Apple Awards 2019

DCSD 2019 Apple Award Winners Announced
Posted on 04/24/2019
Apple Awards 2019 GuestsIt was a night of fast cars, 80’s rock and roll, and most importantly, some of the most outstanding staff and educators in the Douglas County School District. Saturday, April 6, 2019 marked a drastic change in format for the annual Apple Awards– an awards program that highlights amazing work being done by DCSD educators, administrators, and department employees.

This year, the Foundation for Douglas County Schools chose to leave behind the formal structure of years past in favor of a more relaxed atmosphere at the swanky Vehicle Vault in Parker, Colorado. The evening included fun and games, dancing, and a photobooth to capture the excitement of the night.

Parker Mayor Mike Waid served as the host for the evening, bringing with him his recently dyed purple hair and quick-response on the final trivia question of the night. Who knew Mike Waid was such a huge Duran Duran fan?

Joining Mayor Waid for the presentation of the Apple Awards were DCSD Superintendent Dr. Thomas S. Tucker, The Foundation for Douglas County Schools Chairwoman Janet Lowe, Curtis Robbins from Kaiser Permanente, and Board of Education Directors Kevin Leung, Anne-Marie Lemieux, David Ray, Anthony Graziano, and Krista Holtzman.

Congratulations to our 2019 Apple Award Winners:

Paula Hans
Department Employee of the Year: 
Paula Hans, 
Public Information Officer, 
Communications Department

As the Public Information Officer for the Douglas County School District, Paula Hans provides communications and crisis support for school leaders across DCSD, as well as working with media. Her services are critical in keeping staff, families, and community members informed during emergencies. Despite the sometimes serious nature of Paula’s job, she remains a source of inspiration and joy for the DCSD Communications Office, often providing the office with laughter to help push the team through difficult days. Paula has been with DCSD since 2014, and says she continues to love her work, the people she serves, and the community she is a part of here.

Paul Nacisian
Classified Employee of the Year: 
Paul Narcisian,
Kitchen Assistant,
Ranch View Middle School

Despite being short-staffed in the kitchen at Ranch View Middle School, Paul has found ways throughout the year to make sure he’s ready for all of the hungry middle schoolers during breakfast and lunch. More importantly, though, are the relationships Paul has been able to form with the staff and students at the school– treating everyone as if they were a guest at his restaurant, and ensuring that he remembers the name of every student who brings their tray to his lunch line. Paul says the secret to his success is treating everyone at the school with respect.

Paula Bishop Elementary Educator of the Year: 
Paula Bishop,
HERO Teacher,
 Sage Canyon Elementary

As the HERO (Honesty, Empathy, Respect, and Ownership) teacher at Sage Canyon, Paula was tasked with creating and implementing a curriculum for the entire student body– which includes more than 750 students! The HERO program focuses on equipping students with the necessary tools to live healthy lives by developing self-awareness, self-management, responsible decision making, relationship skills, and social awareness. Paula says that her passion is to create a safe, secure, and supportive space for children to learn and grow, and the HERO program gives her the platform to succeed in that goal. Paula says that she feels fortunate to be supported by administrators that share her enthusiasm for educating the whole child.

Elena Paich
Secondary Educator of the Year: 
Elena Paich,
English Teacher,
Mountain Vista High School

Elena describes herself as passionate, student-centered, driven, and caring. Elena says that education is her heart and soul, and that she knew she wanted to be a teacher from a very young age. Her team says she thrives as a teacher because she operates on a system of respect and her drive to maintain a welcoming and supportive atmosphere in her classroom. What makes teaching an especially rewarding experience for Elena is that she is able to influence the next generation at her alma mater. Elena is an alumnus of Mountain Vista High School, and she loves being able to teach alongside the teachers that inspired her to become a teacher.

Mindy Persichina
Administrator of the Year: 
Mindy Persichina,
Lone Tree Elementary

“When I am around this principal I get re-energized and inspired about the work all of us are doing. What separates Mindy is the clarity in which she can speak to her school and their priorities– it is with passion and laser focus. Shared leadership that is school-wide and community-wide separates schools and you can see these schools rise to the top in our district and state. Lone Tree Elementary has defined their style, coached and developed their teachers, and helped students achieve in the classroom. Lone Tree Elementary has been recognized with the Governor’s Distinguished achievement and growth awards for 3 consecutive years. This is due in a large part to their principal who opened LTE as a teacher and now has lead LTE as their principal for the past 6 years. Mindy Persichina is inspiring, passionate and models the characteristics of a phenomenal person and leader in everything she does. Most importantly, Mindy is a great family person… She has phenomenal husband, 4 children and parents/in laws that she pours her heart into as much as she pours her heart into LTE. It is a family commitment!”

-Corey Wise, Executive Director of Schools East Highlands Ranch

Finally, the Foundation for Douglas Schools would like to thank the sponsors of this year’s event:

Presenting Sponsor: MDC Richmond American Foundation,

Premier Sponsors: Douglas County School District Board of Education, Westerra Credit Union

Party Sponsors: RBC Capital Markets, Kaiser Permanente, Hail Free Solutions, 61 Concepts, Lockton Companies, IREA, HSA Bank, Monty Nuss Photography, Waste Management, Butler Snow, Shutter Time Photo Booth, Buckeye, RTA Architects

Nomination Sponsor: Allegiance
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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 ).