Superintendent's Award | November 2012 Ceremony
Today, Dr. Gottardy recognized about 80 staff members, students and community members for their devotion, ingenuity and initiative for NEISD.
Carol, a grandparent, volunteers her time between Canyon Ridge and Stone Oak elementary schools. She works wherever she is needed and always has a positive attitude and a smile on her face. Not only does she volunteer, but she also substitutes for paraprofessionals and teachers. Wherever there is a need, she answers the call.
Julie, a parent volunteer for Canyon Ridge, organized the school’s cafeteria plan. She created a work schedule and recruited other parents to volunteer in the cafeteria. She has also volunteered her own time each day, encouraging students learn the lunch routines. She helps lead recycling efforts, cleans the tables and dismisses students from the cafeteria. Julie has a friendly approach to both students and teachers, and works collaboratively with parents and staff.
At Canyon Ridge, Lynn is known as a volunteer, friend, parent, grandparent, teacher and even “Nana.” She volunteers in classrooms, substitutes for teachers, serves as a special guest for events, and works in the office. She displays exceptional performance in her behavior and interactions with all students and staff. She is positively impacting the community and assists teachers with projects and preparing for instruction.
Yvonne began the school year at Canyon Ridge as a substitute. She continued to offer her time to the students as a long-term substitute. Last year, she was a Target TEKS tutor and went above and beyond what was expected of her. She dedicated extended hours to prepare for each day, in an effort to raise student achievement---including selflessly providing her time and money to provide incentives for the students. The students bonded with her quickly, and the teachers appreciated her hard work.
Macy is a second grader at Coker Elementary School. She is described as having a huge heart to care about people and the earth. Over the summer, she was inspired to collect shoes for other children instead of receiving presents for her seventh birthday. Her family decided to donate the shoes to the Seton Home. With the help of her friends, Macy collected more than 35 pairs of shoes. She not only collected the shoes, but inspired her peers to want to make a difference of their own. Macy’s demonstration of service to her community, as well as her “can do” attitude and giving heart make her a true student leader.
Officer Keogh is dedicated to helping students learn and practice bicycle safety, along with having tremendous fun at school bike rodeos, including Coker’s annual event. He has a positive attitude, loves his job, and the students truly adore him. Officer Keogh also works with student volunteers from the Academy of Creative Education, tapping into their individual leadership skills.
Adriene has been a teacher for 27 years, with the last seven as an Instructional Intervention Teacher at Coker. From the beginning of the school day to the dismissal bell, her schedule is packed. Adriene helps teachers daily, before and after school, with guided reading plans, understanding new material and analyzing data. She truly helps build the confidence of new teachers and is an amazing instructional leader on the campus. As the campus Compass expert, Adriene spends extra hours creating Compass campus groups to help teachers, administrators and counselors better serve the individual needs of all Coker students.
Gina graciously volunteered the first week of school to assist in the cafeteria during the three-hour lunch period at Coker. She patiently worked with each Coker Cub as they came through the trash line to teach them what items get thrown away and what items are to be recycled. Gina’s dedication each day ensured that the line ran smoothly, quickly and that Coker remains “green.”
Jennifer is an asset as a volunteer at Coker. She is always willing to support the ideas of others and respond immediately to the needs of the campus. She recently took on the task of creating the school’s Manner Banner, an incentive system for the cafeteria. She has designed a visual aide for the students to be recognized by displaying positive behaviors. Thanks to Jennifer, the school now has a permanent reminder of goals reached by some of the children, as well as having others focus on reaching new heights.
Mary has taken the initiative to ensure that Dellview Elementary School students receive the resources they need. For the past three years, she has been encouraging and organizing the choir of a local church to collect school supplies, Box Top Points and Silent Auction items for the school’s Family Fun Night. She is an amazing volunteer who believes that Dellview can succeed.
Reverend Gerald Metzger
Reverend Metzger is an extraordinary volunteer that has greatly supported Dellview through the Bethany Congregational United Church of Christ. He organized a school supply drive to help support Dellview families at the beginning of the school year. He has also served as a mentor and continuously recruits additional volunteers to be positive role models for students. Through his efforts, he helped raise $2,115 for Dellview’s Angel Fund. He is a very compassionate, spirited and caring individual with a big heart.
Robert has consistently supported Dellview in many different ways for the past four years. He has been a mentor, made monetary donations to various parental involvement events, donated turkeys for the Community Turkey Trot, and created carnival games and donated drinks to the Family Fun Night. Robert is also an amazing artist. He sketched more than 40 teacher name plates for staff members at the beginning of the school year. He is a very generous, dedicated and compassionate community leader.
Richard Rodriguez and Phil San Miguel
Back in May there was an accident in front of the Print Services building where a van rolled over. The van was from an air conditioning company which carried Freon and one of the containers happened to be missing the lid. When the van rolled over the container started to leak and the driver, unable to escape because the door was stuck, started to lose consciousness. Because of the quick response and bravery of Richard and Phil, they were able to get the man out. This person came in a few weeks later to thank Richard and Phil. He said that if they would have not pulled him out in time he would have died because of the fumes that he was breathing.
Jose Vicente Castro
El Dorado Elementary School is very fortunate to have great teachers who have great spouses who pitch in to help with odd jobs around the school. Just like Jose, who is the husband to second grade teacher Maria Castro. Jose volunteered to assemble four classroom bookshelves and a few rocking chairs for the library. He then hung a bulletin board in the counselor’s office and assembled six storage organizers for second grade teachers. This was a great service to the school.
Dr. Bernard A. Harris, Jr. is famous for many reasons. Some of his accomplishments include being an astronaut and the first African-American to conduct a space walk. As a tribute to Dr. Harris, staff at Harris Middle School wanted to kick off the new school year by launching a rocket during the sixth grade orientation camp. Darin, a Harris teacher, worked diligently to make sure this happened. He contacted KSAT magnet teachers Sabine and Tracy to enlist their support. They brought the KSAT mobile unit out to Harris. Three rockets were launched at the conclusion of the orientation camp. More than 700 parents, students, and community members came out to see the launch.
Salena Gonzales and Tracy Shamon
Salena and Tracy represented Jackson Middle School at the Critical Friends professional development training. They brought back valuable information to the Jackson staff. During the school’s staff development week, these two teachers conducted a leadership activity called “What is Your Leadership Direction” geared toward personal leadership styles and needs. The staff at Jackson truly values their expertise, eagerness, and leadership.
Rick has spearheaded the Jackson Watch DOGS (Dads of Great Students) Program. Jackson students and staff are fortunate to see male role models on the campus this year, helping in so many ways.
Margot, Jackson PTA President, ended her own summer vacation early to assist Jackson staff with their needs. She helped stuff student envelopes, coordinate parents to come help make student information packets, make copies, beautify the copy room, cut out hallway signs, and so much more. Margot’s service and commitment did not go unnoticed by the Jackson staff.
Ed volunteered to mount nine bulletin boards in the first grade classrooms at Jackson-Keller Elementary School. The classrooms lacked cork boards for the student word wall list. After the shipment came in to the school, Ed volunteered to purchase the necessary supplies for the project. Within a couple of days, all the first grade classrooms had the boards displayed. The students and teachers share their appreciation to Ed for enriching their learning environment.
Louise Ward and Blair Wilson
Louise and Blair organized a character education project at Jackson-Keller. The school-wide initiative teaches students about six virtues: Respect, Responsibility, Perseverance, Compassion, Self-Discipline and Honesty. Each student earns the “self-manager” badge on a daily basis. Teachers monitor the virtues by keeping a daily log. Through Louise and Blair’s efforts, the school wide program has increased an awareness of living by the virtues.
Amanda, Denise and Kassandra organized a Career Day field trip for students at Krueger Middle School. These teachers scheduled field trips with local businesses and organizations, such as the San Antonio Fire Department, La Mansion Del Rio Hotel, and more. Students received the opportunity to tour the facilities and learn about possible careers. Amanda, Denise and Kassandra worked many hours to plan every last detail. The hosts for each of the businesses have raved on how impressed they were with the teachers’ organization skills and the students’ excellent behavior.
Las Lomas Elementary School wanted to begin the year with a school song, to help build community and school spirit. Casey, a teacher at Krueger, volunteered to compose and write this song. This is a song which encompasses the mascot, high academic expectations, and the Leader In Me culture. The students have enjoyed learning their school song and sing it with great pride. It is inspiring to see NEISD staff members graciously work to support each other, regardless of grade level, cluster or department.
Mary Lisa Rangel
Donna Jo Thompson
In January of this year, the newly appointed principal of Las Lomas wanted to begin building community spirit. At that time, however, the school was staffed by only two employees, the principal and the administrative assistant. Therefore, the principal put out a call to future Las Lomas parents and staff members to create a planning committee who would organize a Las Lomas Family Picnic. The picnic would bring families from Canyon Ridge and Stone Oak together and begin bonding as a new community. The Las Lomas Family Picnic took place in May, and was a great success. These individuals came together before the school even had a formal PTA or staff and laid the groundwork for a great school family.
Daniel Sandbach and Elizabeth Sandbach
The call went out that Las Lomas needed to create a unique logo for the school. Daniel, a professional graphic artist and parent, answered the call. In a discussion with his daughter Elizabeth, she pointed out that many times mascots are males and that Las Lomas should celebrate both the boys and girls of the school. It was the insight of Elizabeth which added to the unique creation of the school’s mascots and logo, which includes a Lion and Lioness. The students later named these lions Linus and Lucy. Las Lomas is proud to celebrate all of the Las Lomas Lions and are grateful for the donation of work and product from Daniel.
Austin is an eighth grader at Lopez Middle School. He learned that the school was implementing new software for their video morning announcements. The only challenge was that the teacher responsible for the morning announcements did not have much time to learn the new software. On his own, Austin downloaded the trial version on his home computer and learned how to set it up for live morning announcements using the green screen. Due to Austin’s diligence, Lopez has been able to streamline its video morning announcements using live green screen technology.
Matt Landrum and Kevin Maine
Matt and Kevin responded to an electrical outage at Wood Middle School. Upon their arrival at the campus, they discovered that a 400 amp circuit breaker had significantly burned. This breaker provided electrical service to the entire campus. With one day until the commencement of STAAR testing, these two technicians quickly assessed the situation, searched the San Antonio area for a replacement breaker, replaced the defective breaker, and worked into the late hours to restore power in time for STARR testing. Through their hard work and commitment to excellence, the campus’ air conditioning system was activated and provided a comfortable learning environment for the students.
Robert Varner III
Robert has been a tremendous help for the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Academy at Nimitz Middle School. During the annual Cowboy Breakfast, Robert took time out of his work day to help set up the equipment needed for the breakfast. He even stayed to help cook. When the seventh grade needed mulch for the outdoor garden and classroom, Robert volunteered to not only transport the loose mulch, he also paid for a higher quality of mulch out of his own pocket. He loaded the entire bed of his pickup with the mulch by himself, then delivered the mulch to the school and helped to unload it.
Kasey and Matthew Gonzales
Kasey and Matthew are parents of a kindergarten student at Oak Grove Elementary School. To be sure each student in their son’s class could show their school spirit on Fridays, Kasey and Matthew purchased t-shirts for any student who did not already have one. They also have been very supportive in the school’s Greenback fund raiser event and bike rodeo.
Patty Johnson and Cory Caroll
The Tuscany Heights Elementary School Campus Improvement Committee discussed using a new car rider system for this school year. After sharing this idea with Patty and Cory, they immediately began working on putting it together. They spent countless summer hours creating the structure and designing the tags for the car riders. Tuscany Heights now has a safe and efficient system thanks to their hard work.
Lillian Esparza and Rolando Rocha
Lillian and Rolando are true gifts to the Olmos Elementary School community. Lillian provides a variety of services and classes for parents and students. Most recently, she was instrumental in re-establishing the Olmos PTA. In early August, Lillian learned that the school needed to fill almost all of their PTA board positions. She invited Rolando to be the new president, and he agreed. Together, they worked diligently to make phone calls to parents and set up an initial meeting with those interested. By the end of that meeting, all the positions were filled and a plan for a great year was in the works.
Brian Boyd and Becky Knight
Brian and Becky are from Brian Boyd Accounting. Brian has hired Reagan High School coop students since since 1999, when the school first opened. Becky is the school’s contact and provides all training for the students. They have always been a great asset to the school’s program. The internship offers invaluable training and opens up a career option for our young people.
Pam single-handedly coordinates the new teacher training and year-long mentoring program every year at Reagan. This used to be a stipend position, but no longer; however, that doesn’t stop Pam. She still works for many hours at the end of each summer, planning in-service programs to ensure that the new Reagan teachers have the resources needed to have a great first year.
Tye has been working many hours each day for several months to teach and review topics in physics, chemistry and biology. With this effort, five Reagan students comprised the first place team for the Region 4 UIL Science Contest. Winning this contest advances them to the state competition with the best teams in the state. Tye and the students met after school from until as late as 6:45 p.m. several days each week last school year. He also used his lunch time to meet with these students.
As most of the Reagan faculty make it across the parking lot to start a new school day, one classroom is already full. Welcome to CT 214, Kirby’s classroom. Kirby is in his 14th year at Reagan and his 25th year in NEISD. He has been the sponsor, teacher and mentor for the most successful Model United Nations team in Texas for more than a decade. Success is not limited to the vaulted Model UN. The UIL Current Events team are two-time regional champions and qualified for state. His Worldquest team finished 5th in the nation and two of his teams finished in the top five in local competition for the last six years. His Quiz Bowl team, in just their first year, qualified for state.
At the end of the day in CT 214 the morning routine is replicated in the late afternoon. This unbridled academic pursuit happens every day, before and after school. The only time CT 214 is empty, is when Kirby is on the road with one of these winning academic teams.
Pat Allen & Bealls Employees
Pat, along with employees from the Bealls Department Store on Thousand Oaks were aware that Redland Oaks Elementary School has had a significant increase in the number of students in need of school supplies. To assist students, the employees sold hot dogs and baked goods to their customers. With the money earned from the sales, they purchased backpacks and filled them with new school supplies, including crayons, glue, paper, pencils and other supplies needed for the children to be ready to learn in their classroom. The staff and students of Redland Oaks are very appreciative of the generosity and care of the employees at Bealls.
These educators make up the Redland Oaks Wellness Committee. They worked collaboratively to make changes at the school to promote health education, proper nutrition, increased physical activity, and increased health awareness within the community. Together, the committee established new procedures, such as no longer allowing the use of food or food coupons as a reward. Additionally, the committee established new traditions at the school, such as the Fit Family Fun Night. As a result of their commitment and efforts, Redland Oaks was the first school in Bexar County to earn the Silver Level of recognition from the Alliance for a Healthy Generation.
These employees were instrumental in organizing fundraisers and participation in Relay for Life at Stahl Elementary School. As a result of their efforts, and the efforts of all employees at Stahl, their school took second place in fundraising and raised $7,004 in the fight for a cure for cancer. Congratulations!
Ann saved a child’s life in music class at Stahl who was choking on a bead. The student had the bead in her mouth. It became lodged when she was accidentally bumped by another student. Ann saw that the child couldn't breathe. Ann rushed over and tried the Heimlich maneuver several times. When the bead did not dislodge, she had the students buzz the office for the nurse. She hustled the student down the hall to the nurse's office, while still doing the Heimlich. When she got to the end of the hall, the bead came out of the student's throat. Ann's quick response, persistence, and calm demeanor saved the student's life.
Mario is a custodian for Tejeda Middle School, and a true role model for many of the students. Mario can be found outside in the mornings helping with traffic. For one parent, Mario continues to be a topic of discussion the very minute her child gets in the car. Her son tells her every day how Mario makes all the students smile with fist bumping, helping, directing how to get to classes, and more. He is such a friendly face to see in the hall—students look forward each day to seeing Mario.
On, September 13, while in the school cafeteria during breakfast at Thousand Oaks Elementary School, Danielle, a Special Education Assistant, was alerted by a student that his best friend was choking. The nurse was also called to the cafeteria. Upon arrival; however, she found that the situation had already been resolved due to the quick heroic actions of Danielle who administered the Heimlich Maneuver, dislodging the piece of food.
Michelle is a dedicated parent at Tuscany Heights. She goes above and beyond to plan and prepare events for students. She also spends countless hours making activities, copying, cutting, pasting, and more for staff members. During the month of August, she worked Monday - Sunday totaling more than 166 hours for the campus.
Marcus took on the challenge of preparing a Time Capsule Ceremony at Wood Middle School. Twenty-five years ago, when the school was built, the leadership team assembled and buried memorabilia of their era. Marcus noticed that the time capsule was buried behind a brick wall. He worked with district personnel to mark and remove bricks in preparation for the unveiling ceremony. As word got out to the students and community the buzz was all about the Time Capsule. Honored guests were former administrators, teachers and students. Current students from organizations at Wood brought new items to place in the time capsule, in addition to the old memorabilia so that the tradition of opening the Time Capsule will take place in the year 2037.