TAHOE/TRUCKEE, Calif. — Teachers and school support staff are a critical part of the team that nurtures our children. These individuals are tasked with the job of shaping youth through their educational journey.
Each year, the Excellence in Education Foundation accepts nominations for the Linda Brown Fellows and Star Awards, which offer the opportunity to acknowledge exceptional teachers and support staff in the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District. Last year, the Foundation received more than 100 nominations filled with experiences and heartfelt stories of educators who go “above and beyond” for their students.
Recipients each receive a $1,000 personal cash award. Additionally, the Linda Brown Fellow recipients each receive a $2,000 grant to be used for enhancing educational work within the school district. All nominees, regardless of being selected or not, receive a copy of their nominations.
The Foundation is asking the community to help identify and celebrate more educators for the 2014-2015 awards. Award nominations are now open and may come from parents, students and community members, as well as any TTUSD faculty or staff member.
Nomination forms are at all district schools or online at www.exined.org. Nominations must be postmarked or received by Thursday, May 1, 2014. The 2014-2015 recipients will be announced in the fall. Thank you for taking the time to acknowledge the exceptional educators in our school district.
The 2013-2014 Linda Brown Fellows Award recipients were announced at the beginning of the school year. The following excerpts were taken from the recipients’ nominations.
2013-2014 LINDA BROWN FELLOWS RECIPIENTS
Joni Adomshick, Alder Creek Middle School: Joni is repeatedly described as having tremendous impact on her students and their families — both academically and emotionally. Her “never give up attitude” and countless hours of dedication led her to introduce a new intervention program to the middle school called “Why Try” which encourages students to set goals, face peer pressure and make better decisions.
Erin Smith, Glenshire Elementary School: Erin has inspired students for decades. One of her Fellows nominations came in from a parent who had Mrs. Smith as a teacher almost 20 years ago. She is known for running a tight ship and she has the ability to inspire a personal commitment from students to do their very best.
Teresa Charter, Glenshire Elementary School : Love of teaching can be seen and felt the minute you enter Teresa’s first-grade classroom. As one parent wrote, “One of this teacher’s greatest gifts is that she finds the positive in everything and everyone.” From uncovering hidden music skills, bolstering self-esteem or helping break a thumb sucking habit, Teresa does it all.
Jean Fournier, Glenshire Elementary: Jean has an extremely eclectic set of skills — technology, science, GATE and arts — she seems to cover it all. As one parent wrote, “complacency is not an option for her students.” In an effort to increase students’ opportunities for creativity and critical thinking, she was one of the pioneers of the local Odyssey of the Mind program and has made it possible for many teams from our area to participate and compete both regionally and statewide.
Nicole Sayegh, District EL Coordinator: Each year Nicole charts the progress of over 800 English Language (E.L.) students in reading, writing and speaking and shares that progress with the student’s teacher. Recently she spent time in E.L. classrooms teaching every secondary E.L. student how to track their own achievement progress. Nicole inspires students, parents and teachers to reach new heights.
2013-2014 STAR AWARD RECIPIENTS
Cindi Friedli, District Office: Cindi is loved for her dedication, compassion, support and friendship to all she interacts with along with her “can do” attitude and willingness to go the extra mile. She is described as someone who’s “special care demonstrates a true devotion and interest in children and their education.”
Phil Mix, Transportation: Phil drives the Donner Summit bus route daily with patience, skill and good humor. This stretch of road is not for the faint hearted as it is often met with strong winds, sideways snow, road closures and anxious passengers. Phil is so competent at his task that one parent wrote, “On storm days we made a conscious decision to send our children on the bus because we felt they would be much safer than in our own car.”
Cris Goldman, Kings Beach Elementary: Cris is a longtime veteran of the district. Chris is the assistant to the resource program, speech and language, as well as bilingual programs. As an instructional aide, she has developed a spelling program that is very effective in remediation. And, as a bilingual educator, she is the “go to” person for communication with parents.
Jessica Alb, District Office: Jessica is the administrator for District Education Services. Jessica’s daily tasks include supporting teacher trainings, teacher meetings, community gatherings and student events. She makes and maintains positive relationships with county and state level educators as well as administrators, parents and students. She volunteers to tutor students outside of her work hours, works with Project MANA and advised the La Raza Club at the high school.
Robin Redmond, Sierra High School: Robin is the administrative assistant at Sierra High, but she also spends time helping in less traditional ways. She is often found preparing breakfast and cleaning up at school, helping pregnant girls and toddlers every day and even consoles despairing teens. Students know Robin is both caring and compassionate.
The Tahoe Truckee Excellence in Education Foundation enhances education with the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District. Each year the Foundation raises money and provides grants, resources and partnerships to benefit students, teachers and educational community.