Read The Nominations Below & Then Vote By Going To: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/L26LTWN
Deadline For Voting Is May 1, 2019
Arielle Cernes – Counselor – Brooklyn, NY – All of our students have been diagnosed with Language based learning disabilities and experienced school failure. Often they also have issues at home and Arielle is the person they cone to trust to have their backs when needed and to make them own their part as necessary. This is so needed to help our students grow into adults who can be productive and own their accomplishments as well as dust themselves off from set-backs and persevere.
Regina “Reggie” Donahue – Resource Support Specialist – Downey, CA – Reggie Donahue is The Most Valuable Person in the life of a student because she creates change in each of the students she touches. She starts by making sure that they feel safe and loved. Reggie finds the strength in each of her students and focuses on what they can do, in order to strengthen the areas in which they struggle the most. She celebrates the small successes in each of her students, which in turn helps them feel good about themselves and makes them want to strive to do more. Reggie makes sure to reach out and connect with parents so the students know that they are supported all around, because Reggie knows that it is a team effort and it takes a village! Reggie Donahue is THE most amazing woman I have met and have worked with, who after 30-years, still strives to capture the heart of the students, teaches AND loves the WHOLE child. She works with students who struggle the most and need the most support, always making sure that their spirits are high and their confidence remains in tact. Parents do not ever want to leave Gallatin, the school she has worked at for over 30-years, because of Reggie Donahue’s love and support. She has taught generations of families who return to her and still remember and acknowledge her academic support as invaluable and her unconditional love was just as important in their success, as it is for their own children. This year, Mrs. Reggie Donahue will be retiring after 30+ years of teaching. There is no better way to acknowledge the hard work of such a unique and dedicated individual as Reggie Donahue, than by acknowledging her hard work and dedication as being an MVP in the life of a student. Thank you so much for considering my nomination.
Katherine Fox – Teacher – Anchorage, AK – Katie Fox is the most driven teacher that I have ever witnessed. Katie comes into work with a smile on her face and cheer in her heart even though at some point today, one of these students will swear at her. In an environment where students have past trauma, disabilities, and use staff as punching bags, Katie Fox thrives. Katie loves her students and makes every day fun and engaging for each one of them. Though these students have problems in life, Katie Fox always seems to be the solution. The amount of patience and love that this woman exudes baffles me and makes me thankful to get the privilege to call her a coworker and friend.
LeeAnn Jones – English Teacher – Farmington, MN – LeeAnn Jones is amazing educator who puts students at the front of all of her work. She builds relationships with her students so they achieve exemplar results. Not only does she nurture student relationships, but she also has extremely high expectations for her students. Additionally, she has a powerful way of connecting the content to students lives, she makes learning relevant. Most importantly, Mrs. Jones incorporates all students’ cultural backgrounds into the learning and teaching process.
Ida Mcintyre – Math Teacher – Little Rock, AR – Ida is a very passionate teacher!!! She really cares about the students and the success of the students. We work with At-Promise students ages 15-21, and she has had her car spit on, scratched up ($1600 worth in damages in which she came out of pocket to have repaired), and been called names that you wouldn’t even think of. With all that being said, the next day she comes to work still with a smile on her face and never ever mistreating the students who disrespected her. She still speaks to them and greet them as normal, along with teaching them Math skills they need to complete their Math credits. If she notices students are not being successful, she comes up with strategies and incentives to help them get on track and focused. The way our school is set-up she teaches all subjects of Math on different levels. She has been a very valuable teacher to our school. We received a Math award on behalf of our students’ rising test scores and her along with our other Math teacher Lisa Romero are to Thank! I look up to her and I am so grateful to have worked with her!!!
Jenny Perfetti – Para-Professional – Cottage Grove, MN – Jenny is an incredible asset to our school. She is so hard working she never backs down to a challenge. She is always there with a positive attitude no job is too big or too difficult. She has a can do attitude and always with a smile. She works with very high needs students, she is professional, respectful, loving, caring, helpful, and kind. She has a great attitude even during the most difficult days. She fills in where needed and is always present and ready to take on a challenge. She has a great way of turning the most difficult times into successes. We are very lucky to have her here. There is always a high burn out rate and turn over in this Para profession but Jenny is always dependable and pleasant to work with. I can tell she really loves what she does and it shows with how she works with the staff and students.
Karen Pope – English Teacher – Montgomery, TX – Ms. Pope makes every student in her class feel special, everyday. She has a classroom full of students for tutorials after school because her students feel better when they are around her. She always has time for her students, both current and former. She is an amazing person, teacher, and mentor for our students.
Vicki Price – Life Skills Teacher – Anchorage, AK – She is considerate, concerned and values each student as if her own. She works with students that no one seems to want to work with. She gives them skills while learning from them. She wants them happy no matter what they will do once graduated. She is an angel, a saint, a caring person.
Maxine Robinson – Head Teacher – Somerset, NJ – Maxine Robinson is a valuable person in the life a student because she consistently attends school to provide quality instruction to all students. She goes above and beyond to ensure that any student in her class is educational equipped to learn the content of mathematics. On any given day, you can attend Maxine’s class and view students engaged via small group instruction, one to one dialogue with other students, using technology, completing mathematical projects and having students facilitate learning. She attends many community events to support students. Maxine is very resourceful to students and often involves parents and guardians in school life to promote the importance of school and community relations.
Phoebe Robinson – Principal – Far Rockaway, NY – Phoebe Robinson is the Principal of PS 253Q located in Far Rockaway, Queens, New York. She began her tenure in September of 2013 and has emphasized a focus on the social – emotional stability of the children of Far Rockaway. She has worked tirelessly to educate her staff on the correlation between social-emotional balance and academic success. You can not have the latter without the former. She began by introducing a school-wide positive behavior system that reminds students that each of them is in the driver’s seat with a destination of success that is attainable as long as they used their gps, strategies. Mrs. Robinson encourages all students to ROAR towards Success with Respect, Optimism, Achievement, and Resilience. With a change in the mind-set of the school community, she has worked to create a trusting and supportive learning environment that works to educate the “whole child”. She makes it a point to model her expectations for staff by being an emotional support for the students. It’s important to her to ensure students know their value and potential. All of this makes her The Most Valuable Person in The Life of a Student.
Nancy Schneider – Assistant Professor – St. Charles, MO – Dr. Schneider is a dedicated professional who provides ongoing support to students in the School of Education. During this past fall semester, she went above and beyond expectations to provide support to one of our candidates during her student teaching experience. The candidate considered giving up on the experience, which would have prevented her from attaining her goal of becoming a teacher. Dr. Schneider interacted extensively with the candidate and her cooperating teacher. Throughout the semester, Dr. Schneider provided an extraordinary level of support, which included constructive feedback as well as extensive encouragement and moral support. Dr. Schneider went the extra mile and brought the teacher candidate into her home to be celebrated by her family which gave the teacher candidate a boost with her self-esteem. The efforts of Dr. Schneider, as well as the care she demonstrated, enabled the candidate to have a successful student teaching experience, obtain her degree, earn her teacher certification and instill in her the confidence to enter the teaching profession. Dr. Schneider also coordinates volunteers for a comprehensive three-day trauma-informed conference that is designed for educators, school administrators, school personnel, mental health professionals, and parents. This conference helped Lindenwood University professors develop understanding, knowledge, and tools needed to successfully create a trauma-informed learning environment, whether it is in a single classroom, a whole school, or an entire district. Dr. Schneider daily fulfills Jason Shipp’s quote, “Every kid is one caring adult away from being a success story!”
Catherine Staszewski – Counselor – West Lafayette, IN – Catherine came to Indiana when her husband’s job took them away from New York. Because she so wanted to impact students while settling into a new community, she took a job as my classroom assistant. I am blind. Catherine stepped into this role as my helper with such joy, commitment, and enthusiasm. For the first time in my teaching career, I had a teaching partner instead of someone simply entering grades and passing out papers for me. Six years later when a guidance counselor position came open, Catherine applied for it as that was her training. She was immediately given the position and quickly became the lead counselor in a school whose population is now nearly 2000. She serves as a leader, a thinker, and a voice of reason for students, staff, and administrators who all recognize her skill. Catherine is an MVP for many. Specifically, she goes out of her way to assist students new to the country to settle in well. Last year, she supported a young lady visiting from Brasil to become a beloved and cherished member of the 2018 graduating class. This year, a young man from Korea is similarly adapting well because of her support. Catherine oversees PSAT testing, freshman orientation, and parent information nights. She has mentored new counselors and college interns. Her level-headed, calm demeanor makes her a natural choice for such support. Students know that Catherine will listen, support, encourage, and connect them with resources as they have need. She is a sounding board for staff who need to understand student struggles better and an advocate for fair and compassionate treatment of young people. There is no one in the building who is more trusted than Catherine for the persistent care of young people and their wellbeing. She is amazing!
Donna Valdez – Physical Therapist – Cottage Grove, MN – Donna is an incredible asset to our school and school district. Donna is the school district’s Physical Therapist she juggles 6 different schools. She handles and works with dozens of special education students of a variety of ages, high and moderate needs. She spends everyday traveling from building to building, hauling and obtaining, modifying equipment, attending several meetings, spending countless hours filling out forms and paper work, as well as working with the students. She is so hard working she never backs down from a challenge. She is always there with a positive attitude, no job is too big or too difficult. She has a “can do” attitude and always with a smile. She is very thorough and organized she takes extra time to make sure that everyone is completely taken care of. No stone is unturned. She works with a variety of high and moderate needs students, she is professional, respectful, loving, caring, helpful, and kind. She has a great attitude even during the most difficult days. She fills in where needed and is always present and ready to take on a challenge. She has a great way of turning the most difficult times into successes. She brings a tremendous amount of energy and knowledge of how we can ensure success with every situation and student. We are very lucky to have her here. Donna is always dependable and pleasant to work with. I can tell she really loves what she does and it shows with how she works with the staff and students . Donna is often times found down on her knees working with the students. She really does a lot of heavy lifting. She wears many hats, She is pulled in many directions, she is invaluable. We need more people like Donna. Unfortunately the PT positions are cut more and more each year and therefore are asked to cover more ground and are spread more thin to cover more and more students each year. Donna is a vital and critical component to our success with the students and the special education program. Please help me say thank you and honor her with this MVP award.
Sarah Voss – 6th Grade STEM – Sparks, NV – Sarah Voss is the most passionate educator I have ever met, and I have the pleasure of being her teaching partner. Each day, I watch Miss Voss go the extra mile for our students, both academically and socially. She is at school every morning at 6:00 AM, preparing valuable lessons, differentiating materials, and determining which of our students we need to have motivational talks with before learning begins. Miss Voss knows that ALL students can learn, so she spends time developing positive relationships with every student she teaches, and she actively supports their emotional well-being through SEL activities. As a reflective teacher, she is continuously improving upon her practices and engaging her students in reflective activities that will assist them in their academic growth. Providing feedback to her students is a priority of Miss Voss, as she understands that students need to know what they are doing well, what they need more support in, and how they can improve their skills, in order for them to successfully grow. She studies student data and has them set long and short-term goals, and most of her students are intrinsically motivated through her inspiring teaching style. Her students KNOW that she will be there when they need her, and they trust in her advice and support. Not only is Miss Voss an exceptional teacher, but she is also our 5th and 6th grade soccer team coach. She understands that providing our students with extracurricular activities, not only allows them to be involved in something they enjoy, but also supports academics. Her belief is that they must be student-athletes, demonstrating academic responsibility in order to participate in sports. Miss Voss doesn’t stop worrying about her students when she leaves school. The conversations about our students, lesson preparation, and development of enrichment experiences continue until her head hits her pillow. Miss Voss is currently working toward her National Boards and is regularly asked to teach professional development sessions at our school and district. Sarah Voss is such a passionate educator and her belief in her students makes a difference in the lives of her 6th graders. One of her students wrote, “In my opinion, I would want to be Miss Voss for a day, because she is athletic, funny, and smart”. I am so incredibly inspired by Sarah and her dedication to each of her students is simply impressive. She is one of the most humble people I know and deserves to be recognized and celebrated for the difference she makes in the lives of her students!
Catherine Weiss – ELA Intervention Specialist – Chittenango, NY – I am writing to express my interest in nominating Catherine Weiss for the Most Valuable Person in The Life Of A Student Award. Katie (is what she likes to be called) has been teaching for 14 years. She is currently working as an Academic Intervention Specialist for Reading at Bolivar Road Elementary School, in Chittenango, NY. Anyone who has taught knows that teaching children how to read can be one of the toughest jobs. Katie has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to teaching children how to read. She has many tools and resources in her toolbox that she implements with our scholars on a daily basis. Katie is a role model to her colleagues, as she is consistently keeping up with the professional development, surrounding current and data driven practices, in the ELA world. Katie leads and participates in many professional development opportunities within the Chittenango Central School District. She has been an integral part of planning two Superintendent Conference Days for the entire district. Also, Katie helps plan the two week Parents as Reading Partners (PARP) Event at our school. From decorating hallways, to planning Family PARP Night, to creating reading logs, Katie makes PARP memorable and meaningful for all. That is why she is admired by all of her colleagues. She has positively impacted so many scholars in the Chittenango Central School District. Katie does whatever it takes to help all of her scholars learn to read. She spends an endless amount of time preparing lessons, researching new strategies, attending conferences, and teaching her scholars. Her ability to connect with her scholars and help them be successful is remarkable. Katie’s compassion for her scholars is contagious. Katie has experienced some severe health complications in her past, as well as in the present. It always amazes me how she perseveres through it all to continue to come to work each and every day, because that is what is best for our scholars. She is currently in a boot and has to ride a scooter and even through all of that she has managed to organize and implement our school’s PARP initiatives, which entails daily activities, a family night, and an assembly just to name a few. Overall, Katie is one of the kindest, caring, hardworking, most knowledgeable about reading that I have ever met. She is more than deserving of this award, as she has touched many children’s lives and will continue to do so.