By Karolyn Gephart
Staff members from Westwood Elementary and Transportation Services were honored for Making a Difference in the district at the School Board meeting Monday, October 14 in the Boardroom at 402 Laurel.
The Making A Difference Awards are given to employees who best exemplify the District’s beliefs. FISD adopted 13 beliefs as part of their five-year Strategic Plan.
From Westwood, Erika Doden, a first grade teacher, was honored for making an impact on student behavior within the school through building relationships. This is Doden’s first year in the district. She was recognized for impacting student behavior in a positive way during the first five weeks of school.
Jennifer Collins, also a first grade teacher for nine years in FISD, was awarded for embodying the belief that learning is meaningful and relevant and contributes to lifelong learning. Collins was chosen to participate in a year-long literacy study at Ohio State University and has been a key part in moving the balanced literacy program forward according to school officials. She serves on the Literacy Committee, the Threat Assessment Committee and is a mentor for other teachers.
Lori Kreiter, Westwood’s School Secretary for two years, was honored for her belief that student-teacher relationships are key to student success. Kreiter’s many jobs build relationships with staff members on her own campus and the other campuses. She orders supplies and tracks their deliveries, handles substitutes for classes, monitors sign ups for workshops and maintains the budget, working closely with her principal.
Second year teacher Landry Angel was awarded for her work in first grade. Angel’s belief showcased is that relevant, authentic, engaged learning provides the best opportunity for true growth. Visitors to her classroom find her students engaged in meaningful discussions about books and stories.
Two Transportation staff members were also honored with Making a Difference awards. Both were recognized for embodying the belief that interpersonal relationships and connections are vital to the learning of and development of civility and respect.
Diana Guerra has worked for FISD for three years. As a bus driver, Guerra is the first staff member each morning to interact with the students that ride her bus. They receive a smile and a greeting as she works to make them feel welcomed, comfortable and appreciated.
Brant Perry, also at FISD for three years, competed in the School Bus Road-e-o at the State level and in the department leads the driver training as well as drives a bus route daily. Recently, he attended the Train the Trainer course for school bus drivers to enhance his skills as a driver trainer for the district.