Superintendent's Award | April 2012 Ceremony
Today, Dr. Gottardy recognized more than 60 staff members, students and community members for their devotion, ingenuity and initiative for NEISD.
When the Adult Education Coordinator left due to unexpected family reasons, Larry did not hesitate to help keep the team afloat. He not only carried on with his own duties, but also took the brunt of the coordinator responsibilities. He assigned classes, provided orientation for new teachers, set up professional development, coordinated with school personnel and dealt with student issues. He even opened up his home to the adult education staff for a Christmas party. His exceptional performance provides proof of his total commitment to lifelong learning.
On January 26, 2012, the Lincoln Village Apartment complex on Jackson-Keller was struck by lightning. This sparked a fire on the roof and spread to eight apartments. Among those affected by the fire were five NEISD families with eight NEISD students. Upon notification of the fire taking place within the district boundaries, the McKinney-Vento Homeless Project sent Family Liaison Adriana Hernandez to assess the impact on the families. The families were located and received emergency clothing and backpacks enabling the students to return to school within the next few days. A call to all NEISD campus principals was made, asking for help from student organizations. After three weeks, they raised $4,150 in gift cards, as well as more than $2,000 in new clothing for the students and their families. The families have been overwhelmingly grateful of the gifts and the effort behind the donation.
Eunji volunteers countless hours in the school library and cafeteria at Cibolo Green. She helps shelve books in the morning and then heads to the cafeteria at lunch. She helps with the school’s recycling efforts as students turn in their trays. She is always positive and helpful, doing everything with a smile. She always goes above and beyond for Cibolo Green students.
As a Cibolo Green Elementary PTA board member and very involved parent, Cindy has dedicated countless hours to the school each day. Through her exceptionally strong organizational skills, she helped with the school’s parent volunteer system, utilizing a software program for a database and ensuring parents are volunteering for campus events. She is always willing to help out, continuing to think of children first. She is an invaluable parent volunteer and community leader.
Marcela’s positive attitude allows her conquer any situation successfully. Marcela is in charge of all Bilingual/ESL students at Coker. She handles parent issues of these students, provides training for Bilingual teachers on new district initiatives, and is there to support teachers and provide guidance. She oversees the Language Proficiency Assessment Committee and tutors students so that they can be successful in STARR. She still even has time to teach Spanish to the English-speaking parents. Marcella does all these things even though she is only on campus part time.
Lupe is a true blessing to Coker students, staff and families. Lupe works closely with community members, businesses and churches to make sure every family who needs assistance doesn’t go without during the holidays. For Thanksgiving, Lupe made sure 20 families received Turkey boxes filled with a Turkey and all the fixings. For Christmas, Lupe coordinated the adoption of Coker families needing assistance. Through partnerships, Lupe made sure that Santa visited well more than 100 Coker students this year. Thank you Lupe for your continued dedication to helping families help their children.
Jennifer exemplifies exceptional performance each day at Coker. She learned about the possibility of implementing UIL for the first time at the elementary level in our district. Right away she jumped at the opportunity to bring this program to her students. She began working alongside the Fine Arts department to pilot UIL at Coker. All of the third graders at Coker have experienced their first UIL academic competition by participating in a spelling contest. Jennifer always bring excellence to the young students she educates.
Deanna is the GT Teacher at Coker. She single-handedly started the Robotics Program and has completely redesigned Coker’s Web site. She enhanced the site with photos of important events around campus. In addition to her regular classes, Deanna stretches the minds of a group of students during Coker’s Intervention Time. Most recently she dedicated her time and talents in organizing the school-wide event “Pink rules, cancer drools” to promote breast cancer awareness. Coker faculty and families raised more than $250 in contributions to Susan G. Komen.
These individuals worked together to coordinate and direct the Mini Asthma BlowOut for Colonial Hills. The event included representatives from the UT Health Science Center to give an educational program to the children of Colonial Hills that have Asthma. Parents were also invited to informational classes and were treated to a skit put on by the children, directed by the music and P.E. teachers. In addition to organizing the event, some of these individuals helped that night in directing children and parents the appropriate classrooms throughout the evening … as well as translating from English to Spanish for the parents.
Mallela has served on the Dellview LPAC committee for the past three years. She helps the Dellview team make informed decisions for ESL/Bilingual students. She is diligent about completing required training at the beginning of the year. She attends every meeting with a smile. Her input is valuable and greatly appreciated. The ESL /Bilingual students are lucky to have Mallela on their side. Thank you for your dedication and time.
Diana has been in charge of the Dellview Box Tops Campaign for the past two years. Her enthusiasm, commitment and leadership has helped Dellview raise more than $4,000. She continuously comes up with new incentives and ideas to motivate students in their collection process. She takes the time to collect, sort, count, and mail all of the Box Top Points that are submitted. Diana’s leadership and dedication has made a difference at Dellview. Her dedication has earned her the title of “Box Top Queen”.
Glenn is an extraordinary volunteer that has greatly impacted Dellview. He is a tremendous role model for students. He has made the commitment to be at the school on a weekly basis to help students with math, reading, social skills and emotional needs. He is a very compassionate, spirited, and caring individual with a lot of positive energy. Glenn also volunteers at community events--from McDonalds spirit nights, to Math / Science Night, and more. He is truly a Dellview Dolphin at heart.
Pam, Deborah and Patricia helped Dellview students reach academic excellence and learn about community service projects. They are dedicating their time to help students become leaders by being part of the National Elementary Honor Society. In addition to leadership, students learn about responsibility, service and scholarship. Dellview appreciates their dedication, time and commitment in helping build future leaders through this school club.
These three educators exemplify what true leadership, commitment and dedication represent. Rose and Leticia are currently serving as Dellview’s STEM sponsors. They are enhancing student technology skills and creating a love for science and math by impacting student achievement.
Rose and Linda currently serve as the school’s Student Council sponsors. They have planned and initiated several community service projects that have impacted the San Antonio Community, such as: Do Your Part, buy a Heart Campaign, raising $100 for the Ronald McDonald House … Pennies for Patients Campaign, raising more than $1,500 to support the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society … and more.
These incredible Lighthouse members from Dellview are being recognized for their passion and innovativeness in the implementation of the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. This team meets regularly to plan and develop staff development and oversee school wide implementation of the 7 Habits.
Mia is a tremendous asset to El Dorado. She has worn many hats this year, such as Special Ed teacher, Music teacher, Art Coordinator, and Webmaster. She even volunteered to serve as producer of the school’s second music video to kick off testing season. This voluntary role included designing and making shirts, directing the film crew and the actors, writing new El Dorado lyrics to the song and putting it all together into an inspirational video. She even managed to include Dr. Gottardy this year. It is an amazing product in addition to her daily work at El Dorado.
Catalina is an exceptional math facilitator who strikes a phenomenal balance between support and accountability for quality math teaching and learning. Recently she produced a powerful presentation on how classroom environments support and enhance instruction at El Dorado. She has planned and coordinated math interventions, such as Saturday Math Camps and parent classes. She also contributed to the production of the school’s STAAR music video. She is someone who consistently exceeds expectations.
Cheryl arranged for 15 art students from Madison to visit her ranch earlier this year to photograph her longhorns, buffalo and horses. Students also toured an old, restored log school house to serve as an inspiration for Western art entries. From the experience, one student’s artwork earned more than $7,000 in scholarship money. In addition, Cheryl personally purchased two pieces of art produced the day of the ranch visit. She also invited NEISD to the offices of her company to choose from a gym full of antique furniture, quilts, framed portraits and assorted utensils. These items are no longer in use within the company, but are invaluable to Fine Arts as props for plays, musicals and visual art projects. Cheryl’s generosity is unparalleled.
Ronda Hamilton and Marian Lee
Ronda and Marian organized and implemented a Student Wellness Team at Hardy Oak. This team is made up of one student from each third, fourth, and fifth grade class. They meet monthly to discuss related health and wellness topics. This team reports back to their class and turn in reports to their younger grade level buddies. Marian worked with a parent to write a grant in order to fund this program.
This Lighthouse Committee organized, planned, and put on a Leap Into Leadership night at Hardy Oak to spotlight the Leader In Me program. The evening included dinner and socializing. Families then visited their child’s classroom to hear from guest speaker Gordon Hartman. Students delivered presentations on each habit. The Leap Into Leadership night was attended by about 500 people.
Michelle has been a San Antonio Youth Literacy tutor for two years and has valued that time to work with students. Michelle has tutored two students once a week for the last two years at Harmony Hills. Her children have made remarkable progress. She finds it pure joy to hear when children finally find the joy in reading. As a former teacher, she loves working with students and helping them learn to love reading.
Stephen is a mentor and a volunteer at Harmony Hills. He mentors and tutors on Mondays and Tuesdays. He helps students cope with issues in their classroom and at home. On Tuesdays, he is a Watch DOG. He starts the day broadcasting on HHTV a preview of a book that he has read the week prior. He hopes to get the children excited about reading. The children are proud to read the same book that the Watch DOG has read.
Marika is the 1st VP of the Harmony Hills PTA, yet she consistently provides for the children, parents, and staff above and beyond what is expected of her position. Currently she can be found loading, unloading, and positioning landscape rocks along the entrance of the school, … collecting and sorting books for the NEISD Council Book Sale, … and assisting students in book selection during the book fair. She is also a member of the 2011-2012 Leadership North East group. In all that she does, Marika takes initiative and is dedicated—she seeks to raise up leaders.
This group from Harris planned a successful Community Wellness Festival. The event allowed families to experience different healthy activities, such as a rock climbing wall, martial arts demonstrations, wellness screenings, 1.5 mile run, and a blood drive. They also arranged for several community businesses to participate by providing information on health and wellness, including many healthy food samples and handouts. Volunteers Amy and Jason donated prizes, sponsored a booth, and ran errands for the school. Mary also volunteered to help school staff by working tirelessly the night before the festival in getting everything set up. She also ran several errands for the school during the festival.
Lori coordinated with the Jackson Earth Club and the art department for the beautification projects for the campus. Through PTA support and donations, plants were obtained to brighten up the entrance area of the Jackson building. Lori also elicited the support of students on a Saturday to plant more than 100 plants on the campus. The students, faculty and staff are very appreciative for Lori’s efforts to make Jackson a beautiful campus.
Angelia worked hard to organize and plan for the annual Jackson Band Spaghetti Dinner and Silent Auction. She recruited the support of other volunteers to quickly pull together one of the best band events to date. The countless hours that Angelia put into this event did not go unnoticed. She obtained quality items for the silent auction, which resulted in a lucrative evening in support of the band. Her efforts helped the band obtain additional resources for student instruments and activities. The Jackson band, faculty and staff are thankful for her hard work and dedication.
On March 21, Jesus, a Larkspur custodian, acted responsibly and quickly by performing first aid on a child who was choking on food during lunch. A teacher observed the student with hands to his neck unable to breathe or talk. Another custodian present screamed for help from Jesus as the teacher tried to assist student. Jesus successfully performed the Heimlich Maneuver and the student was able to cough up food that was obstructing his airway. Because of Jesus' quick and knowledgeable response, the student completely recovered and was able to return to class after complete assessment by the school nurse.
Danny, a Coach at Lee, had a phenomenal idea during basketball season to invite eighth grade boys’ and girls’ basketball players from Jackson and Nimitz to play one of their season games on the Lee campus. This experience was memorable for all the students. There was a sense of pride and collegiality as each campus cheered on their teams from the stands at Lee. Although the teams were rivals, there was a feeling of community that resonated throughout the games. Thank you Danny, for building this sense of strong community within the Lee cluster.
At a very critical moment on the Lee campus, a group of teachers and administrators took on the challenge to develop a campus-wide safety and supervision policy to tackle tardiness. The entire faculty and staff agreed that student tardiness was a major discipline issue and disruption to the learning environment. A small group of teacher volunteers gathered together for summer training and to develop a tardy policy specific to the student population. The tenacious and diligent efforts of this group has positively impacted students’ behavior and improved academic achievement.
Each of these gentlemen took an entire day out of their busy schedule to volunteer at their child’s school as part of the Longs Creek Watch DOGS program. They all arrived early and eager to get their schedules for the day and faced each new experience with a smile. They read with students, challenged themselves in math situations, walked the perimeter of the school checking for trash and assisted in the cafeteria. Each dad is proudly displayed in a picture with their child in the Longs Creek foyer. The memories of these experiences are priceless in the lives of children.
Tammy shows exceptional performance with all students at Lopez. She recently helped start a group for both parents and students called the Social Network Club. This is a place where students can socialize after school, eat pizza and learn how to interact with others. This group includes any special needs parents and students. This collaborative effort is innovative in attempting to help others understand some children’s limitations. Once a month, she and a parent also provide a forum for parents called Parents to Parents Support Group. At these meetings, speakers discuss issues with special needs students.
According to one of his MacArthur students, Steve is a man of undying efforts, and is truly the heart of the MacTeach program. Steve provides stability for his students, which strengthens the overall degree at which the tutors perform. Never does he refuse to give his time when his students are in need of it. He also leads an additional tutoring program at Oak Grove where a few of his tutors help struggling students of different ages at 7 a.m. Steve has organized and nurtured this great program. He has a great vision that is right in line with the goals of the campus and the community of MacArthur.
Chris is not only an employee with the NEISD, he is also a volunteer for Oak Meadow. He serves as a volunteer on the PTA Board, and creates the school newsletter which goes out every other week. Chris volunteers to help at school events like Veterans Day, Evening Events and is instrumental in making sure all KIN staff is trained in the 7 habits. As a Leader in Me school, Chris serves as a leader and has set up the KIN program in such a way that you don’t know when school stops and KIN starts. Chris is an extension of learning and leading at Oak Meadow, an asset to students, faculty, staff and community.
Lori Chapa and Stacy Vancil
The Garden Angel program at Oak Meadow is under the direction of parents Lori and Stacy. This program promotes nutritious eating and also reinforces the schools commitment to health as a member of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s Healthy Schools program. Students take on the leadership roles by planting, caring and harvesting vegetables throughout the year. Stacy has written the curriculum and started an Ecology Club in the 5th grade. These women give of themselves in order for students to have this lifelong learning opportunity.
Randolph Brooks Federal Credit Union branch manager Adrienne has served on the Redland Oaks’ Campus Improvement Committee this year. She has proven to be an active and supportive member as she has observed the effects of dwindling school funds. In an effort to support the school, she secured a $500 donation, which enabled the Lighthouse Team to attend the Leader in Me Symposium. Additionally, the credit union has shown their appreciation to teachers by providing a “Teacher Appreciation Luncheon”. The community partnership and support that Redland Oaks has received has been greatly appreciated by faculty, staff and community members.
Mandy Buckelew and Tom Symons
When Redland Oaks volunteers Mandy and Tom learned that the Math Super Stars program was no longer available for the students, they quickly went into action. Mandy met with teacher representatives from each of the grade levels to hammer out the point system and details of earning rewards for students. She and Tom set up the Math Super Stars store front and center in the cafeteria during student lunches. The student response was awesome. Students began turning computation sheets into their teachers for points to spend at the Math Super Star store and, as a result, have strengthened their math computation skills.
After only four months of implementing the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People with the students at Redland Oaks, the school’s Lighthouse Team stepped up to participate in the national symposium held at Region 20. The team prepared and delivered three presentations at the conference. The team also organized a student-led site visit to showcase the 7 Habits, their classroom mission statements and individual data notebooks. The work was a total success and has further grounded our community’s commitment to Leader in Me at Redland Oaks.
In one year, David has become a special volunteer at Roan Forest. His family is new to NEISD and he eagerly plugged himself into the school right away. David has been a Watch DOG numerous times this school year. Volunteer efforts include serving on the Campus Improvement Committee, wearing the Blazer Bear mascot to say “hello” to students during lunch, leading the traffic pattern training for new families, mentoring students and assisting teachers in the classroom. Roan Forest is grateful for David’s support and service to its students.
This group of teachers have gone above the call of duty in preparing young STEM Robotics students to rise to new challenges. They put in more than 400 extra to work with their students and prepare their teams for competitions. Each of their teams advanced further than they have ever gone before, with some qualifying and performing very well at the state level competitions. Their love of students, what they do, and teaching young people is what motivates them to put forth this great effort each and every day.
Elaine has stepped up so many times this school year to assist anywhere needed at Wilshire. When the school’s Data Processor transferred to another school, Elaine filled in and did the job of the Data Processor. She did a wonderful job. She not only assisted with Wilshire needs, but also for the Alternative School, which is housed at Wilshire.
Betty leads Operation School Bell at West Avenue. This is a project of the Assistance League of San Antonio. It assists families in providing suitable clothing for their elementary school children. The project helps elementary students in all districts in San Antonio. West Avenue has participated in this project for more than 10 years and more than 300 children have been provided with new clothing throughout the years.
Everyday heroes come in all ages. During West Avenue's lunch on Thursday, March 1, kindergartners, Jasiah and Nicholas sat across each other enjoying their time and classmates. Charlotte monitored the students, handing out napkins and teaching table etiquette. She noticed Jasiah and Nicholas sitting across each other. She turned away toward other students. Upon turning back toward the two boys, she noticed Nicholas was red in the face and grasping his neck, choking. To her surprise Jasiah had already gotten up, ran around the table and was performing the Heimlich Maneuver on Nicholas. Jasiah was able to dislodge the big chip. Charlotte made sure Nicholas was ok and took him to the nurse.
When asked if he understood what he had done, Jasiah replied, "I was his saver."