information for the community

Superintendent's award | March 2013 ceremony

Dr. Gottardy recognized about 170 staff members, students and community members for their devotion, ingenuity and initiative for NEISD during the March 5, 2013 Superintendent's Award ceremony.


Kathryn Hoelscher, Shauna Gonzalez, Nina Billington, Cindy Walker, Monica Moody, Sylvia Sandoval, Katherin Brick, Jennifer Hogue, Roy Duran, Lydia Aranda, and Julie Thompson

In December, a teacher collapsed as the children were on their way to recess at Harmony Hills Elementary School. These staff members had the presence of mind to immediately move the children back to their classes, they notified administration and called 911. This group of educators is being honored for their heroism and selfless acts. They did all they could for their fellow co-worker, all the while making sure students were spared from seeing the situation unfold.




Raul Zuniga, Sandra Saenz, Ralph Garcia, Leticia Lozano, Dan Salazar, Juan Jose Tejeda, James West, Joshua Avila

The custodial staff at Bradley Middle School has been extremely busy this year, with unexpected issues that began this past summer because of heavy rains. The library was flooded, the walls were damaged, and so were bookshelves and books. The crew had to work to save as many books as possible by relocating them to another location. These individuals go above and beyond in a position that can often be overlooked in the busy day-to-day operation of a campus. They put 100 percent into their jobs and work tirelessly and effortlessly to make Bradley a wonderful place to be.



Jennifer Wilken and Evelyn Montalvan

Jennifer is the Executive Director and Evelyn is the owner of the Primrose School of Stone Oak. During November, students there conducted an annual food drive to assist families in need. This year, they chose the North East ISD McKinney-Vento Homeless Project to receive their donation. The children and their parents were encouraged to drop off food and clothing.

The children were also asked to earn money at home by completing chores. The students worked very hard at home and they were able to donate more than 400 items of food and clothing to the project.


Dr. David Person and Suzanne Person

David and Suzanne heard about the Dellview Elementary School STEM Scholar program needing sponsors for the upcoming robotics season and generously offered to sponsor two teams to participate in the First Lego League competition on January 29 at Roosevelt High School. Their donation covered the entire cost of the registration for two teams of students plus the cost of the board set up that was needed to practice for the competition.


Ginger Siebert

Ginger is a parent volunteer who has exhibited distinguished service to the Tejeda Middle School library by organizing a number of parent volunteers to help out in the library over the past two years. She was instrumental in making sure the entire library was completely packed up last May when the campus was scheduled for new carpet installation during the summer. Ginger also works in the copy room to help teachers stay caught up on printing needs for the classroom.


Araceli Rios and Omar Rios

After retiring from federal service, Omar began a second career as a volunteer - tutoring and mentoring students. For the past 26 years, he has worked with his daughter Araceli at Olmos Elementary School. Omar can be found working with his daughter’s students regularly and the students are always excited when it is a “Mr. Rios Day.”

Araceli’s commitment to the Olmos community is incredible. Araceli is the teacher representative on the PTA and has spent many hours supporting their efforts and attending board meetings and PTA-sponsored events.


Robert LoBasso and Stephanie Blue

These Camelot Elementary School Robotics Club sponsors have gone above and beyond to increase the number of students involved, as well and support the development of the club’s activities. They hold weekly meetings where students focus on teamwork, collaboration, strategy, technology and innovation.

They have also introduced a new opportunity called the “First Lego League” to a select portion of the robotics students. This elite group is new to Camelot, and Robert and Stephanie are working hard to support students in taking on this new challenge.


Ray Alvarado

In January, Ray, a district mechanic, and a co-worker were working on a school bus when his co-worker started choking on a piece of candy. Ray reacted quickly and applied the Heimlich maneuver, dislodging the obstruction. His quick action helped prevent a tragedy and saved his friend’s life.


Sue Purcell

Sue and her husband helped Coker Elementary School’s Family Specialist deliver a turkey and groceries to families during Thanksgiving week.

Sue also was instrumental in gathering funds from her church to pay for the school nurse’s membership to the National Nurses Association - which in turn provided the school with vouchers for 20 free eye exams and free glasses for its needy students.


Kevin Brown

Kevin is a Reagan High School student who recently completed a project at Encino Park Elementary School which helped him earn his Eagle Scout Badge. He planned, coordinated, and completed the renovation of the abandoned Pre-K playground into a beautiful garden. He enlisted volunteers, raised all of the money, and petitioned businesses to help with this project.


Frank San Miguel

Officer San Miguel goes to work each evening with the SAPD, then heads up at Encino Park Elementary around 6:30 a.m. to walk the campus grounds -- even on his days off! He has volunteered to patrol the campus for more than 20 years – even though his children are no longer students there.


Ayscha Caldera

Ayscha has shown distinguished service in her mission to help economically disadvantaged at Garner Middle school. She provides clothes, P.E. uniforms, college t-shirts, holiday gift cards, as well as hygiene items to students and families – and she’s done it for the past two years. She also works tirelessly to recruit volunteers to help in these endeavors.


Olga Rubio, Terry Villalobos, Irene Cantu, Cindy Villarreal, Luzmaria Alejandro, Maria Medrano, Stacie Kinsey, David Kinsey, Irma Acosta, Yolanda Sanchez, Andrea Terrazas, Letisia Quintana, Esther Cisneroz, Jessica Charles, Sylvia Alejandro, Veronica Villarreal, Maria Garcia, John Villarreal Jr, glenda cuellar, clarissa cuellar

These members of the North East Educational Personnel Association (NEESPA) have helped raise money for scholarships to support our North East family in their educational endeavors. One scholarship is awarded to an NEISD graduate each year, while another is for a district paraprofessional. They also provide Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday dinners for needy families in the district. One their biggest community events is the NEISD Angel Tree Project which allowed them to deliver Christmas presents to five NEISD families with the help of donations from fellow employees.



Elaine Boston

Elaine has been a constant presence at Lopez Middle School for five years. She arranges appreciation luncheons for the staff. She also organizes faculty birthday treats each month. This is a lot of work, but she does it with a smile. Elaine’s efforts help make the teachers feel respected and appreciated for all they do.


Hardy Oak

Lola Folkes, Melissa Thurmond, Shannon Seiger, Shelly Covarrubias, Sue Platt, Erica Siller, Heather Kelley, Marian Lee, Delva Perez, Frances Rowan, Carey Thomas, Chris Benevides



Oak Meadow

Lynn Dockery, Jamie Saunder, Ashley Evans, Cathy Cheslock, Kimberly Liles, Caroyln Jones, Gretchen Deberry, Michelle Amey, Kim Duncan, Cynthia Himsteadt, Beth McCurry, Ashley Skinner, Patty Johnson



Hardy Oak and Oak Meadow elementary schools were named Leader in Me Lighthouse Schools at the Leader in Me Symposium in January. This is the highest distinction Leader in Me schools can attain.

Hardy Oak Principal Lola Folkes and Oak Meadow Principal Lynn Dockery, their leadership teams, staff, students and parents worked tremendously hard to earn this distinction. The Leader in Me is a process that creates and sustains a culture of student leadership. These young people are engaged, connected, and goal oriented.


Karen Maureen Clifford and Loryn Windwehen

Karen is from the STEM Academy, and Loryn is from Harris Middle School. They represented NEISD and Texas at the National Institute of Standards and Technology Summer Institute in Baltimore this past summer.

Both have continued to capitalize on that amazing experience by providing their students with cutting-edge technology and information.

These dynamic teachers were also chosen for a competitive workshop, where they had the opportunity to work side-by-side with scientists, engineers, and researchers, some of whom are renowned Nobel Laureates.


Jo Chasse and Casey Herridge

For the second consecutive year, Hardy Oak Elementary School’s librarian Jo and parent volunteer Casey have organized and led book studies with 80 fourth and fifth graders at Hardy Oak.

Jo and Casey transformed the library into a scene from a selected book and made props to enhance the setting. The ladies dressed up as characters from the book and brought in food and other ideas, so that the children really got to experience the story.

The students love coming to the Book Club each month and these ladies go out of their way to make the learning interactive and fun.


Charles Elerick and Wes Ryan

At Jackson Middle School, Wes and Charles started to “Flip” their classrooms this year. The flipped classroom provides an opportunity for students to watch pre-recorded lectures for homework and to complete their assignments, labs, and tests in class with their teacher available. This experience allows the student to demonstrate a deeper understanding of the material. Students have responded well - and they have become experts about “flipped” instruction.



Dean Fischer, Rob Grajeda and Marisa Flores

From the San Antonio Police Officers Association, these individuals have supported Wilshire Elementary School initiatives by donating bicycles to reward students for perfect attendance. Each nine weeks, students with perfect attendance are entered into a drawing and one name is pulled from each grade level. At Christmas time, the Association's "Blue Santa" program, worked closely with the campus to support its families. 171 students and family members received gifts and support to help make their holiday season joyful.



Promise Pittman

Wilshire Elementary School student Promise Pittman wanted to make a difference and do something good for those in need. She decided to make hair bows and sell them to raise money for the charity “Stand Up to Cancer.”

She started selling them at volleyball games and at the school fall festival. She then approached Wilshire administrators to see if she could start a club. The “Ribbons of Promise” Club began the second week in November with 14 members. The club meets every other Friday after school to make bows, bracelets, key chains, and necklaces that are sold before school in the cafeteria. The club's goal is to raise $1,000 by the end of the year. Since November, they have donated $800.


Megan Banta, Catherine Buley, Rena Buley, Nicole Clark, Emma Hahn, Sarah Hahn, Mia Hockersmith, Bryannah James, Lindsey Jenks, Genevieve Snider, Samantha Snider, Taylor Thorpe,
Jacqlyn Quinones, Macey Williamson

Girl Scout Troop 2116 is made up of Coker and Thousand Oaks elementary school students, along with their Troop Leader Rena Buley. They are being recognized for their creative thinking and teamwork. The troop ran a Crayon Drive at both their elementary schools to gather recycled crayons they could use to mold into bigger, new ones for the special needs classrooms at Coker, Thousand Oaks, and Bradley Middle School.

They created posters, presented on the morning announcements at their schools, and decorated drop boxes for the old crayons. After the crayon drive was complete, they organized all crayons, sorted into colors, and peeled off all the paper to get the crayons ready to be melted. The troop plans to redistribute the “new” and improved crayons by late March.


David Rayner, Dawn Rayner and Pamela Brook

These Thousand Oaks Elementary School parents researched the program and took the initiative to ask permission to implement it at the school. They organized, advertised, and held a successful kick-off event. The Watch DOGS have made a great impact on the campus. They help with arrival, dismissal, lunch, P.E., recess, and academic time. They show students that they care about the school. The work of these three individuals has increased parent involvement on the campus.


Homer Schott

Homer is a familiar face at Colonial Hills Elementary School after logging many, many volunteer hours. He has done a lot for the schools, but this year he is mentoring a student with many challenges. The student has made significant progress this year. Homer’s compassion and guidance have been extremely influential with this young man. Homer’s bright and caring smile warms the hearts of students and staff.


Kim Cowherd

Kim is a Tejeda Middle School band parent. She has been an integral part of the organization process for the Tejeda Band’s enchilada dinner and silent auction for 10 out of the 12 years Tejeda has been in existence. She spends countless hours organizing committees and pursuing donations. Over the past 10 years, Kim has helped raise approximately $100,000 for the betterment of thousands of Tejeda band student.


Denise Baker

Denise is the San Antonio Literacy Coordinator for the Jewish Federation. She coordinates the volunteer and mentor program at the Jewish Community Center and sends numerous positive adult role models to NEISD. Her commitment and dedication has helped many students on several of our campuses. She also provides books – often to students who typically can't afford books of their own.


Robert Mason and Andrea Mason

Robert and Andrea have been mentors at Harmony Hills Elementary School for many years, volunteering to meet every week with students. They tutor, read, and serve as positive adult role models. Their commitment and dedication to each student's academic, social and behavioral needs assists these students in being successful.


Lieutenant Kevin Luzius, Sergeant Ken Albrecht, Sergeant Dave Berriga , Officer Ejinio Flores

For several years, these officers have volunteered to come to Hardy Oak and Harmony Hills and present to students on the importance of staying safe and drug-free. These officers not only protect our city, but also help our kids understand the importance of staying safe and drug-free and reporting to an adult they trust when confronted with unsafe behaviors.



Francisco Delgado and Christopher Basaldua

These two men have created the first Soccer Club at West Avenue Elementary School. They dedicate their Friday afternoons to help build upon the self-esteem, work ethic, and sportsmanship of fourth and fifth graders. The students eagerly stay after school to learn about the game of soccer. The Soccer Club also teaches students about wellness and academics.


Sergio Saenz

Sergio has donated his time and energy to “DJ” many fall festivals, spring festivals and events at West Avenue Elementary School over the last seven years, while his grandchildren attended the school. He has also supported his daughter and son-in-law as they have served on the West Avenue PTA Executive Board over the years. He helps bring the community together with music and fellowship, and is extremely appreciated by students and staff.


Pat Dunning

Pat goes above and beyond to care for all of the students on her bus. It is not uncommon for Pat to talk to teachers on the campus to determine the specific needs of each of the students on her bus and ensure that each child is being taken care of during the bus ride.

She has developed a strong rapport with the students and their families. Several parents have commented about how appreciative they are that Pat takes the time to talk and listen to them.

Her caring, loving and energetic personality lights up the campus and brightens the day of everyone she comes in contact with.


Elvie Huang

She has an unbelievable, one-of-a-kind work ethic. Cibolo Green Elementary School has a very busy clinic that can see up to 90 students per day - and Elvie helps the clinic run smoothly.

After clocking out at the end of each day, she comes back and volunteers in the clinic for countless hours. In that time, she has organized student’s health records, entered health screening, updated student emergency forms and so much more.


Gene Stanley and Marti Anne Johnson

Gene and MartiAnne have devoted their volunteer time to tutoring second graders at Harmony Hills Elementary School who are not reading on grade level. Once a week, they meet with two children for 30 minutes each.
They help provide these students with an opportunity to become better readers - and become confident children, who as a result at the end of the year are reading on grade level or above.


Rosibel Medrano

Rosibel is a parent volunteer at Harmony Hills Elementary School who has logged countless hours as an active PTA member, room parent mother, third grade “Copy Lady”, ELL parent, and special events volunteer. She is ready to assist the school in any way. Her ability to speak Spanish encourages Spanish-speaking parents to get involved.


Brittani Matthews

Brittani is the nurse at Encino Park and has gone above and beyond to raise money and awareness for an important cause. The district collaborated with the American Heart Association to educate the staff on “Women’s Heart Health.”

Last year, Brittani helped raise $335, and Encino Park was selected as the “Most Spirited School.” This was the largest amount raised of the district’s $8,000 total. This year, Brittani also raised the largest amount for an employee with $520. Her efforts to promote and educate staff and families about heart disease and prevention have been outstanding.


Lisa DeHart, Cheyenne Kennel, Misty Mannes

These exceptional ladies have devoted countless hours planning and volunteering at school functions as members of the Harmony Hills Elementary School PTA.

The PTA helps provide a variety of events, such as Chess Club and Art Club. The PTA also organizes activities that promote family involvement - like the School Festival, Family Skate Night, Family Movie Night, Donuts with Dads and Muffins with Moms. Through fundraisers, the PTA financially supports one student field trip per grade level. In addition, the PTA helps support the student choir to perform at the state capital.


Monica Gutierrez and Yvonne Valdez

Monica and Yvonne are North Central Rotary Club members who have been an integral part of Harmony Hills Elementary School for 5 years. They donate to Watch Dogs Pizza Night, Thanksgiving meals, Christmas gifts for students, and provide speakers for the Leadership Men’s Club and Mighty Girls Club. These two hardworking women are community members who are attentive to the needs of our school and we definitely appreciate their efforts.


Jonathon Brehm, Jesus DeHoyos, Kristin DeGroot, Scott Flanagan, Madonna Gil, Trey Hoadly, Keith Martinez, Ariana Reyna, Jennifer Rivera, Rob Saldana, Christian Silliker, Darius Thomas

These members of the UTSA Lyric Opera Theatre performed for students at Jackson-Keller Elementary School in January. This program introduces children to "live" opera and included 16 of the school’s fifth graders as the villagers and 11 first graders as animals performing with the UTSA cast. The students appeared mesmerized and grew excited at the parts of the show when their peers took to the stage.


Myrna Rasmussen and Christina Cortez

At Jackson-Keller Elementary School, Myrna and Christina were featured as the top teachers who had the most participation of students in THINK THRU MATH. Representatives from THINK THRU MATH interviewed both teachers to share ideas on how their students log on and complete the activities. Both teachers demonstrate unique qualities and dedication to the academic success of their students. Their interviews will be featured in the THINK THRU MATH website. THINK THRU MATH is a district-wide initiative to help students become stronger in their math skills.


Guadalupe Escandon and Iris Escandon

For the 50th year anniversary of Jackson-Keller Elementary School, Guadalupe and her daughter Iris baked a cake featuring 50 years of excellence. The ladies donated the cake along with cupcakes for the community, faculty, and students to enjoy. Their elaborate and creative idea made the celebration a huge success.


Ryan Edwards

Ryan organized a school-wide Valentine for Wounded Veterans project at Jackson-Keller Elementary School. The week-long project encouraged students to create valentines for the Frank Tejeda State Veterans Home in Floresville as well as the Audie Murphy Center. Ryan's dedication to community service and honoring our wounded veterans inspired Jackson-Keller students to create valentines and bring smiles to veterans’ faces too.


Helen Finkel

At Jackson-Keller Elementary School, Helen has been assisting in Lynn Trimble’s and Mary Marshall’s classrooms for approximately 12 years. She is extremely talented in the art of teaching - she provides encouragement and guidance for students who have been chosen to read with her. A native of New York City, Helen makes her annual pilgrimage to San Antonio for the winter, and immediately appears at Jackson-Keller to give of her time.


Brittany Fischer

Brittany has been volunteering in her sister Jennifer Creekmore’s classroom at Harmony Hills Elementary School since 2009. She started while she was in the North East Transition Services program at NEISD. She’s a very special person, she was born with Cerebral Palsy and epilepsy – but, she doesn’t let that stop her. She works with small groups of children for two full days a week and helps all kindergarten teachers with anything they need. She also makes time to work in the library.
Brittany displays leadership, initiative, pride, respect and dedication to Harmony Hills. She is a role model and inspiration to the staff and students.


Steven Davidson, Hailey Spessard, Taylor Sheeran, Aliyah Sanchez, Bri England, Aaron Schmidt, Travis Kotzur, Bethany Gorman, Krissian Martinez, Lauren Conn, Kendall Richey, Brea Moore, Heather Theis, Selina Khan, Sarah Diem, Ryan Huizar, Bianca Torres, Kaitlin Burg

Steven Davidson is the creative force and administrator behind the MacTeach tutoring program at MacArthur High School. He exhibits dedication to his job, students, school and community through his many hours of work - both during and beyond the school day. He makes himself available to his students both before and after school for tutoring and mentoring, as well as career and higher education counseling.

The rest of the group…are all seniors and are part of the Mac Teach program. It’s a peer-tutoring program where select seniors tutor the school’s English Language Learners and those students requiring academic support toward core requirements. This group is also responsible for developing the Burmese Refugee Program, an extension of the MacTEACH program where they conduct evening tutoring sessions, twice a week, in the MacArthur library. Nearly 20 Burmese students from Serna Elementary, Garner Middle School, and MacArthur High School benefit from the long hours these tutors selflessly make available.



Mark Thias and Elizabeth Thias

Mark and Elizabeth have made generous contributions to the fifth grade team at Dellview Elementary School for the past two years. Their contributions have helped the 5th grade team with their end-of-the-year celebrations. As a result, the Dellview fifth grade students have had memorable experiences that they might not otherwise have had. They are community leaders that continue to invest in our school. They truly have made a difference at Dellview!


Richard Shough

Richard has shown distinguished service in his devotion to helping and reaching out to the community and NEISD. He is the Church Life Minister for the MacArthur Church of Christ. He has made it a priority to partner with Garner Middle School and many other schools in the district. Every holiday season, he assures many families in need have a holiday meal. He and his volunteers tirelessly make meal donation deliveries to various schools. In addition, he always assures that Garner students have school supplies and backpacks. Garner greatly appreciates and admires Richard and his commitment to reaching out to those in need.


Bob Robbins

Bob has been a mentor and Campus Improvement Committee member since Royal Ridge Elementary School opened. He is also a wonderful liaison between the school and the Royal Ridge community. His dedication to the Royal Ridge staff, students and community is greatly appreciated.



Posted on March 6, 2013