Superintendent's Award | February 2012 Ceremony
Today, Dr. Gottardy recognized more than 60 staff members, students and community members for their devotion, ingenuity and initiative for NEISD.
Through our North East Educational Support Personnel Association ’s Yearly Angel Tree Project, staff pulled together to collect, buy and then deliver gifts to NEISD families in need. NEISD staff and families met on a Saturday morning in December to deliver the collected gifts to the families. Volunteer David Kinsey played Santa, and had each child open one gift as the group gathered with the families that morning.
In moments of crisis, it is imperative we have staff who are quick to act and keep the safety of students and community members at the forefront of their actions. The individuals up here now did just that. These staff members did their best to manage unfortunate incidents. Whether it was tending to the needs of a victim or loved ones, they managed these crises with great skill and compassion.
We recognize these individuals for their poise, their expertise … we are thankful for their quick and decisive responses in both of these unfortunate situations.
Maria Elena Portillo
These Coker teachers helped their students learn the meaning of compassion. Their fourth grade classes decided that instead of having a gift exchange during their classroom holiday party, they would collect the money that they would have spent to buy gifts for a family in need. Each class adopted a family and walked to Target together with their teacher and parent volunteers to buy gifts. After returning, one student said, “That was the best field trip I have ever been on.”
Diana, the Bilingual Clerk for Coker, not only efficiently completes her duties as assigned, but plays several other roles at the campus. She provides small group intervention for kindergarten students … translates for PTA, teachers, and administrators … takes care of transportation issues … and often serves as the liaison between parents and teachers.
Sheyla has great nurturing qualities for her students at Coker. She has had students with disabilities where she’s created additional lessons to best assist the students in acquiring a second language. She incorporates music and technology to make learning a second language enjoyable for her students. She constantly seeks professional growth to better serve her students and parents.
TRISTAR Risk Management, David Guerrero, Senior Liability Adjuster
TRISTAR has given many Colonial Hills students and their families the opportunity to better enjoy the holiday season through their generous donations. For the past couple of years the company’s employees organize and contribute funds to be used for food and gifts. TRISTAR’s generous contributions and commitment have helped ensure that the students have a pleasant and joyful holiday season.
Adam has given amazing support to the Dellview Student Council this year. He provided discounted meals in October to 40 student council members who participated in a campus clean-up and the Lee-Esta parade. He did the same thing in December to 20 fourth and fifth graders who missed lunch at school because they volunteered at Elf Louise. Adam also provided the student council with discount cards to sell for $5, which yielded more than $1,000 for the organization to use on their various service projects. Adam continually proves what it means to be a valuable member of a school community.
Neil spearheaded the Encino Park science fair, which included more than 150 projects submitted by students. He prepared the packet for distribution to the children … publicized the event through the morning news … and organized tables and judges. He also secured volunteers from the community to help with the judging.
Michael led the Encino Park Veterans Day celebration. He prepared the student assembly, which included the Marine Color Guard and a guest speaker. He also prepared a slide show which had pictures of all the Encino Park family members who currently serve in the military, or who have served in the past. Michael also presented all Encino Park veterans with their North East ribbon of appreciation.
Randolph Brooks Federal Credit Union
Staff from the McKinney-Vento Homeless Program met with Anna Pena, Market Director for Randolph Brooks Federal Credit Union. After which, she nominated the program to be a recipient of their charitable donation to go toward the purchase of school uniforms and supplies. On January 11, they received a check for $1,000 from the credit union.
Jennifer is an exceptional leader when it comes to environmental and global awareness for Harmony Hills. She sponsors the school’s beautification project club that plants flowers and shrubs around the campus. This year, she is sponsoring a clean air club, which encourages parents to not let their vehicles idle while waiting to pick up their students. She has also organized projects that benefit UNICEF and gives students an opportunity to make a global impact.
While working on an assignment during reading, Julienne and Meg learned that some girls in countries stricken with poverty do not have a chance at an education. They learned that some of these girls have to stay at home to help take care of the family instead of becoming educated, like the boys. They were shocked and decided to act which resulted in “Tick-or-Treat for UNICEF.” Through the help of the entire student body, Harmony Hills raised more than $1,300 in one week. This money was donated to UNICEF to provide “School in a Box Kits” which provides materials and resources for girls to go to school.
Kari, their teacher, provided the opportunity to help her students become stewards of our global community. She shows excellence in teaching by fostering an environment of compassion and action by connecting learning to real life situations.
Amber Deborde and Liz Worley
Hidden Forest parents Amber and Liz organized a gift card drive to benefit their Sister School Jackson-Keller. As a result, Hidden Forest presented Jackson-Keller with $500 worth of gift card donations to H-E-B, Dairy Queen, Target and Wal-Mart. Jackson-Keller Principal Anna Nicolai and Family Specialist Anna Farias presented families and students with gift cards to help support the winter season.
Linda Cassidy and Amy Oxley
When Linda, the music teacher for Jackson-Keller, and found out that Amy, the choir teacher at Tejeda, and her students were conducting a winter jacket drive, she suggested they donate them to Jackson-Keller. Amy and her choir students collected 100 warm jackets and accessories. The items were presented to the Jackson-Keller principal at the annual holiday choir performance at Tejeda.
Carri was presented with a bullying concern at Johnson and decided to involve other students to help. There was a freshman who was getting teased, almost daily, by other freshmen. Carri decided to call in three of the best known senior football players and asked them to be his “buddy.” The football players went out of their way to walk this young man to class, monitor him at lunch and be around him at the bus circle. They treated him as a colleague and made it “cool” to be around them. Since this plan was put in place, the bullying has stopped and the freshman has made new friends.
Brenda, an elective teacher at Krueger, developed several award winning classes that have included, school yearbook, digital photography, and the campus newspaper. She models life-long learning by volunteering each summer to take middle school students to a five-day summer workshop at University of Texas in Austin. At other conferences, Brenda presents sessions to educators supporting the development of middle school publication programs. She even volunteers and serves as a photography judge at UIL competitions within Texas. She is always looking for new venues to allow her students to showcase their work, such as photography exhibitions in Barnes and Noble Bookstores.
Lynn is a parent volunteer at Lopez. As a parent of a child with Autism, she strives to bridge the social gap between special education students and general education students. She brings fresh ideas to spark friendships among all children at Lopez. She holds a “Parent to Parent” support group on a monthly basis. It is wonderful to have a parent such as Mrs. Rice to work with in partnership and start programs that benefit all the children and parents at Lopez Middle School. Her efforts and hard work are greatly appreciated.
Christopher coordinated the National Night Out event for Roosevelt on October 4. Hot dogs, chips, and drinks were available and about 1,700 of the 2,000 visitors were fed. Entertainment was provided by Roosevelt Cheerleaders, Dazzlers, Patriots, choir and the JROTC drill team. A total of 57 vendors, including student organizations, participated in the event. Christopher was instrumental in making this event a true success.
Yoli has provided distinguished service to Thousand Oaks in the area of promoting student interest in reading. She volunteered her time to create 70 cross-stitched bookmarks. Each bookmark has a motivational slogan about reading or learning. Yoli began her project for the students of Thousand Oaks in July and had her grandson Isaac present the bookmarks to the library on the last day of the fall semester. The bookmarks will be given to students who participate in a library activity during Book Lover’s Month in February.
The West Avenue PTA Board has accomplished many things this year with limited resources. They've hosted a variety of events during the fall semester, such as the Fall Festival, Holiday Shop, and Free Pictures/Hot Chocolate with Santa. The PTA Board made it possible to purchase a small gift for each child in the school. The gifts were delivered to the students the last day before Winter Break. This PTA Board also carried out the goal of the previous year’s PTA by helping purchase the new marquee sign that takes its place in the front of the campus.
Susan Meinan, Maria Milk and Tiffany Salter
Throughout the year, Discovery School (an early childhood school) teaches their students the importance of community service through community service projects. This year, during the holidays, the Discovery School community held a food drive and an Angel Tree Project to benefit families of West Avenue. The generosity of the Discovery School family is overwhelming and the West Avenue families who benefit from it are always grateful. Facilitating the effort are these three Discovery School parent volunteers: Maria, Susan, and Tiffany. They gave their time to ensure every can of food was delivered and each gift was placed in the right hands. Their unselfishness and optimistic spirit are inspirational.
Jose has gone above and beyond to support West Avenue. Throughout the fall semester he donated paper items for PTA and staff events. He supplied all of the paper items for the Fall Festival and brought in extra tables for the event. Not only did he donate the items, but he arrived at campus early in the day and stayed late to help set up and clean up the festival. Jose also donated a child’s bike to be used as a silent auction item.
Kelly is a young and energetic individual who serves at Wood as their PE/Health Teacher and Athletics Coach. During the first semester, Kelly sponsored a running club for students. About 20 students met every Thursday morning and did cross country running in the neighborhood. Kelly also started a fitness class for adults after school. They worked out with Kelly doing a Zumba workout. Kelly has even started a Fitness Club with students who will meet on Tuesdays and use the Fitness Room equipment. She is part of the Wellness Committee at Wood and is working on starting a triathlon. Kelly continues to work hard to encourage students and staff to stay healthy.