2023 Apple Award Winners

2023 Apple AwardsApple Award Winners 2023

The Foundation for Douglas County Schools annually honors exceptional Douglas County School District educators and staff who are inspiring a love of learning in their students and trailblazing extraordinary innovation in our schools. Thousands of nominations are submitted every year. Just five receive an Apple Award. To read more and see all of the nominees, please visit the Foundation's website. 



Stephanie Weber photo

Classified Employee of the Year

Stephanie Weber
Significant Support Needs Paraprofessional, ThunderRidge High School
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Stephanie Weber is a SSN Paraprofessional at ThunderRidge High School. Stephanie works hard to provide as many opportunities as possible for the students she works with. This year, she created a culinary class that allows for a more functional setting for two students with special needs. Stephanie also works with the Unified Sports Program and helped ThunderRidge High School become nationally recognized as a Special Olympics Banner School.



Delceter Goosby photo

Department Employee of the Year

Delceter Goosby
Kitchen Manager, Legend High School
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Delceter Goosby is the kitchen manager at Legend High School. Delceter is known for her upbeat demeanor, her smile and her sense of humor. She is one of the hardest workers at Legend and goes out of her way to foster positive relationships with both students and staff. Delceter is a friend to anyone who comes through her lunch line. She is always willing to listen and support her students. Delceter is also a veteran and served in the United States Army before joining the staff at Legend High School.



Erin Bidwell photo

Elementary Educator of the Year

Erin Bidwell
Fifth Grade Teacher, Platte River Academy
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Erin Bidwell is a fifth-grade teacher at Platte River Academy. Erin is known for her hard work and consistent innovation in the classroom. Erin's coworkers say she "is a team player. She operates with a servant’s heart… she is quick to volunteer to help… she is bright, funny, positive and incredibly caring.”

“I am passionate about education because students have so much to offer the world. They just need to be seen, valued and believed in. When these actions occur with guidance they accomplish beautiful things that make a difference in the world.” - Erin Bidwell, Apple Award Winner

Erin Gilbert photo

Secondary Educator of the Year

Erin Gilbert
Gifted and Talented Coordinator, Mesa Middle School
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Erin Gilbert is a PLS/GT Coordinator at Mesa Middle School. Erin is known to be an advocate for the students and staff at the middle school. She describes herself as a connector and works incredibly hard to build lasting relationships. She has always approached teaching with hands-on enrichment. She works tirelessly in the best interests of students and their well-being - she has supported mindfulness activities throughout the building. She created a “Social Entrepreneur” class in 2018 that is still going strong today.




Michelle Franci photo

District Administrator of the Year

Michelle Franci
Principal, Stone Mountain Elementary School
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This year's Administrator of the Year is Michelle Franci. She is the principal at Stone Mountain Elementary. Michelle was part of the team that helped open the school fifteen years ago. She leads by example and is more than willing to perform any task that is needed to keep Stone Mountain Elementary running smoothly. Michelle prides herself on putting her employees first. She works hard to provide growth opportunities for both students and staff. 

Stone Mountain Elementary School's continues to receive state recognition as a Governor's Distinguished and John Irwin winner year in and year out. This demonstrates Michelle's leadership and her staff’s commitment to their community. Michelle is passionate, humble, 100% committed to DCSD and its collective success.

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In compliance with Titles VI & VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008, and Colorado law, the Douglas County School District RE-1 does not unlawfully discriminate against otherwise qualified students, employees, applicants for employment, or members of the public on the basis of disability, race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, religion, ancestry, or need for special education services. Discrimination against employees and applicants for employment based on age, genetic information, and conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth is also prohibited in accordance with state and/or federal law. Complaint procedures have been established for students, parents, employees, and members of the public. The School District's Compliance Officer and Title IX Coordinator to address complaints alleging sexual harassment under Title IX is Aaron Henderson, 620 Wilcox Street, Castle Rock, Colorado, [email protected], 303-387-0127.

Outside Agencies

Complaints regarding violations of Title VI, (race, national origin), Title IX (sex, gender), Section 504/ADA (handicap or disability), may be filed directly with the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education, 1244 North Speer Blvd., Suite 310, Denver, CO 80204. Complaints regarding violations of Title VII (employment) and the ADEA (prohibiting age discrimination in employment) may be filed directly with the Federal Office of Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 303 E. 17th Ave., Suite 510, Denver, CO 80202, or the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, 1560 Broadway, Suite 1050, Denver, CO 80202.


Special Education records which have been collected by Douglas County School District related to the identification, evaluation, educational placement, or the provision of special education in the district, must be maintained under state and federal laws for the period of five (5) years after special education services have ended for the student. Special education services end when the student is no longer eligible for services, graduates, or completes his/her educational program at age 21, or moves from the district. This notification is to inform parents/guardians and former students of Douglas County School District's intent to destroy the special education records of students who exited special education services as of June 30, 2016. These records will be destroyed in accordance with state law unless the parent/guardian or eligible (adult) student notifies the school district otherwise. After five years, the records are no longer useful to the district, but may be useful to the parent/guardian or former student in applying for social security benefits, rehabilitation services, college entrance, etc. The parent/guardian or eligible (adult) student may request a copy of the records by requesting the records at this link ( Douglas County School District Transcripts and Records Requests ).