Employee Rock Stars

Rock Star

DCSD Rock Stars is a program created that recognizes and celebrates the accomplishments and outstanding work of DCSD employees. Nominated by District leaders, managers, and peers, ‘Rock Stars’ are recognized in INSIGHTS, the DCSD employee newsletter, and receive a small gift from DCSD. 

Is there somebody you would like to recognize? Nominate them by clicking here!
(Note: Nominations are only accepted by DCSD Employees for DCSD Employees)


DCSD Employee Rock Stars: May 19, 2022

Karen “Scottie” Baer, ESL Teacher, Highlands Ranch High School
Scottie does everything she possibly can for our English Language Learners. She gives staff resources to communicate with families and often acts as a liaison. Her care for her students is plain to see. Scottie helps translate for students and advocates for them and their families. She even calls certain students every day for a wake-up call to try to get them into school/motivated. She reaches out to staff to make sure students are taken care of in regard to their unique situations.
Nominated by Xandria Westergard, Heath Assistant, Highlands Ranch High School

Adam Barnes, Speech-Language Pathologist, Timber Trail Elementary
Adam is so dedicated to his work as a speech-language pathologist. All of the families and students that Adam works with just LOVE him as he makes the time to build relationships and provide communication. Adam works so hard to meet his deadlines and he is a team player. He comes in early and stays late to ensure he is providing the best support that he can to students, families, and staff. Adam has been a welcomed addition to our TTE family.
Nominated by Nicole Goering, SPED, Timber Trail Elementary

Jenny Brown, Principal, Gold Rush Elementary
Jenny Brown is an incredible Principal. She goes above and beyond each and every day - she is the first to show up and the last to leave, she is always present talking to students and staff, outside greeting students in the morning and at dismissal, and she seeks educational excellence for her students both academically and socially emotionally and genuinely cares about every single person at Gold Rush - staff, students and families. Jenny is the definition of an inspirational leader and I am so lucky to have her as my Principal.
Nominated by Ann Fitch, Counselor

Giuliana Battaglioli, Administrative Assistant, Eagle Academy
Giuliana is a Rock Star Registrar! She is a kind beautiful soul who spreads positivity wherever she goes. She has been at Eagle Academy for quite some time and is leaving big shoes to fill as she moves into her next chapter. Over the years Giuliana has been devoted to the students at EA. She has taken the time to establish relationships with students, families, and staff that is at EA as well as across the district. Giuliana juggles multiple jobs at her school and does it effortlessly. She is a true diamond in the rough here at DCSD. Her love for Eagle Academy runs deep. Thank you for everything that you do. It is pleasure to work with you!
Nominated by Christine Romanello, Student Data and Information Services Specialist

Micah Bernhardt, Ceramics Teacher, Ponderosa High School
Micah has been an instrumental member of our Art Show Committee this year. His experience, expertise, and creativity have made the virtual show and the in-person awards showcase a success. Micah developed the template for the virtual show and was always willing to help support and answer questions for teachers through the process of adding artwork. He spent his Friday evening setting up the awards showcase at Park Meadows, helping out wherever he saw a need. His support has been invaluable. Huge thank you for all to do for our DCSD art teachers and student artists!
Nominated by Kelly Mihalik, CIA Coordinator

Shelia Carey, Education Assistant IV, Mammoth Heights Elementary
Shelia has such a great personality, she is so warm and welcoming. I truly believe it’s Shelia’s kindness that draws students to her. Students are always asking Shelia for a hug. 😊 Shelia works with some really difficult students in our SSN program. You will never hear Shelia complain or want to give up. Shelia is such a positive person and she sees the good in everyone.
Nominated by Kristen Thomsen, Educational Assistant IV, Mammoth Heights

Nicole Carlson, Special Education Teacher, Chaparral High School
Nicole is such a great member of the special education team. Nicole is always positive and does so much for Chaparral. Nicole goes above and beyond for her students and teammates.
Nominated by Lindsay Christen, IEP Assessment Specialist/Chaparral High School

Rebecca Chapman, ESL & English Teacher, Legend High School
Rebecca is a rock star and champion for her students. Her students consistently show amazing literacy growth, and her dedication and support for them directly impact that. She consistently has one of the top-performing groups of students utilizing READ180 & System 44. This is due to her skills, compassion, usage of resources, and dedication to her students.
Nominated by Rachel Brown, Curriculum Coordinator/CIA

Lauren Clark, Education Assistant, Sand Creek Elementary
Lauren is a Rock Star because she is one of those employees who will jump right into the action without being asked as soon as she sees a need. She is always working hard to help lighten the load of the teachers and classrooms she supports. Lauren is always quietly searching out ways to help make our school and staff the best it can possibly be. She goes above and beyond her duties to help make our school a better (and tidier!) place. We are all so grateful for our wonderful EA support!
Nominated by Traci Thorstenson, Reading Intervention, Sand Creek Elementary

Rita Dagher, Assistant Program Manager, Trailblazer Elementary BASE
She has taken on the role as manager while I have been on maternity leave, and she has been rocking it!! I feel so thankful that I can enjoy my time off while knowing my program is in great hands! She has stepped out of her comfort zone and taken on such great responsibility
Nominated by Katie Wagner, Program Manager, Trailblazer Elementary BASE

Shelby Donohue, Art Teacher, Sagewood Middle School
In her first year in DCSD, Shelby has jumped right in to get involved with the art show and seeks out opportunities to support and collaborate. She brings expertise from her previous district and enthusiasm to the Art Show Committee and has been a great addition to the team. Most recently, Shelby spent her Friday night setting up the Art Awards Showcase at Park Meadows. Her artistic eye was key in helping place all of the artwork in the jewelry cases and panels. I appreciate her eagerness to get involved, collaborate, and help lead our district art initiatives. Shelby - you are a Rock Star!
Nominated by Kelly Mihalik, CIA Coordinator

Troy Doyle, East Terminal Manager
Troy, you are truly are our Rock Star!! Thank you for all the hard work you put into the quick repairs and service you and your crew at the East Terminal did for the Parker Bridge Program. Your Thoughtfulness, Dedication, and Service we receive on a regular basis is greatly appreciated. You and Your Crew are our Rock Stars because of your thoughtfulness, dedication, friendliness, and service on a regular basis. You and your crew go above and beyond in our book.
Nominated by Parker Bridge, Para-Professional

Britany Ederveen, English Teacher/ Student Council Advisor, Ponderosa High School
Britany works harder than any teacher I know. She is involved in everything within the school and district. She does curriculum council, BLT, student council, covers classes, does Saturday school, and she is an advocate for many of our students. Britany has become a close friend of mine through working in student council together. I see her heart and see how she has such a strong passion for our school, our community, and most of all, our students. Britany goes above and beyond in every way possible. She is always looking for ways to bring joy to others. She constantly brings various staff members food and coffee. She put together an amazing teacher appreciation week for our school, even though she deserves all the appreciation. Ponderosa and DCSD are lucky to have her!
Nominated by Jill Nabena, Math Teacher/ Student Council Advisor, Ponderosa High School

Kyra Fitzsimmons - 2nd Grade Teacher, Mountain View Elementary
Kyra is a long-term sub at Mountain View, and not only has she stepped up to the plate - she has knocked it out of the park. She built great relationships with her kids and really got to KNOW them! She does things some veteran teachers don't - she does a beautiful job with differentiation, 1:1 learning, grouping, and SEL support. She is a GREAT addition to the MVE staff!
Nominated by Kate Bufton, GT/Specials, Mountain View Elementary

Morgan Freel, Vice Principal Administrative Assistant, Douglas County High School
Morgan ALWAYS goes above and beyond in everything she does. If she does it, it is done right. Morgan coordinates the DC "Back to School Bash". This year it was the best its ever been. Food trucks and more opportunities for students and staff to engage with teachers. Morgan writes the "In the Know" newsletter every week. She makes it interesting and informative. She puts special interest in the "Kudos" section to make sure all the staff gets to recognize others for their great work. It is amazing that we can get high-quality employees like Morgan for not much pay! She is dedicated first and foremost to the kids at DC! Thanks for all you do Morgan!
Nominated by Tom Popken, Security, Douglas County High School

Amy Freeman, Social Worker, Rocky Heights Middle School
Amy is the definition of what it means to be an exemplary social worker. Amy gives 100% of herself every day for the children she helps. Amy supports our most difficult students and makes others see that all people have light and goodness in them. Amy has made a real difference in the lives of students and that has made all the difference. She is amazing! While Amy works individually and in groups with our most difficult students, she also impacts our entire school. Amy goes beyond her role of just helping special needs students, she also has implemented a school-wide program called "Lead by Example." Amy's Lead by Example awards recognize all students who help other people without being told. Amy's effort to instill in all students a sense of virtue and purpose is exactly what this world needs!
Nominated by Peter Thompson, Psychologist, Rocky Heights Middle School

Sally Graham, English/Speech & Debate Teacher and Speech & Debate Coach, Castle View High School
Sally is a rock star because she encourages all of her students to take risks and to work to be the best versions of themselves that they can be. She is an excellent teacher, leader, and friend, and is always willing to help those around her. Sally has dedicated more than 30 years of her life to education and to the Speech and Debate community. Sally is a source of strength for any member of the S&D community, including teachers, coaches, judges, and students. Sally's commitment, drive, and dedication to her students is simply unmatched. She will be retiring at the end of this year, and she will be deeply missed.
Nominated by Shannon Doering, English/Speech & Debate Teacher

Nichole Guthrie, School Mental Health Coordinator & Psychologist, American Academy
I’ve worked under Nichole's supervision for the past three years. She has been a positive and encouraging mentor. She always stands up for what is right. She does not hesitate to advocate for her team and provides us support as and when needed. No matter how busy she is, if you knock on her door, she always makes time for you and does not want to dismiss your problems or needs. I love and appreciate working with her. One of the reasons I am still with AA is for the support Nichole has always given me! Nichole has always advocated for her teammates, given me very important feedback whenever needed, and provided me various opportunities for professional and personal growth!
Nominated by Madhuri Deshmukh, School Counselor

Kris Hennig, SSN Teacher, Mesa Middle School
Ms. Hennig has the ability to reach all of her special ed students each and every day! She has an old soul that is conducive to working with all children despite the ability level! She truly believes "They can!" She has added a sensory room to the SSN program called the "Zen Den". This is another opportunity to help regulate kids' emotions for all her students.
Nominated by Butch Bradley, SPED, Mesa Middle School

Olga Henry, Education Assistant IV, Mammoth Heights Elementary
Olga goes above and beyond for each and every student she works with. Olga is a very passionate employee and gives her all each and every day. It has been absolutely wonderful working with her. Olga works with some of the hardest SSN students in our program and you will never hear her complain or want to give up. She is an inspiration to me and my coworkers.
Nominated by Kristen Thomsen, Education Assistant IV, Mammoth Heights Elementary

Lorri Hodges, Art Teacher, Lone Tree Elementary
Lorri has served as the co-chair on the art show committee this year. She has stepped up and stepped in to help whenever we needed it - putting together jewelry cases over Spring Break, finding judges, and helping set up at Park Meadows after a late-night school function of her own. Thank you, Lorri, for your dedication to supporting our DCSD student artists and teachers!
Nominated by Kelly Mihalik, CIA Coordinator

Kendall Homkes, Moderate Needs Teacher, Flagstone Elementary
Kendall always goes above and beyond for her students and teammates. You can always count on Kendall to support you whenever needed. Kendall is approachable and kind to everyone in our community. Her smile and laughter fill the halls of FSE. Kendall constantly puts the needs of her students before her own. She is always walking around FSE to make sure her students are being supported. She is easily available to talk to any staff member that needs advice or support. FSE would be a different place if Kendall wasn't a part of our community.
Nominated by Melissa Hurley, Intervention and GT Facilitator, Flagstone Elementary

Stacy Hough, SSN Educational Assistant, Legend High School
She is helpful and efficient. She is always there to help the students and teachers. She is well versed in all of the classes she is assigned to. She provides consistent and appropriate levels of assistance to the students. She has great expectations of students and still holds them accountable.
Nominated by Julie Hensley, SSN, Legend High School

Meg Jacques, Principal, Flagstone Elementary
Meg rises to the challenge every day! This year has thrown some curveballs at her and she has handled them all like a champ. She shows up every day with a positive attitude and is ready to face the challenges of the day. No matter what is going on in the day you can always reach out to her with a personal or professional question or concern and she immediately gets back to you. I appreciate that she is driven by the strong relationships that she has with her staff and treats each of us with care and compassion. I am very proud to call her the leader of our building and know that she has the best interest of the students, our staff, and our community at the forefront when decisions are being made. Thank you so much for your commitment to FSE Meg! We value you!

In my opinion, Meg goes above and beyond daily by doing whatever it takes to make FSE a fantastic place for students and staff to be. She presents herself in a professional manner and is present around the building from the start of the day all the way until we tell the last child goodbye in the afternoon. She is always available no matter what time of day regardless of having her own family to be present with. She treats all of us at FSE like family. Thank you for valuing relationships, Meg!
Nominated by Karen Allen, Literacy Specialist/Flagstone Elementary

Clare Kiesel, Educational & Developmental Specialist, Student Support
Clare did a phenomenal job preparing our staff and students for CMAS testing. Coordinating all of the special small groups, a variety of students in 3-8th grades, and schedules of the teachers to proctor was like a huge puzzle. She ROCKED it! Clare has gone above and beyond highlighting directions for each section, preparing snacks for students, and being ready for anything during this testing period.
Nominated by Lisa Carpenter, Athletic & Marketing Director

Nadene Klein, Science Teacher, DC Oakes High School
Nadene consistently goes above and beyond to provide meaningful, and engaging science lessons for her students. Her students brag about how they have opportunities to participate in events with her. She is a champion for staff education and collaboration and works hard to hold high standards for our school. In addition to field trips for her science classes, she plans extracurricular trips for students to engage in learning in an experiential setting outside of school hours. She is constantly challenging herself and improving as an educator by attending conferences, being an active member of professional communities, and improving staff culture/morale by creating staff social events.
Nominated by Jessie Condon, Math Teacher, DC Oakes

Brandon Knox, Mechanic I, East Terminal
Brandon worked tirelessly to give our vehicle a complete and thorough overhaul. So many things were needed, and Brandon carefully completed each task with the safety of our students and staff in mind. Bandon's integrity is the very highest. Brandon takes seriously the safety of students and staff. Brandon has helped us on the road, in a parking lot, and every time we call. Each time his response is quick and kind.
Nominated by Jackie Herrington, Paraprofessional, Parker Bridge Transition

Elizabeth Kock, School Psychologist, Stone Mountain Elementary
Elizabeth is a phenomenal school psychologist. She is thorough in her evaluations and takes the time to explain data to parents and classroom teachers. She provides fantastic direct services to our students and is an asset to our team when we are making data-driven decisions. Elizabeth always goes above and beyond in her job. She collaborates with parents, teachers, and outside agencies to support our students and remove barriers to education. She advocates for students and parents and is always a pleasure to work with.
Nominated by Dawn Williams, Mild/Moderate Learning Specialist

Heather Kramarczyk, Registrar, Trailblazer Elementary
Heather is an amazing person! She comes to registrar trainings willing and ready to learn. The questions that she asks are inquisitive and in return, she leaves the training learning something. Heather also brings something special with her to every training. The humor that she brings to trainings help lighten the mood and helps everyone relax. Anytime a laugh or smile is needed, Heather is able to bring to everyone. When I worked at RVMS, during the file transfer, her files came over to me purged and scanned into IC which in turn made my job easier.

If you ever get the chance to meet Heather, she will brighten your day with her humor. Not everyone can do that. She truly has a gift. I get excited when I see that Heather is calling because I know whatever mood I was in before answering the phone, I am going to leave that conversation with a smile. My day instantly gets better. I am glad to have Heather among our registrar sisterhood.
Nominated by Christine Romanello, Student Data and Information Services Specialist

Robin Lane, Student Data and Information Services Specialist, West Support Center
When I started at SDIS, Robin made it a point to be in the office when I first started. That meant the world to me. Any question I had, she was there to answer it. As the year went on, she took the time to make sure that I understood what was next and how to do it. Her calm demeanor has been extremely helpful as I have stepped into these shoes in my new role. Every step of the way, she makes sure that I feel like I understand the subject matter and know what I am doing. She not only has done this for me in this position but also when I was a registrar as well. She does it with so many new registrars. I hear her on the phone taking the time to get to know others as well as offering them help. Robin is a true asset to Student Data and our school district. Robin goes above and beyond every day. Her attitude is always positive and she truly is an amazing team player who is able to help out at any time. The time that she has taken with me will make me successful in my job for many years. She also taught me that being calm, kind, and friendly can go a long way, especially on the phone. When I have nerves about presentations and/or trainings, she has always been there to give advice and help me calm down. I am grateful for Robin Lane and the gifts that she has brought to SDIS as well as this district.
Nominated by Christine Romanello, Student Data and Information Services Specialist, West Support Center

Todd Lowry, 6th Grade Teacher, Sedalia Elementary
Todd put together a very impressive collaborative project for some of our 6th-grade students to complete after an ongoing conflict came to a heightened state. Our principal tasked Todd and me with an open-ended opportunity to bring some unity to our 6th-grade students. Todd took the ball and ran with it, and called the project "Common Grounds". The learning targets were specific, success criteria laid out, interview questions were provided for the students to interview each other and find commonalities, and a time for reflection and wrap-up at the end. Our principal and school counselor were part of the process during the day as the project unfolded over a week's time. Two of the students presented their overall theme of empathy to 1st-grade classes and kindergarten. Other 6th graders involved in the ongoing conflict were able to be a part of some discussions, interviewing, and restorative practices, and discovered they had more in common than they had originally thought. I look forward to observing the sustainability moving forward. Todd created this project in less than two days. Way to go, Todd!
Nominated by Kirsten Braun, Teacher, Sedalia Elementary

Meredith Main, Educational Assistant, Special Education, Legend High School
Meredith works tirelessly to make sure the students in the severe needs classroom are taken care of. She has a heart of gold and the patience of a saint.
Meredith does whatever is asked of her. She will work on the weekends to make sure her students have what they need on Monday mornings. She cares about everyone and always puts herself last. She is a giver and asks for nothing in return.
Nominated by Suzanne Schlut, IEP and Assessment Specialist/SPED Department

Rebecca Manzanares, Assistant Principal, Eagle Academy
Becca's love for Eagle comes out in everything she does. She is the heart of our building, always looking out for everyone else. She is a caretaker to her core and even on those tough days, she has a smile for anyone in need. She is the perfect example of someone who takes a hard situation and can find the good in it.

Dr. Manzanares has baked cookies for students every Sunday for years so that the students can have a chocolate chip cookie when they arrive Monday. She is the one who always takes the time to help someone who is having a hard day by leaving a card or some flowers on their desk. She never misses a beat when it comes to her job because she is very organized and forward-thinking. She's not just in the here and now but she plans ahead and is taking the steps to make it happen. Her unconditional love for Eagle, the staff, and the students is what makes her stand out. The time, the energy, and the commitment are felt in everything she does.
Nominated by Diane Fern, Eagle Academy Social Worker

Cory McGee, Kitchen Assistant, Mammoth Heights Kitchen
Cory welcomed me with warm arms and didn’t run away given all my medical struggles. We are such good friends. She has been a rock in my life. We have a true connection In so many ways. It’s been quite the year for me, but looking forward to coming back stronger than ever!!! Cory is an awesome coworker and friend.
Nominated by Patricia Fortino, Kitchen Assistant Mammoth Heights Elementary

Lindsey Barnett, Art Teacher, Stone Mountain Elementary
Lindsey has been a Rock Star on the Art Show Committee for many years. Her leadership and dedication has been instrumental in making the art show happen. Most recently, she and the rest of the committee spent their Friday evening setting up the Art Show Awards Showcase at Park Meadows until midnight. Huge thanks to Lindsey for her support of our DCSD student artists and teachers!
Nominated by Kelly Mihalik, CIA Coordinator

Armita Montallebi, Art Teacher, Cloverleaf
Armita has been a great addition to the Art Show Committee this year. With both the virtual show and the in-person showcase, she steps in and is always willing to help out when it's crunch time - both with last-minute judging and late night at Park Meadows. Her positive attitude and initiative to take action where we need it has helped make this year's art show a success. Thank you, Armita, for your support of DCSD art teachers and student artists!
Nominated by Kelly Mihalik, CIA Coordinator

Tom Neall, Custodian, Mountain Vista High School
Tom definitely fits the title of Rock Star. He has been a staple of Vista for years and, upon his retirement this year, he will leave behind a vast hole. He is always willing to help out, his quiet sense of humor leaves people laughing as he quietly walks away and his heart and kindness fill every room he enters. He is one of the greatest guys I know, shares his Faith quietly, and exemplifies for kids how to do your job and do it well, every day.

He goes above and beyond every day. He responds so quickly if you have a request for your room he jumps right on it and either gets it taken care of or hunts down someone that can help. He was one of the first to reach out when my husband was ill and stayed in touch, checking in frequently. The people in his school are not just peers but people he honestly cares about. His caring soul shows up in the work he does and in the person he chooses to share with his peers and the kids.
Nominated by Natalie Barnard, English teacher, Media Sponsor

Melissa “Missy” Norman, Wellness Teacher, Cimarron Middle School
Missy has a way of connecting with students in such a powerful way. They can relate to her, trust her, and learn so many real-life skills. She teaches with compassion and patience. Missy takes the time to learn the interests of her students and intentionally connects with them on these topics. She is also a thoughtful co-worker, and makes working with her fun!
Katie Hassett, Math Teacher Cimarron Middle School

Meghan Ofer, Principal, Roxborough Intermediate
Megan ensures that her building exemplifies the International Baccalaureate program, growing students who take charge of, and are responsible for, their learning.
Megan champions student choice and voice in leading and organizing RXI's 6th-grade Exhibition event every year. She is a positive leader and mentor for these students who share their passions, showcase their learnings, and share how they plan to take action to make the world a better place. She takes the district motto, " Learn Today, Lead Tomorrow," to the next step with, "Learn Today, Lead Today."
Nominated by Erin Isley, PLS, Ranch View Middle School

Miriam Osowski, 1st Grade Teacher, Copper Mesa Elementary
Mrs. O is an amazing teacher, colleague, and friend. She always puts her students first and inspires a love of learning and kindness in everyone she comes in contact with. She also taught all three of my own children. They are 17 and 13 and their favorite year ever was with Mrs. O in 1st grade. Mrs. O is an inspiration to us all! Mrs. O always brings a card, treat, or flowers for someone if they are struggling. She is the most thoughtful person I know.
Nominated by Renee Moore Portillo, Teacher at Copper Mesa Elementary

Michelle Parker, Math Teacher, Sagewood Middle School
Mrs. Parker always goes above and beyond to reach all students. She is filled with warmth, encouragement, guidance, acceptance, and more. Students enjoy math, but more importantly, they feel empowered to do the math. She has found a way to let students fail and move forward. They are not afraid and want to do well not only for themselves but also for her. But most importantly, she allows for the relationships of each student to come before the teaching. Again, this is why her students are successful. They learn because they know she cares and is invested in them and their academic growth.
Nominated by Jamie Berninzoni, Interventionist, Sagewood Middle School

Stacey Perlt, Volunteer Coordinator, Prairie Crossing Elementary
Stacey has a great sense of humor and is always a team player! Stacey is always ready to help and does it with a great attitude!
Nominated by Charise Mosher, Health Assistant

Jen Pfister, Educational Assistant IV - SSN, Fox Creek Elementary
Jen is the real definition of "ROCKSTAR" and why is below in how she goes above and beyond. Jen is the true meaning of a "ROCKSTAR"! Jen goes above and beyond each and every day, with always a SMILE on her face !!! She has so much patience, an abundance of love, and a HUGE heart. She cares with all her being. I have never worked with anyone with such a beautiful heart and someone who gives to ALL SELFLESSLY! It is a pleasure and an honor to work beside someone like Jen. She helps out everywhere not only in her department but anywhere in the school. All you have to do is ask and she jumps in. You do not even have to ask, she just offers no matter how busy she is. The children absolutely adore and love her. She loves them with all her heart and they love her with all their little hearts. Jen will be leaving this year and Fox Creek will not be the same without her. I have heard in the past: that everyone can be replaceable but when it comes to Jen this is so untrue. Jen is not "replaceable".

She has been wonderful these past 5 years! She is so loved and adored by ALL! Jen, you will be truly MISSED! Thank you for EVERYTHING!

Nominated by an anonymous Fox Creek Elementary team member

Jerri Puralweski, Computer Support/LTS for Math
Jerri has taken on various roles in our building this spring, ranging from IT computer tech, to state testing co-facilitator, to long-term math sub. Many of these roles are happening at the same time! Stepping up whenever and wherever she is needed, Jerri has switched from math teacher to CMAS support, to tech support, to math tutor, sometimes all within one day! She has been an invaluable member of our Ranch View team and we are so lucky to have her!
Nominated by Erin Isley, PLS Ranch View Middle School

Dawn Ramsey, Technology Department, Mountain Vista High School
She has a ton of ground to cover with a huge number of teachers, all with different needs. She does it all - even though some days she is being pulled in 9 million directions. Her knowledge base to be able to handle this job is also unreal - there are so many glitches and problems that show up and she is able to take a look at them and get them straightened out very quickly.

She goes above and beyond every day making sure that everyone is taken care of, often above her own needs (I know this one personally). Sometimes she struggles with different personalities that just rub her wrong (don't we all) but she does the greatest job navigating those situations. Her above and beyond goes on outside of school hours also. As the yearbook advisor, there have been times when we are on a strict deadline and, of course, something happens with our computers and she has always responded to help figure it out so we can achieve a deadline. She takes her job seriously beyond compare and also takes pride in the person that she is taking care of and the peers she works with.
Nominated by Natalie Barnard, English Teacher, Media Sponsor

Jonathan Riner, ITS Technician, Rock Canyon High School
Jonathan goes above and beyond ensuring all our technology works in our classrooms. In my room specifically, I have students performing state-of-the-art research requiring new equipment. Not only did Jonathan build us a new computer with all the necessary specifics, he spent many hours troubleshooting issues and corresponding with other IT specialists to get the equipment to work. He is a key component in our students performing authentic, real-world science. No request is too big for Jonathan. He responds quickly and efficiently in helping the staff at RCHS stay up to date with technology, ensuring our classrooms run as smoothly as possible.
Nominated by Susanne Petri, Science Teacher, Rock Canyon High School

Ronall Rooks, Transportation, Parker East Terminal
Ronall is the utmost of a professional employee. He is always willing to lend a hand and is incredibly nice! When we go pick up our vehicles he always has them warmed up and waiting for us. His dedication and service not only to the Bridge Program but to the entire DCSD. Ronall goes above and beyond with everything he and the other transportation. He comes whenever we need him and never makes us feel like we imposed on them.
Nominated by Carrie Shelton, Para-Professional

Rich Sabe, Custodian, Clear Sky Elementary
Rich Sabe is one of the most amazing custodians and advocate of our students that anyone could meet. Not only does he do an amazing job with our building, but he also jumps in and supports extra duties like kiss n go, and crosswalk duty, and will be a chaperone when the CSE Singers sing at the Rockies on April 17, 2020. Rich is an all-around BISON that nobody can beat. Thanks, Rich, for all you do during school hours and after school hours. You are a true ROCK STAR!
Nominated by Bethany Dome, Clear Sky Elementary Music Teacher

Jake Sabot, Film Educator, Mountain Vista High School
He goes above and beyond every day for kids and our building. He is a BLT and is in before and after school for kids and teachers alike.
Nominated by Michael C. Wright, Theatre Educator, Mountain Vista High School

Bridget Santoyo, Accountant, Student Support Services Department
As a new team lead, Bridget took it upon herself to help orient me to my new role, provide resources and materials, answer all of my questions and welcome me to the new role and position. She has absolutely helped me in a million ways without even blinking an eye. She is professional, timely, organized, and efficient and even under mountains of work (including being surrounded by boxes of sensory orders) is still smiling and laughing.

Bridget has been an incredible partner in two very large district projects to support students' sensory needs and improve playground access for kids with special needs. She has processed countless purchase orders, reached out to vendors, and collaborated with my staff to ensure the orders were correctly processed and handled. My OT staff have expressed their abundant gratitude for all of her efforts! I am so unbelievably grateful for her support, her professionalism, integrity, and positive energy!
Nominated by Patty Kreinbrink, Occupational Therapy Team Lead/Special Education Department

Krista Schilbler, Educational Assistant IV, Eagle Ridge Elementary
Krista goes above and beyond the call of duty every day to see our students succeed.
Nominated by Donna Tudehope, Educational Assistant IV, Eagle Ridge Elementary

Donna Seekamp, 6th and 8th-grade History teacher, American Academy Motsenbocker /Middle School
Donna has a fiery love for history that bleeds into her lessons. Whenever possible, she has some fun activities with lots of cross-curricular connections. Her projects often produce beautiful work that she displays in the hallways for all teachers and students to admire. I know many of the students feel a sense of pride seeing their hard work on display and spend time explaining their work to each other, which is nice to observe how it brings history class into their daily conversations and beyond just the classroom period. I also admire how often Donna reaches out to the English department to work with cross-curricular connections. A lot of our curriculum allows for such things, but it does take good teamwork and discussions to actually make that all happen. Donna makes it happen. She is so fun to work with and I know the students will miss her dearly when she retires.
Nominated by Emily Server, Teacher at American Academy Motsenbocker/Middle School

Andrea Seavers, Registrar, Prairie Crossing
Andrea came into the registrar position mid-year and has done an amazing job and brings along a great sense of humor! She makes the day fun!
Nominated by Charise Mosher, Health Assistant

Rochelle Sheffield, Administrative Assistant/Registrar, Sedalia Elementary
Rochelle is the admin assistant and registrar extraordinaire at Sedalia Elementary. She is very supportive of the online registration process and is always willing to go the extra mile for her families. She will reach out when I can’t get a hold of a family member or help coordinate registration with one of our Spanish-speaking families. Along with all the registrar duties she is keeping the office at Sedalia running smoothly. Rochelle, you have been an inspiration and a guide not only to me but for many others.
Nominated by Paula De Ville, Central Enrollment Specialist, Sedalia Elementary

Nancy Staiert, Special Education-Mild/Moderate Needs, Rocky Heights Middle School
She takes the time every day to make sure students feel like they have someone they can go to for help or just to vent. Nancy spends her Plan period with students, helping them finish work or just letting them have a chill break.
Nominated by Holly Hulett, Library Tech/CST, Rocky Heights Middle School

Mike Weaver, Principal, Mountain Vista High School
Mike’s ability to create a school environment that is healthy and safe - both for his students and his staff is beyond compare. His skill level to protect his staff from the craziness of this District over the last 10 years is admirable and appreciated. The fact that prior students still talk about him with a vast amount of respect is pretty darn cool. With us personally, he went over and beyond to work out a remote teaching position for me so I could continue to do what I love while staying home to protect my husband (who was going through a stem cell transplant). I was able to do a year as a remote teacher - I didn't love it because I missed the live interaction with my students, but I was able to keep my job and return back to Vista this year. He worked with me and HR to make it happen and it is appreciated beyond any words I can put on paper.
Nominated by Nat Barnard, English Teacher, Media Sponsor

Andye Wolff, DHH Itinerate/ASL Teacher, Highlands Ranch High School
Andye goes beyond what is expected of a teacher to make sure all her students are successful. She comes to school early and often leaves late to work with students in study groups, 1-to-1 tutoring, and has sponsored the academic club ASL Honor Society.
Nominated by Lance Nozot, ASL Teacher, Highlands Ranch High School




DCSD Employee Rock Stars: April 7, 2022

Christa Breckenridge, Affective Needs Educational Assistant, Highlands Ranch High School
Christa has been a rock star in our S.O.A.R program. She is always willing to do everything to help a student realize their potential. She has an ability to push students to do more while also being present, caring, and understanding. She never shows frustration with any of her one-on-one students. She is truly a rock star! Christa helps wherever she is needed. She will volunteer to help in other groups when they are short-staffed. She has great communication within the affective needs classroom.
Nominated by Emily Emmet, Mild/Moderate Needs Teacher, Highlands Ranch High School

Trevor Cadarette, Group Lead Custodial, Castle View High School
Trevor helped me hand shovel outside around my building. When our snowblower was down, Trevor and I had to hand shovel while waiting for the equipment to be fixed. Thanks for showing that you care and for always being a great leader and boss. I appreciate you going above and beyond for me and my building.
Nominated by Craig Varriano, Building Engineer, Soaring Hawk Elementary

Johnna Clavadetscher, School Psychologist, Eldorado Elementary
Johnna's care and concern for our students is outstanding. She is continuously going above and beyond to ensure they have the services they need to be successful learners and people. She is a thoughtful teammate with many amazing ideas on how to support the Eldorado community. She never hesitates to help support in a crisis and helps students navigate these stressful situations with compassion and empathy. It is a pleasure to work with her.
Nominated by Amy Hansen, Counselor, Eldorado Elementary

Katie Kitselman, Affective Needs Teacher, Ponderosa High School
Katie is an amazing affective needs teacher. She has an incredible passion for caring for our most at-risk students. Every day, she provides an environment where students feel safe, supported, and heard. Even in difficult conversations, she remains calm and takes time to make sure each student gets what they need. She is an incredible advocate for all of our students. She will do everything she can to help them be and feel successful.
Nominated by Laura Wilson, Special Education Teacher - Social Worker, Ponderosa High School

Erin McConnell, Literacy Coordinator, Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment
Erin is a rock star in every sense of the word. She is always professional and willing to help. She juggles many large and important projects, but she still manages to help others when needed. Erin is also brilliant and incredibly knowledgeable about literacy, coaching, and PLCs.
Erin often takes the lead on major projects and works tirelessly behind the scenes. Her work on the core reading program alone was a full-time commitment, but she still managed to work on other important projects for DCSD. She is truly a rock star.
Nominated by Tiffany Regan, Dyslexia Coordinator, Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment

Gretchen Reece, Affective Needs Teacher, Ponderosa High School
This is Gretchen's first year as an affective needs teacher, and she is completely phenomenal. With so much to navigate within Special Education and working with some of our most at-risk students, she has consistently come in with a positive attitude, supportive presence and is always eager to go above and beyond for students. She is a rock star every day, learning a new, and very difficult role. Gretchen works incredibly hard for her students. She communicates with all stakeholders and consistently makes sure that everyone has what they need.
Nominated by Laura Wilson, Special Education Teacher - Social Worker, Ponderosa High School

Allyson Seymour, Registrar, Sage Canyon Elementary
Allyson is a rock star registrar because of her willingness to assist families during a unique change in the boundaries of her school. She worked with staff from different departments to assist in the communication with families about the changes in the school assignments and how we could identify these families in the future. Allyson adapted quickly throughout this process.

Allyson continues to go above and beyond in her registrar position. She is curious about the processes of a registrar, and she is usually one of the first to read through any new processes or changes in policy. When I need to communicate new policies or instructions, she is always there to review material, find my mistakes, or give a better explanation when I have to communicate with a larger audience. Thank you for your help and support. It is a pleasure to work with you.
Nominated by Paula De Ville, Central Enrollment Specialist, West Support Center

Todd Sinclair, Preventive Maintenance Technician, North Terminal O&M
Todd has helped me with my school's snow removal when our snowblower was down. Todd didn't hesitate when I asked him for help when our snowblower was out of service. He saw I was struggling and helped with multiple areas on different occasions. These types of dependable workers are few and far between, and I appreciated that he helped me when he didn't have to.
Nominated by Craig Varriano, Building Engineer, Soaring Hawk Elementary

Connie Starr, Educational Assistant, Franktown Elementary
Connie Starr is a rock star in every sense of the word. Connie helps out in classrooms, provides supervision for recess duty, comes up with and creates fantastic bulletin boards, and checks in on not only students but with staff too. Connie takes the time to put a chocolate bar in your box when she feels like you're going through a tough time or simply just because it is Tuesday, and she can. Thank you, Connie Starr, for being a STAR!
Connie goes above and beyond for students and staff. Connie encourages kindness and acceptance of all students and goes out of her way to make them feel like they are a part of the Franktown Family. Connie personally takes the time to check in with coworkers on how they are doing and if there is anything she can do to help them. I would like to personally thank Connie for being such a kind, caring, and compassionate human being.
Nominated by Gianna Southard, Mild/Moderate Needs Teacher, Franktown Elementary

Jennifer Talley, Administrative Assistant, Flagstone Elementary Front Office
Jen Talley does an amazing job as our school's secretary! Jen keeps the office and school running smoothly. She keeps track of all of our schedules, orders supplies, pays bills, finds substitutes, and even fills in when and where needed! Jen, you are an asset to FSE and a true ROCK STAR - THANK YOU!
Nominated by Amy Duelm, Fifth-Grade Teacher, Flagstone Elementary

Karen Tarutis, BASE Support Specialist
Karen is a positive culture-building member of our BASE leadership team! She is a really caring individual who helps wherever she is needed! Karen has been going to BASE sites to cover before and after school care many times last minute so we can continue to care for our BASE families when staff is out unexpectedly. While at various BASE sites, she uses her knowledge of the programs and focuses on making the time enjoyable for kids and staff. We are so grateful for her willingness to help out when programs are short-staffed, or staff becomes ill.
Nominated by Denise Nichols, BASE Area Manager, West Support Center

Lonie Tomlin, Health Assistant, Flagstone Elementary
Lonie has a couple of different roles at FSE: health assistant and our tech support person - both of which are incredibly hectic and busy! Lonie is able to go from one crisis (a student throwing up profusely in the health room) to the next (a teacher needing an immediate tech issue resolved) and does so with grace and professionalism AND with a smile on her face! Thank you, Lonie, for all you do for FSE! You are a true ROCK STAR!
Nominated by Amy Duelm, Fifth-Grade Teacher, Flagstone Elementary

Lesly Verry, Registrar, Flagstone Elementary
Lesly ALWAYS goes above and beyond for our families and staff! She is so friendly and helpful and a true ROCK STAR! Lesly has helped organize and support our ever-changing field trips and has coordinated information with all the vendors, families, and staff. She is truly a ROCK STAR!
Nominated by Amy Duelm, Fifth-Grade Teacher, Flagstone Elementary




DCSD Employee Rock Stars: February 28, 2022

Mindee Barker, Administrative Assistant to Assistant Principal, Legend High School
Mindee is a wealth of information after working in DCSD for many years. Although she's new to Legend, she knows where to find the information for any question, or already knows the answer. She's fun and positive, and the students gravitate to her. Her ability to connect with challenging students has been amazing. Mindee juggles many different tasks and while we were in transition, she took on more time-sensitive tasks with ease. She has been a wonderful teammate. I appreciate her professionalism and positive attitude.
Nominated by Francie Billings, Administrative Assistant to Academic Programming, Legend High School


Louise Bashaw, Educational Assistant IV - Severe Needs, Cimarron Middle School
Louise is dedicated, caring and supportive of our students with special needs, as well as all of our students. She cares deeply for our school community and faithfully provides encouragement and friendship to so many of her colleagues. Louise has developed, coordinated and led a geology club for our students after school for two years. This club attracts students from every grade, and they have enjoyed her knowledge and engaging activities. She has sparked curiosity and a love for science in our students by sharing a passion of hers with us! Thank you, Louise!
Nominated by Sarah Hasler, Professional Learning Specialist, Cimarron Middle School


Hollie Blanchard, B.A.S.E. Manager, Sage Canyon Elementary, and Keith Langford, B.A.S.E. Manager, Frontier Valley Elementary
Hollie and Keith are developing a mentor program for B.A.S.E. staff. They have met with various departments and leaders to improve employee job satisfaction and create opportunities for managers to share their passion and expertise. We, along with many other organizations, are facing challenges with recruiting, retaining and growing quality staff. Hollie and Keith have presented an idea that hopefully will improve the culture and climate while helping staff fulfill job satisfaction. I look forward to seeing where this program takes people, both personally and professionally. Hollie and Keith, thanks for having a growth mindset. We value you both!
Nominated by Denise Nichols, B.A.S.E. Area Manager, West Support Center


Anita Concialdi, Registrar, Cherokee Trail Elementary
Anita always has a positive attitude and comes to registrar trainings ready to learn with a smile on her face. In her position as the registrar at CTE, Anita provides consistent work. With her years of experience, she is able to provide great information to incoming families. Her generosity toward others is felt in many avenues across the district. Anita is truly an amazing asset to her school, as well as the district. Student Data & Information Servces is very glad to have her in our ranks.
Nominated by Christine Romanello, Student Data & Information Services Specialist, West Support Center


Kim Conquet, B.A.S.E. Manager, Mammoth Heights Elementary
After meeting with Kim recently, she shared that she is happy where she is in her profession. That’s amazing, considering we are experiencing beyond challenging times in education, and that includes B.A.S.E. Kim creates a positive environment for students, staff, and families, while providing high-quality care to her students. Kim and all B.A.S.E. managers have had increased licensing requirements pre-pandemic and new COVID safety-related guidelines, while earning organizational accreditation and supporting staff and students during some of the most difficult times.
Nominated by Denise Nichols, B.A.S.E. Area Manager, West Support Center


Patricia Dunnigan, B.A.S.E. Manager, Mountain View Elementary
Over winter break Pat provided an activity similar to an escape room in her B.A.S.E. program. She planned each task that included not only fun engagement but academics. Listening to her describe it and seeing the photos was a highlight for both of us. Her passion for developing a high-quality activity that the kids enjoyed while incorporating learning, was a win-win! Pat has a very small staff and for a while had no assistant manager. I appreciate that she carved out extra time to provide a unique, fun activity when her daily duties require so much attention to safety, supervision, and support for students, families, and staff. Thank you for making a difference in a child’s day!
Nominated by Denise Nichols, B.A.S.E. Area Manager, West Support Center


Andi Fineran, Administrative Assistant to Student Support Department, Legend High School
Andi is extremely professional and handles the additional tasks asked of her like a true team player. She rolls up her sleeves and steps up when the need arises. Andi has jumped in with a positive attitude with learning another job on top of her own job while we're in transition. The tasks are time-sensitive and Andi picked up the ball and ran with it. She's very organized and detail-oriented and brings a level of fun professionalism.
Nominated by Francie Billings, Administrative Assistant to Academic Programming, Legend High School


Wayne Harbick, Electrical Lead, O&M - West Building
Wayne is so friendly and helpful. Laurie and I are new to our positions, and Wayne not only helped with a question but gave us the ‘why’ behind it, and how to use that information in the future. He is a valuable and knowledgeable resource for the district. Wayne made sure that the request we had was done promptly and he continues to help with our requests. He helped two employees who are not as familiar with the electrical side of the district understand the reason for his answers and why the process is done that way. This in turn helped us to explain why we had to change the request and offered other solutions. Wayne’s helpfulness makes our jobs easier.
Nominated by Tiffany Scott and Laurie Troutman, Coordinators - ADA and Leaves, Wilcox


Kevin Hayes, Trainer/Instructor, Transportation East
With over 11 years of service in the District, Kevin Hayes is a Transportation Trainer/Instructor who has certainly attained "Rock Star" status through his unselfish, "hands on" support of the DCSD Transportation Department's mission: "To provide safe, friendly, professional and efficient transportation services, while effectively utilizing available resources that enhance student achievement through World Class Education and Choice."

While we are all doing our part to maximize the available manpower needed to accomplish our mission, Kevin "stepped way up" by providing two solid weeks of Bus Driver support to the Castle Rock Terminal. This allowed the terminal to maintain transportation services to families that would have otherwise had those routes delayed or canceled.

In addition to providing bus driver support, Kevin continued to prepare for an upcoming new hire School Bus Driver training class as well as providing additional training & support for other District & Transportation staff. With operations that begin at 5 a.m., this made for long work days - but Kevin understands that "World Class Education and Choice" requires "Rock Star" effort! Nominated by David Romero, Training Manager, Transportation West


Shari L. Hurt, Trainer/Instructor, Transportation East
With over 22 years of service in the District, Shari Hurt is a Transportation Trainer/Instructor who has certainly attained "Rock Star" status through her unselfish, "hands on" support of the DCSD Transportation Department's mission: "To provide safe, friendly, professional and efficient transportation services, while effectively utilizing available resources that enhance student achievement through World Class Education and Choice."

While we are all doing our part to maximize the available manpower needed to accomplish our mission, Shari "stepped way up" by providing over one week of Bus Driver & Dispatch support to the Parker Bus Terminal. This allowed the terminal to maintain transportation services to families that would have otherwise had those routes delayed or canceled.

In addition to providing bus driver support, Shari continued to prepare for and support an upcoming new hire School Bus Driver training class and sustainment training for existing Transportation Department staff. With operations that begin at 5 a.m., this made for long work days - but Shari understands that "World Class Education and Choice" requires "Rock Star" effort!
Nominated by David Romero, Training Manager, Transportation West


Michelle (MJ) Jones, Art Teacher, Cimarron Middle School
MJ has come to our school with incredible talent, brilliant ideas, and most importantly a huge heart for building community with students and staff. he has been a lab host for our teachers in the area of workshop model and thinking strategies, leading Professional Development sessions and welcoming groups of teachers into her classroom. She developed and hosted our first-ever Cimarron Art Show for students to showcase their art for their families. MJ has only been here a semester, and her impact has been outstanding!
Nominated by Sarah Hasler, Professional Learning Specialist, Cimarron Middle School


Erin Keefe-Feiner, Principal Secretary, Larkspur Elementary
Erin comes to work every day with a positive attitude and with one main goal in mind: support and love the students and staff at Larkspur Elementary. We've had a challenging year with staffing and Erin has stepped up EVERY time to do what's best for the students. She is currently taking on the role of health assistant, registrar and principal secretary as well as additional duties for providing social services to the underprivileged in our community. She is doing a rock star job of balancing these duties with grace and patience. I appreciate Erin so much and would like her to receive the recognition that she deserves. Thank you, Erin!
Nominated by Whitney Chapman, School Nurse Consultant, DCSD Health, Wellness & Prevention


Kevin Knox, Trainer/Instructor, Transportation East
With over 5 years of service in the District, Kevin Knox is a Transportation Trainer/Instructor who has certainly attained "Rock Star" status through his unselfish, "hands on" support of the DCSD Transportation Department's mission: "To provide safe, friendly, professional and efficient transportation services, while effectively utilizing available resources that enhance student achievement through World Class Education and Choice."

While we are all doing our part to maximize the available manpower needed to accomplish our mission, Kevin "stepped way up" by providing two solid weeks of Bus Driver support to the Castle Rock Terminal. This allowed the terminal to maintain transportation services to families that would have otherwise had those routes delayed or canceled.

In addition to providing bus driver support, Kevin continued to prepare for an upcoming new hire School Bus Driver training class as well as supporting sustainment training for existing Transportation Department staff. With operations that begin at 5 a.m., this made for long work days - but Kevin understands that "World Class Education and Choice" requires "Rock Star" effort!
Nominated by David Romero, Training Manager, Transportation West


Beth Micci, Trainer/Instructor, Transportation East
With over 20 years of service in the District, Beth Micci is a Transportation Trainer/Instructor who has certainly attained "Rock Star" status through her unselfish, "hands on" support of the DCSD Transportation Department's mission: "To provide safe, friendly, professional and efficient transportation services, while effectively utilizing available resources that enhance student achievement through World Class Education and Choice."

While we are all doing our part to maximize the available manpower needed to accomplish our mission, Beth "stepped way up" by providing two solid weeks of Bus Driver support to the Castle Rock Terminal. This allowed the terminal to maintain transportation services to families that would have otherwise had those routes delayed or canceled.

In addition to providing bus driver support, Beth continued to prepare for an upcoming new hire School Bus Driver training class as well as providing sustainment training for existing Transportation Department staff. With operations that begin at 5 a.m., this made for long work days - but Beth understands that "World Class Education and Choice" requires "Rock Star" effort!
Nominated by David Romero, Training Manager, Transportation West


Tracie Nigro, Administrative Assistant, Chaparral High School
Tracie stepped in to help me and a colleague with data entry tasks in order to track student progress. Even though this is not part of her job, she willingly offers to do as much of the data entry as she can to support our efforts to monitor student progress. Tracie was so easy to train - she picked up on all the steps and nuances of the task at hand. She takes the initiative each week to determine if more data is available and to enter it as it becomes available, thus keeping all of our records current. The updates she completes are always spot on and done in such a timely fashion that we are able to meet deadlines and have the most recent data possible to support our students. Tracie's help has freed us to have more time supporting students directly rather than being mired in data collection and recording.

Although data entry is not part of Tracie's normal responsibilities, she offered to help and has stayed so on top of everything we need help with. Her understanding of what we need and her ability to instantly and accurately learn and apply the steps to gather and enter the precise data we need is remarkable. She doesn't let uncertainty stop her and is so efficient at working the role she voluntarily stepped into. She willingly, gladly helps us out and always has a positive attitude. Tracie is a gem!
Nominated by Carolyn Ford, Student Support Specialist, Chaparral High School


Tim Ottmann, Principal, Ponderosa High School
Today, Tim Ottmann literally saved a student's life. The student was lying down on the ground unable to speak. A nearby staff member knew the student had just been eating something, and thought he was choking. Tim performed the Heimlich Maneuver several times until the food was dislodged and the student was able to speak and catch his breath.

Tim Ottmann is an amazing person who has served as a principal, athletic director, teacher, and coach for 31 years at Ponderosa. He goes above and beyond every day with his positive and supportive attitude. He puts Ponderosa students, staff, and parents first. He is a natural leader and a dream administrator. He is always in the halls talking to students and staff, listening to concerns; looking for solutions. Today, his selflessness paid off with his quick response and heroic actions.
Nominated by Christy Kidd, Counselor, Ponderosa High School


Shannon Rodriguez, Secretary to the Principal, Mountain Ridge Middle School
I have known Shannon for over four years. She was one of the first to welcome me into the registrar sisterhood when I first started on my registrar journey. The days that I needed a little pick me up, I called Shannon knowing that I would hang up that phone call with a smile on my face and feeling so much better. She is kind while giving her full heart and soul to her school on a daily basis.

This year Shannon has not only been the registrar at Mountain Ridge Middle School but also took on a new position of Secretary to the Principal. She has been working both jobs and hasn't missed a beat. Her positive attitude and love for her school can be felt across the District. Shannon is an amazing asset to Mountain Ridge Middle School as well as the District.
Nominated by Christine Romanello, Student Data and Information Services Specialist, West Support Center


Holly Rolen, Trainer/Instructor & State of Colorado CDL Third Party Examiner, DCSD Transportation
With over 10 years of service in the District, Holly Rolen is a Transportation Trainer/Instructor who has certainly attained "Rock Star" status through her unselfish, "hands on" support of the DCSD Transportation Department's mission: "To provide safe, friendly, professional and efficient transportation services, while effectively utilizing available resources that enhance student achievement through World Class Education and Choice."

While we are all doing our part to maximize the available manpower needed to accomplish our mission, Holly "stepped way up" by providing two solid weeks of Bus Driver support to the Castle Rock Terminal. This allowed the terminal to maintain transportation services to families that would have otherwise had those routes delayed or canceled

In addition to providing bus driver support, Holly continued to prepare for an upcoming new hire School Bus Driver training class as well as supporting sustainment training for existing Transportation Department staff. With operations that begin at 5 a.m., this made for long work days - but Holly understands that "World Class Education and Choice" requires "Rock Star" effort!
Nominated by David Romero, Training Manager, Transportation West


Christy Schwalick, Administrative Assistant to Post Grad, Legend High School
Christy has been a team player with a positive attitude. She handles pressure very well, and remains positive and professional while leading others. Christy has been tackling multiple jobs while our front office has been short-handed, on top of her own workload. She's been training new people on time-sensitive work, while her own workload is also time-sensitive. Under the added stress, she has not complained once. She has a positive "let's get this done" attitude, and has taken the lead to delegate and cross-train others as needed.
Nominated by Francie Billings, Administrative Assistant to Academic Programming, Legend High School


Caleb Stevenson, Trainer/Instructor, East Transportation
With over 5 years of service in the District, Caleb Stevenson is a Transportation Trainer/Instructor who has certainly attained "Rock Star" status through his unselfish, "hands on" support of the DCSD Transportation Department's mission: "To provide safe, friendly, professional and efficient transportation services, while effectively utilizing available resources that enhance student achievement through World Class Education and Choice."

While we are all doing our part to maximize the available manpower needed to accomplish our mission, Caleb "stepped way up" by providing two solid weeks of Bus Driver support to the Castle Rock Terminal. This allowed the terminal to maintain transportation services to families that would have otherwise had those routes delayed or canceled.

In addition to providing bus driver support, Caleb continued to prepare for an upcoming new hire School Bus Driver training class as well as conducting sustainment training for existing Transportation Department staff. With operations that begin at 5 a.m., this made for long work days - but Caleb understands that "World Class Education and Choice"
Nominated by David Romero, Training Manager, Transportation West


Lonnie Vairma, Trainer/Instructor, East Transportation
With over 2 years of service in the District, Lonnie Vairma is a Transportation Trainer/Instructor who has certainly attained "Rock Star" status through his unselfish, "hands on" support of the DCSD Transportation Department's mission: "To provide safe, friendly, professional and efficient transportation services, while effectively utilizing available resources that enhance student achievement through World Class Education and Choice."

While we are all doing our part to maximize the available manpower needed to accomplish our mission, Lonnie "stepped way up" by providing two solid weeks of Bus Driver support to the Castle Rock Terminal. This allowed the terminal to maintain transportation services to families that would have otherwise had those routes delayed or canceled.

In addition to providing bus driver support, Lonnie continued to prepare for an upcoming new hire School Bus Driver training class as well as conducting sustainment training for existing Transportation Department staff. With operations that begin at 5 a.m., this made for long work days - but Lonnie understands that "World Class Education and Choice" requires "Rock Star" effort!
Nominated by David Romero, Training Manager, Transportation West


Jennifer Vondra, Early Childhood Instructor, Pioneer Elementary Preschool
Jenny is an authentic and talented instructor. She has the ability to connect with every student in her class with genuine care while instructing them to work cooperatively through her own examples. Jenny is collaborative with her team and embraces opportunities to learn and advance her own skills. Jenny reflects on her daily instruction by accepting input and refining techniques as needed. It is evident that her students are engaged in purposeful learning given the feedback from the families and colleagues. Jenny is a pleasure to team with!
Nominated by Leslie Gresham, Early Childhood Special Education Instructor, Early Childhood Education





DCSD Employee Rock Stars: January 20, 2022

Kim Rodriguez, Bus Driver, Parker Terminal
Kim is very organized and has a high standard for making sure her kids are on time and following rules. She has gone above and beyond in her attitude and attention to detail.
Nominated by Micaela Perkins, Bus Driver, Parker Terminal


Niki Thomas, Healthcare Assistant, Ranch View Middle School
Niki is a caretaker both of the body and spirit! On paper, she is our Nurse's Assistant, carefully looking after kids as any medical situations arise...this past year and a half have put her to the test! However, that is just the beginning, as her real superpower is bringing heart to our building. Every morning before school, Niki arrives early to play music as staff and students file in. She has earned the nickname "DJ Thomas" as so many people comment on her awesome playlists. She is also the queen of our Staff Shout Outs, encouraging and reminding staff to appreciate each other. On any given week 60+ kind written messages may be displayed on the Ranch View Staff Shout Out board. Niki helps make Ranch View Middle School a place people want to work. Niki, this Shout Out is for you!
Nominated by Erin Isley, International Baccalaureate Coordinator, Ranch View Middle School


Brian Tully, Custodian, Highlands Ranch High School
I have worked with Brian for almost 3 years. I am quite amazed how he handles so many things here at the school (e.g., toilet clogs, deliveries of boxes to teachers, cleaning, snow removal, trash removal, recycling, painting, furniture moving, covering rentals, covering other schools, tackling project requests, the list goes on and on.) He has such a great attitude with everyone and is a great team member. We at Highlands Ranch High School are very lucky to have him. He really goes above and beyond in helping everyone including myself. Way to go Brian!
Nominated by Eric Nydam, Building Engineer, Highlands Ranch High School





DCSD Employee Rock Stars: December 16, 2021

Summer Danser,  School Nurse Consultant, Lone Tree Bridge Program
Summer works at both Mountain Ridge Middle School and Lone Tree Bridge and does a great job making sure she services both schools equally. She is always making sure everyone is comfortable with delegations. She is very easy to contact if there is a question or concern and is always quick to respond. Summer spends time at Bridge not only doing all of the paperwork she has to do as the nurse, but she is also in the classroom being hands-on with the students as much as possible. Any time she is in the building she comes to my class and helps take care of tubes, medication, feedings, etc. and if there is a day that I know I may need extra assistance, she does her best to try to be available to help out.
Nominated by Trista Charlton, Special Education Teacher- Severe Needs, Lone Tree Bridge Program


Dr. Chantel Estes, Engineering Teacher, Roxborough Primary and Roxborough Intermediate
Chantel builds capacity among educators while embracing Mother Nature, utilizing outdoor environments as a tool for experiential learning. She inspires students to problem-solve while focusing on the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals as a vehicle for sustainable learning. Chantel is passionate about outdoor learning, STEM, and developing others. Chantel has been instrumental in developing greater command of outdoor learning, both for teachers in our building and other educators throughout DCSD and other districts. Additionally, she provides outdoor learning experiences to classes while teachers engage in peer observation. We are lucky to have her partnership, creative mind, and passion for educating others here in Roxborough!
Nominated by Mike Carlson, Assistant Principal, Roxborough Intermediate


Cindy Evans, Transportation Educational Assistant, Parker Terminal / Transportation
Cindy has been with Transportation for over 15 years and is very devoted to her job. She is always willing to train a Driver or Transportation Educational Assistant (TEA) on SPED Equipment, maintain our SPED equipment inventory, or be a helping hand wherever needed when the opportunity arises. We love Cindy and wish we could hire more people with her work ethic! Cindy is always is willing to train a newbie although she and her driver have one of the hardest routes at the Terminal.
Nominated by Michele Winder, Dispatcher, Parker Terminal / Transportation


Dylann Forsyth, Early Childhood Special Education Teacher, Gold Rush Elementary
Dylann has helped some of our students become more independent with tools towards social emotional and academics. She is amazing! She has so many great ideas and very supportive.
Nominated by Pam Ditus, Severe Needs Educational Assistant, Gold Rush Elementary


Kristen Harvey, Severe Special Needs Educational Assistant, Coyote Creek Elementary
Harvey comes to work every day and does her job with a smile! She works with some difficult kiddos but has patience and understanding and seems to know exactly what a child needs when they need it. She is a team player and always seems to lighten the mood in tough situations. The other day, one of our students was choking in the lunchroom. Harvey jumped into action quickly remembering her first aid training and performing back thrusts and a mouth sweep to save the child's life.
Nominated by Amy Rahne, Principal, Coyote Creek Elementary


Christy Irwin, Occupational Therapist, Gold Rush Elementary
Christy is very knowledgeable in what she does with students and values my assistance when needed with students on her case load. Christy has good strategies for making students feel comfortable when working with them. She never sets students up for failure and has the tools and knowledge to show students that they are good at what they are capable of doing.
Nominated by Pam Ditus, Severe Needs Educational Assistant, Gold Rush Elementary


Suzy McDaniel, Administrative Assistant to Choice Programming Department, West Support Center
Suzy McDaniel is a key member of the Choice Programming team. Suzy goes above and beyond in supporting Charter Leaders, Open Enrollment, Homeschool Students, and Cloverleaf Enrichment School. Suzy has built a reputation for being a "go-to" person for all registrars in the district, and her contributions reach far beyond the Choice Programming Office. Suzy is available to help everyone who needs it. She approaches her work in a very humble manner, and she is eager to help people find solutions to their questions. There are times when members of our team need additional support that pulls Suzy away from her daily tasks, and she is always ready to make her expertise available. Suzy is the definition of a team player, and we all depend on her institutional knowledge.
Nominated by Gordon Mosher, Director of Choice Programming, West Support Center


Mandy Miller, Second Grade Teacher, Gold Rush Elementary
Mandy has done such an amazing job this year weaving in Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) in her everyday practices. She does daily Mindfulness, has set up an affirmation station for her students and uses SEL/Mindful language with them. The calmness and safeness that her students feel in her room is evident when you walk in. Mandy is truly a Rock Star leading the charge with Social Emotional Learning. When I spoke with one of her students - they shared with me that they use Ms. Miller's Affirmation Station every day and that it helps with their feelings. Her impact on them goes far beyond the walls of the classroom!
Nominated by Ann Fitch, Counselor, Gold Rush Elementary


Dr. Tiffany Regan, Literacy and Dyslexia Coordinator, Curriculum, Instruction, & Assessments, Cantril
Dr. Regan is a Rock Star because she goes above and beyond to support students and staff. Dr. Regan continually leads and trains teachers in using researched-based teaching methodologies, she is always open to supporting colleagues and students in the district, and she is continually refining her craft and understandings about what is best for students when it comes to literacy. She is helping to support students by training teachers in structured literacy. Nearly 1 in 5 students have dyslexia and thanks to her knowledge, DCSD has people trained in at least every building. Dr. Regan is always available and is such a lovely person. She always answers my questions and supports me in any way she can. She is one of the best educators I know. DCSD is so lucky to have Dr. Regan!
Nominated by Christina Courtney, Mild Moderate Learning Specialist, Curriculum, Instruction & Assessments, Cantril


Marley Rhoadarmer, Early Childhood Education Speech Language Pathologist, GRE
She Is AMAZING! Good at being a Speech Language Pathologist. Marley has compassion and knowledge of what is required for our students that require speech services.
Nominated by Pam Ditus, Severe Needs Educational Assistant, Gold Rush Elementary


Caroline Schafer, Behavior Technician Autism Support Team, Variable Locations
Caroline is a true team player and is a true joy to work with. She came to help support in our classroom for a month. She has incredible patience and love for students. I can't thank her enough for the guidance and support she gave me and our classroom. Caroline not only helped with our students but was part of our team. She would join us for our team meetings and be happy to step in for anything and no questions asked.
Nominated by Beth Ott, Educational Assistant, Bridge Transition Program


Alyssa Scrivens, Benefits Analyst, Wilcox
Alyssa steps up to the plate to help out our payroll team whenever we need her, especially when we are short staffed. She is always eager to add to her vast knowledge of DCSD practices and processes and is willing to share her knowledge with others. She is a team player and always has a kind and attentive nature when communicating with others. Alyssa is a valued member of our DCSD team!
Nominated by Krista Sandquist, Payroll Specialist, Wilcox





DCSD Employee Rock Stars: November 18, 2021

Connie Buechler, Administrative Assistant, Special Education, Wilcox
Connie is new to our department and she has come in and taken on every challenge. She is eager to learn and jumps in with both feet. She has already set about to change the culture by hosting Halloween events, helping decorate our new office space. She is cheerful with a quick smile and a helping hand. She deals with a wide range of people and is always polite and friendly. She is an asset to the department
Nominated by Jill Dutton, Mental Health Data Manager Specialist, Wilcox


Erik Hagerman, Custodian, ThunderRidge High School / Operations & Maintenance
Erik came here for four days this week to cover day shifts. Three of our four day staff had to quarantine for Covid. He was so helpful and energetic in helping the school with its daily duties. I could really see all his efforts as I do all the night maintenance as I am short-staffed as well for the last year. Believe me, I noticed! Erik jumped right and did a lot of extra things to make it run smoothly this week, as well as regular tasks. His positive attitude and energy made everything look really good this week with the absence of most of our day staff. I really noticed his efforts as I do all the maintenance at night by myself as I am short-handed as well. He did some things for me that I didn’t even ask for help for as I am short-handed as well. Way to go, Erik!
Nominated by Eric Nydam, Building Engineer - Night, Highlands Ranch High School


Jessica Hunziker, Media Teacher, Castle View High School
Jessica did an amazing job coordinating the CV Media Students for the Castle View High School Board of Education Candidate Forum. The work Jessica does every day with the CV Media programs is outstanding, and her mentorship shined through in the professionalism of the students that led the forum.
Nominated by Nate Jones, Communications Manager, Wilcox


Shannon Johnson, School Nurse, Sedalia Elementary
Shannon works at two schools who serve a significant number of students who are considered at risk. Since the first day in her position, she has fully embraced each school, the uniqueness of each community, and continues to find ways to improve outcomes for kids, families, and staff at each school. In a time when so many school nurses are feeling the stress and enormous workload due to the pandemic, Shannon continues to find how leverage ways to positively impact her work environments. Recently, Sedalia Elementary ran out of snacks for students that had previously been provided by local businesses. Shannon quietly sent a Facebook post to family and friends across the U.S. asking if they would be willing to purchase snacks and have them sent to the school. On Monday, our office at Sedalia Elementary looked like an Amazon warehouse. We had stacks of boxes of snacks arriving from all parts of the United States. Food security for many families is an everyday issue and Shannon understands how satisfying food needs at school allows students to focus on the work in front of them. Shannon's dedication to the Sedalia community far exceeds the shared role she has at Sedalia. The small gesture of sending a request through Facebook has generated an outpouring of support and that act is the quintessential talent Shannon possesses. We are grateful to have Shannon on our team and appreciate her stewardship.
Nominated by Jeff Johnson, Principal, Sedalia Elementary


Cindy Jones, Administrative Assistant to the Principal, Legend High School
Cindy did an incredible job supporting and coordinating student meetings for the Legend High School Board of Education Candidate Forum. The event was a success in large part to her coordinating stage needs, keeping participants connected throughout the planning process, and ensuring the streaming team had everything they needed the night of the event.
Nominated by Nate Jones, Communications Manager, Wilcox


Tambria O'Brien, Administrative Assistant, Student Support Services, Wilcox
Tammy works tirelessly to ensure everyone is respected. She does her job seamlessly working with all stakeholders to meet their needs. She has filled in for others when there has been an absence. She does it all with a sense of humor and a smile on her face, even when she is carrying her own burdens. She makes everyone feel heard. She is the rock of our department. I have never known her not to have a smile on her face.
Nominated by Jill Dutton, Mental Health Data Manager Specialist, Wilcox


Debbey Quintana, Administrative Assistant to the Principal, ThunderRidge High School
Debbey did an incredible job supporting and coordinating student meetings for the ThunderRidge High School Board of Education Candidate Forum. Debbey ensured the participants staying in contact with the support team from DCSD and provided excellent logistical support for the event.
Nominated by Nate Jones, Communications Manager, Wilcox


Robert Scott, Theater Teacher, Castle View High School
Robert has been incredibly accommodating and supportive of all the DCSD events held at the CVHS theater during the first three months of the year. He has scheduled around these events with his theater classes and school plays, as well as providing lighting and AV support to the DCSD Communications Office. Robert has been instrumental in the success of these events and is an amazing ambassador for the Castle View High School community.
Nominated by Nate Jones, Communications Manager, Wilcox


Special Projects Crew - Ismael Caloca, Axel Lara and Tony Perez, Operations & Maintenance
This crew came to my school all this week to help me with daily maintenance things. I am short-staffed right now, doing the night maintenance by myself, and they really did a great job. What a blessing to see them here when they show up to help me! I’ve had a rough week with the passing of my father. Their great attitude and enthusiasm really made my week better since I am short-staffed and doing the building by myself. That crew is awesome!
Nominated by Eric Nydam, Building Engineer - Night, Highlands Ranch High School




DCSD Employee Rock Stars: October 14, 2021

Marilyn Harris, Administrative Assistant to Custodial Staffing, Operations & Maintenance
I had the pleasure of meeting Marilyn this year , due to unfortunate circumstances. However, I am thankful that I did because she has been such an amazing support person in working together over the past 3 months to get a new Building Engineer on board. She was instrumental in helping us get things completed throughout the summer, after the death of our Building Engineer. Marilyn has not only advocated for help for us, but she took on a great deal of the long search for a new Building Engineer and she did it with such positivity and grace. She's truly a Rock Star!!
Nominated by Gina Grimes, Principal, Saddle Ranch Elementary


Dr. Tiffany Regan, Strategist - CIPG, Cantril
Dr. Regan is such a fantastic human being. She always checks in on people. She is never too busy to answer a question, and is truly one of the most selfless individuals that I have ever met. Dr. Regan has helped provide resources where there weren't any before. She has provided me with insight and perspective on various topics. She is truly never too busy to help anyone. She has mailed me a book when I didn't have one that I needed for a class. She is willing to learn right beside you or is willing help find someone who has the answer to any questions that you might have that she doesn't have an answer to. She is a gem!
Nominated by Gianna Southard, SPED Teacher - Moderate Needs, Franktown Elementary


Troy Doyle, Shop Foreman / Fleet Management, East Transporation
Excellent management. Troy is a Rock Star because his leadership has created a great environment providing excellent service. Everyone there is kind, professional, and caring. Troy provides a leadership that results in exceptional service from his location.
Nominated by Jackie Herrington - EA-IV, Parker Bridge Transition


Lisa de la Peña, Assistant Principal, Pioneer Elementary School
Lisa goes above and beyond on a daily basis to support students at Pioneer Elementary. This past week she even supported one of the kindergarten teachers with trouble-shooting a student's hearing assistive technology. She helped one of our students with hearing loss to connect the personal microphone to their cochlear implants so that they could hear the computer audio which was needed for testing. She did not hesitate, but instead quickly jumped in to support this student. Her ongoing efforts are greatly appreciated.....Lisa is truly a Rock Star!!! Lisa goes above and beyond on a daily basis to support students at Pioneer Elementary. This past week she even supported one of the kindergarten teachers with trouble-shooting a student's hearing assistive technology. She helped one of our students with hearing loss to connect the personal microphone to their cochlear implants so that they could hear the computer audio which was needed for testing. She did not hesitate, but instead quickly jumped in to support this student. Her ongoing efforts are greatly appreciated.....Lisa is truly a Rock Star!!!
Nominated by Chris Earley, Teacher of Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Various Schools


Kyle Young, Building Engineer, Wilcox
Kyle has only been our Building Engineer at Wilcox for about one month, in that time, his work ethic is outstanding! Kyle always goes above and beyond. In the short time that he's been here, he has cleaned areas of the building that had never been cleaned before. He always has a positive attitude and is always willing to help when needed. He is truly an asset to Wilcox.
Nominated by Bridget Santoyo, Accountant, Wilcox


Deb DeLong, Technology Teacher, Cresthill Middle School
Deb is a source of energy for our entire campus and brings enthusiasm for everything that she does. She teaches multiple subjects and gladly incorporates campus information and needs into her work. Most recently, she has added content to support the SEL needs identified by counseling, academic content to develop and enhance reading/math skills, but also allow the school to build a community around a wide variety of student developed segments. The work that her students create allows Cresthill to be a family of learners. She is willing to help all and step in with technology. Deb is a true exemplar for other educators! Specifically, her assistance with technology and addressing immediate needs that our campus has is invaluable. She will quickly assign a student reporter or add a segment to the school news. I am brand new to the campus, and can see the power of her work ethic and positive attitude. She is invested in our students and staff. Just watch our CANN news show, and you will totally see the community she is helping to build.
Nominated by Erica Leu, Teacher Librarian, Cresthill Middle School


Sally Garrett, Receptionist, Wilcox
American Red Cross CPR was being taught on September 24th, during the PLC day. A participant came to the CPR class who had arranged for communication accommodations, unbeknown to the CPR instructors. He was notified on his way to class that his interpreter would not be available. Upon arrival to the class, he texted on his phone that he is deaf and mute. We went to the Wilcox receptionist, Sally Garrett, to see if she knew if anyone in the building knew sign language. Sally stated that she did and shared that signing is her first language! Sally graciously stepped up to translate the entire CPR course for him, with the instructor, so he could complete his CPR course! Sally asked if the course could be taught to this gentleman near her reception desk so she could still hear the phone and see the door, so she didn't leave her post abandoned. Not only is Sally incredibly talented, but she is also gracious enough to share her talent and assist another employee to fulfill his task. Sally is a Rock Star! She is the DCSD receptionist, but is also an interpreter for the deaf with her greatest gift helping others!
Nominated by Kelly Driver and Mary Schmitt, Nursing Services, Wilcox


Kyle Young, Building Engineer, Wilcox
Kyle is new to our building replacing our building engineer of many years who recently retired. Kyle is sociable, approachable and kind. He is constantly moving, very focused and very helpful. He definitely lets no grass grow beneath his feet as he takes on his new position. Did you recently see him with a machine cleaning our carpeted floors or vacuuming under desks without being asked? Did you know that he also looks out for the Wilcox employees by noticing and acting on things inside and outside of the building that most of us would not notice? He takes note and follows up for our safety. Thank you, Kyle!
Nominated by Pat Yamada, Benefits Specialist, Wilcox





DCSD Employee Rockstars: September 16, 2021

Mary Ann Hatlestad, Instructional Assistant - RTI Intervention, Roxborough Intermediate
Mary Ann has gone above and beyond in supporting our SPED team as we have had to adjust to new positions and staff being gone. She deserves way more than her hourly pay and has single-handedly kept our program afloat! Mary Ann has gone above and beyond in supporting our SPED team as we have had to adjust to new positions and staff being gone. She deserves way more than her hourly pay and has single-handedly kept our program afloat!
Nominated by Beth Collins, School Psychologist, Legacy Point Elementary

Amy Long, Building Engineer, Roxborough Intermediate
Amy has come to Legacy Point to serve staff and students in a way she has never done before. She has been learning all aspects of the Building Engineer position and she never skips a details. She is thorough and detail oriented and never misses or forgets a thing. Legacy Point has never looked so beautiful. What makes her truly exceptional is how she goes about her work; with a smile and a desire to serve all who walk through our halls. Thank you, Amy!
Nominated by Kristin Drury, Principal, Legacy Point Elementary

Karen Davis, Educational Assistant IV - Severe Needs, Castle Rock Middle School
Karen is one of the staples in our SSN program. The knowledge she brings along with a kind and caring attitude for our most important kids goes beyond measure.Regardless of the struggle to keep our program staffed, Karen shows up each day with a smile and a 110% effort to make sure our students have great days. On top of all that she is always looking for ways to make the staff happy. She is truly a rock star.
Nominated by Bernadette Pigeon, School Psychologist, Castle Rock Middle School

Allison Hawk, Assistant Principal, Eldorado Elementary
Allison is an Employee Rock Star because she has been an amazing resource to all new employees in our building. She conducts all of our induction meetings, answers hundreds of questions and has dance moves that are frequently on display, much to the student's, and staff's, delight! She whole-heartedly cares about the Eldorado Community and shows up everyday ready to do her best. Allison is cool under pressure and jumps in to help wherever she is needed. We are appreciative of her time and her efforts in making our transition to Eldorado Elementary a supportive and positive one! Thank you, Allison.
Nominated by Amy Hansen, Counselor, Eldorado Elementary


Patricia Yamada, Benefits Specialist, Wilcox
Pat and Chris are like the dynamic duo of Benefits. Their dedication to DCSD employees is unmeasurable. Benefits can be confusing and stressful. These two individuals work tirelessly to help staff understand and utilize the incredible benefits that DCSD offers. They work late into the night to ensure our staff is taken care of and feel supported. I rarely walk through the office when Pat and Chris are not on the phone walking someone through the websites of our benefit companies or helping a family find resources for a difficult situation. They handle the pressure and stress with a smile because they know that our staff needs that calming and solution-based attitude. I am proud to call them part of our HR Team!!
Nominated by Dion Killingsworth, Employee Relations Director, Wilcox

Chris Nash, Benefits Specialist, Wilcox
Pat and Chris are like the dynamic duo of Benefits. Their dedication to DCSD employees is unmeasurable. Benefits can be confusing and stressful. These two individuals work tirelessly to help staff understand and utilize the incredible benefits that DCSD offers. They work late into the night to ensure our staff is taken care of and feel supported. I rarely walk through the office when Pat and Chris are not on the phone walking someone through the websites of our benefit companies or helping a family find resources for a difficult situation. They handle the pressure and stress with a smile because they know that our staff needs that calming and solution-based attitude. I am proud to call them part of our HR Team!!
Nominated by Dion Killingsworth, Employee Relations Director, Wilcox

Greg Morehead, Carpenter, Operations and Maintenance
Greg is a true asset to DCSD. Greg can complete any request with skill and creativity. Parker Bridge would like to thank Greg for the dedication to students concerning their safety and success. Greg always responds quickly, cheerfully, and professionally whenever something comes up.
Nominated by Jackie Herrington, EA-IV, Parker Bridge Transition

Zach Nannestad, Environmental Health Manager, Operations and Maintenance
Zach is always available to assist schools and departments. Following heavy rains, Zach made himself available for nearly the entire Labor Day weekend to attend to building leaks and help ensure schools were up and running again.
Nominated by Richard Cosgrove, Chief Operation Officer, Wilcox

Michael Bakke, Strategic Sourcing Manager, Strategic Sourcing, West Support Center
Proactively going above and beyond to streamline processes. We had a vendor that was sending separate invoices for individual services with different dates, etc. It was cumbersome to track. Mike proactively reached out to the vendor and worked through a solution to streamline invoices into one resulting in reduced time and staffing resources. We really appreciate his help!!
Nominated by Stacy Rader, Communications Officer, Wilcox



DCSD Employee Rockstars: August 23, 2021

Michele Burnett, 5th Grade Teacher, Northeast Elementary School
Michele’s class was quarantined more times than any other class at school, yet she continued to outperform her peers. Michele is a leader and striver who excelled at advancing her students during the worst crisis in history.
Nominated by Corbett, Substitute Teacher, Mountain View and Northeast Elementary School

Rachel Dreiling, Human Resources Employment Supervisor, Wilcox
Rachel’s positive “can do” attitude inspired me to work harder for our students. Rachel and her team, like so many staff members in the District, worked tirelessly this year to overcome incredible odds to provide support for schools. This year of quarantines and remote learning has tested everyone’s ability to adjust and provide unwavering education for our students. Rachel worked weekends and holidays to ensure we covered as many vacancies as we could. Her team hired hundreds of substitutes. She helped create incentives and supplied trainings for our substitutes. Rachel played an integral part of the success that Douglas County Schools experienced in overcoming the challenges for the 2020-2021 school year.
Nominated by Dion Killingsworth, Employee Relations Director, Wilcox

Rachel Donnelly, Art Teacher, Highlands Ranch High School
Rachel did a collaborative art project with the 2nd graders at FCE in early 2019. She took their monster drawings and had her high school art students create stuffies based on their drawings. They are absolutely adorable! We have lots of pictures. Rachel went above and beyond because in the spring of 2020 we went fully remote, and her students were not able to finish the project. She had her 2021 students finish the project. Rachel reached out to me for the now 3rd grade class lists. She then had her students make a stuffie for the new 3rd grade kids who did not create a monster drawing in 2nd grade. When I was able to deliver the stuffies to the third graders they were so happy and the new students had huge smiles because they were included. The project was awesome and Rachel went above and beyond to complete it!
Nominated by PJ Fisher, Art Teacher, Fox Creek Elementary

Ashley Bidinger, English Teacher, Douglas County High School
I was working a security assignment when I saw a young student crying and having a bad day. I spoke to her for a minute but had to move on. I saw Ashley coming down the hall. I asked Ashley if she could spend some time with the student. She never hesitated. Ashley sat down with the young lady ( I have pictures) and spoke to her. After about 10 minutes the young lady got up with a smile on her face. Ashley took a few minutes to spend time with a distraught student. Ashley made a difference in the life of the young lady. Ashley took time out of her teaching assignmnet to spend time with a student in distress. Ashley was able to balance what is really important and when.
Nominated by Thomas Popken, Security, Douglas County High School

Paula De Ville, Central Enrollment Specialist, Student Data Services
Paula is always approaching her position with an amazing proactive attitude. No matter the situation she will always find a solution that best meets the needs of all parties involved. If she is unable to solve the issue, she never hesitates to reach out for assistance. This summer, Paula and her team processed over 1,100 new student registrations for the District. She worked nights and weekends to ensure that these students had a place to go on Monday, August 9, 2021. We really appreciate all the long hours that Paula put in to make this happen! She truly is a DCSD Rock Star!
Nominated by Philip G. Ranford, Director of Academic Integrity, Academic Systems

Bill Fordyce, Director of Facilities, Operations and Maintenance
His responsiveness to the needs of our schools. At the start of the school year we had a couple of chillers go out creating uncomfortable learning environments. Bill went above and beyond by working nights, weekends, etc. to coordinate service and repairs to get our classrooms cool as soon as possible. We appreciate his leadership and dedication to DCSD and its student and staff!
Nominated by Corey Wise, Superintendent, Wilcox

David Herrington, Maintenance Lead, Operations and Maintenance
Doing whatever it takes to keep our schools operating and creating comfortable learning environments for students. At the start of the school year we had chillers fail at a few schools creating hot, uncomfortable classrooms. Dave and his colleagues worked around the clock to find solutions and get the cooling up and running again as quickly as possible.
Nominated by Richard Cosgrove, COO, Operations and Maintenance

Bill Davis, Building Automation Systems Lead, Operations and Maintenance
Doing whatever it takes to keep our schools operating and creating comfortable learning environments for students. At the start of the school year we had chillers fail at a few schools creating hot, uncomfortable classrooms. Dave and his colleagues worked around the clock to find solutions and get the cooling up and running again as quickly as possible.
Nominated by Richard Cosgrove, COO, Operations and Maintenance

Jeff Houghtaling, Maintenance Lead, Operations and Maintenance
Doing whatever it takes to keep our schools operating and creating comfortable learning environments for students. At the start of the school year we had chillers fail at a few schools creating hot, uncomfortable classrooms. Dave and his colleagues worked around the clock to find solutions and get the cooling up and running again as quickly as possible.
Nominated by Richard Cosgrove, COO, Operations and Maintenance

Carlos Ayala, Building Engineer, Iron Horse Elementary
Carlos is our building engineer and brings passion and joy to his job every day. Carlos connects with every student and staff member and will drop what he is doing to meet the needs of others. His laugh and humor draw people to him! Our school had some challenges with wasps and small flooding. Carlos jumped in over the weekend to come to IHE to pump water and clean up classrooms. He also has worked endlessly to end our wasp problem so that our students, staff, and community are safe at school. He is amazing and we are so lucky to have him!
Nominated by Jenna Munoz, Principal, Iron Horse Elementary

Dawn Thomason, Secretary to Assistant Principal, Douglas County High School
Dawn over heard Security and other staff talking about the lack of room numbering and hall signs for emergency responders and students. Dawn took it upon herself to write up, laminate and install signs throughout the South building. Dawns self initiative will be very helpful day and day and very helpful in emergencies. Dawn was not told to do the signs and install them. She wasn't even asked to do them. She took the initiative and did her on her own.
Nominated by Tom Popken, Security, Douglas County High School

Jo Davis, Registrar, Sand Creek Elementary
Jo helped this summer with new student enrollment via Central Enrollment. She started each day with a willingness to help and learn. She was a relatively new registrar this summer but she assisted parents with all of their questions, called new families for missing information, and kept the rest of us laughing with a positive perspective when we were all feeling quite overwhelmed. Jo went above and beyond by working more than the expected hours and days to help make sure the summer enrollment team could enroll as many new and returning students prior to the first day of school.
Nominated by Paula De Ville, Central Enrollment Specialist, West Support Center

Aaron Bittler, Custodial Quality Control Leader, Operations & Maintenance
Aaron has had to take on a couple of different roles. Not only does he have to do the training for new employees when they are hired, he has also had to report to an elementary school every day since school started this year to provide custodial coverage because the custodial department has multiple openings. I want to thank Aaron for his hard work and positive attitude.
Nominated by Bill Fordyce, Director of Facilities, Operations & Maintenance

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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], 720-433-1083.

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