mrs. Leaman was incredibly flexible, responsive, and positive with all the challenges that arose early on with technology. She is deserving of the highest recognition for her professionalism and obvious dedication to her students.

Kristen Lee, Silver Spring Intermediate School fifth grade math and science teacher, was nominated by a co-worker because:

I had the pleasure of teaching with Kristen during her first year in the Hamilton School District. It was clear back then that she would be a wonderful asset to our district. Kristen is an outstanding teacher and stands out as a natural leader that others willingly support and follow. I think as educators it is important that we do not feel threatened by the strengths of others, but rather embrace these strengths collectively in order to accomplish great things for kids.

Lauren Argall, Hamilton High School communication arts teacher, was nominated by a co-worker because:

Lauren is awesome and very flexible. She handles unexpected things that pop up with grace and is so supportive. Her calm demeanor is so appreciated. I am so lucky I have the opportunity to work with her this semester!

Jacque Gorski, Hamilton High School library media specialist, was nominated by a co-worker because:

This summer, Jacque coordinated the K-12 district libraries’ move to OCLC proxy service for the library databases. She spent countless hours working with vendors, OCLC, and district librarians to set up this important service which allows for one-click access to all of the library databases, both from school and home. Additionally, Jacque is always willing to go the extra mile to help students and colleagues locate and access books and online resources, as well as technology troubleshooting.

Kara Rosenthal, Silver Spring Intermediate School media center paraprofessional, was nominated by a co-worker because:

Kara’s smile greets all students and staff who enter the SSI library. She is the point person for student chromebook issues at SSI, entering numerous Help Desk tickets on behalf of students, along with managing the circulation of loaner devices. Kara is very creative, using her talents to create attractive library displays that appeal to students and promote reading. Kara is always willing to help students and staff, and often goes the extra mile when someone is in need.

Michele Trawicki, Marcy Elementary school principal, was nominated by a co-worker because:

Michele’s leadership inspires us. She puts the needs of our staff first without hesitation. She consistently advocates for and supports us. Michele’s positivity makes Marcy an incredible place to be. We are grateful for her guidance, sincerity and generosity.

Ann Kraemer, Templeton Middle School media center paraprofessional, was nominated by a co-worker because:

Ann is a dedicated and hardworking member of the TMS library team. She is always willing to provide assistance to students and colleagues. She is the point person for student chromebook issues at TMS, entering numerous Help Desk tickets on behalf of students, along with managing the circulation of loaner devices. She is the go-to person for any MAP testing issues. Additionally, Ann volunteered her time this summer to process books so they would be shelf-ready for students on September 1st.

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

Extremely flexible and cares so much about his students! Rolls with the punches when hit with new challenges. (Also, thanks for the help with the plexiglass!)

Roberta (Bobbie) Semrow, Silver Spring Intermediate School administrative assistant, was nominated by a co-worker because:

Bobbie does an amazing job in the front office. She is not only efficient and knowledgeable, but she is friendly to staff, children, and parents. Bobbie is a very approachable coworker and is always willing to help others. I always feel comfortable reaching out to her and am so grateful that she is part of SSI.

Tom Deshotels, Hamilton High School communication arts teacher, was nominated by a co-worker because:

Tom has been doing an amazing job stepping in to support students and staff during the first week of school, and he’s always kind and willing to help others. I feel so lucky to work with him!

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

Deb has been doing an amazing job stepping in to support students and staff during the first week of school. She’s taken on an overload and she’s crushing it. I feel so lucky to work with her!

Whitney Roth, Hamilton School District curriculum specialist, was nominated by a co-worker because:

Whitney is such a gift to our district. Her calm leadership and steady guidance for our staff as we add software platforms and virtual demands has been phenomenal. We had a staff member in need of some focused coaching recently and Whitney jumped right in to help and offered support and real-time support. It is clear that she cares deeply about the success of our students and is willing to support that mission in her responsiveness to the needs of our community.

Patty Sankey, Silver Spring Intermediate School reading specialist, was nominated by a co-worker because:

Patty is a wonderful systems thinker and advocate for students. Her passion and creativity around providing access to necessary interventions helped to improve our systems within SSI and get students what they need while ensuring their access to other instructional minutes. She has jumped in to help our long term substitutes in a way that matches what they need while ensuring students are getting high quality instruction. We appreciate what you do each day, Patty!

Anna Fuhr, Silver Spring Intermediate paraprofessional, was nominated by a co-worker because:

Anna is endlessly SOLUTION FOCUSED. She sees a need and offers up a creative solution. Anna created a Culver’s Scoopie donation program so we could get more equipment for recess. She is an active member of our PBIS team and worked with her team to create a teaching tool for our new lunch and recess protocols. Anna is a valued member of our team and we are so grateful to have her at SSI!

Shannon Canham, Silver Spring Intermediate paraprofessional, was nominated by a co-worker because:

We are so lucky to have Shannon working with our students! Her calm presence and consistent approach with kids is perfectly matched for the role she serves in our building. Shannon worked with her team to create a teaching tool for our new lunch and recess procedures and always has a “how can I help?” kind of attitude. She is absolutely amazing!

Stephanie Jungbluth, Silver Spring Intermediate paraprofessional, was nominated by a co-worker because:

Stephanie is always willing to help and adds great ideas when working with a team to problem solve about a situation. Her warm spirit and big smile adds a positive vibe to the areas she serves. Stephanie worked with her team to create a teaching tool for our new lunch and recess procedures that will be so helpful as we welcome kids back into our building. Thank you Stephanie!

Joe Schaeffler, Silver Spring Intermediate head custodian, was nominated by two co-workers because:

Joe is awesome. He is willing to go above and beyond to get things done well and is always looking for ways to make things run smoother at SSI. He has led his team this summer to get our building in fantastic shape and takes pride in the wonderful work he does. Joe has a BIG heart for kids and is wonderful with our 5th and 6th graders . We are so lucky to have Joe with us!

When Joe heard that teachers were left with little to no breaks for dinner during Great Start Conferences, he provided all teachers with cheese and sausage platters along with large sub sandwiches to cut up. That was extremely thoughtful. Additionally, Joe is always very approachable and has built wonderful relationships with the staff at SSI. He is a hard worker who gets the job done!

Kristin Koeper-Hamblin, Maple Avenue Elementary School principal, was nominated by a co-worker because:

Kristin has been our driving force behind guiding us to a successful year with all of the uncertainty and changes we are enduring for this year. Kristin has embraced our mission of our district by continuing to put our students’ needs as the forefront of our school’s focus.

Brian Latus, Maple Avenue Elementary School library media specialist, was nominated by a co-worker because:

As soon as we realized that school would be closed down, Brian Latus (Library Media Specialist for Marcy and Maple) began researching, setting up, and making available an extensive list of library resources that all staff, students and families could easily access on-line. Countless hours went into updating the library website with these resources. They are well thought out and well designed to be easy and readily available for both in-person and on-line instruction.

Kristi Feucht, Hamilton School District data and assessment specialist, was nominated by a co-worker because:

Kristi is such an amazing resource within this district! She has helped our building (and the district) navigate all of the crazy demands that we’ve put on our systems and schedules and continues to be helpful, kind, and calm despite the ongoing changes and constraints. THANK YOU, KRISTI!! I feel so fortunate to have your support and guidance for our building!

Dewayne Jackson, Willow Springs Learning Center head custodian, was nominated by a co-worker because:

Dewayne has been very patient with all of the moving in and out of furniture and rearranging of furniture from one classroom to another. With a smile on his face, “no problem” to bring back the furniture that was moved out once and swap a table from another classroom. Thank you for all that you do!