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D49 Team Members Celebrated for Persistence, Positivity

District 49 staff members know what it means to endure and work hard in difficult times. Four of these employees were recognized for courageously stepping up to encourage others, tackling personal challenges and promoting equality in D49. The board of education expressed their appreciation during Fantastic 49 festivities Feb. 11.

Pam Traylor from Evans Elementary School receives accolades during the Feb. 11 Fantastic 49.

The evening began by recognizing Frances Delgado, a counselor from Patriot High School. “Frances is one of the most positive and hard-working individuals,” said Steve Gard, principal. “In the midst of being new, having these added duties and COVID-19 stresses, she has been such a positive presence, able to admit that things are difficult, but continuing to laugh, smile and share positivity with others.”

Next in the line-up of honorees was Pam Traylor, attendance secretary from Evans Elementary School, who has played a key part in transitions from E-learning to in-person learning, and back and forth again. “She’s made a huge impact at Evans. She is always smiling, always patient, always positive,” shared Marcia Case, principal. “When she recognizes a problem, she’s always the first one to explore solutions.”

The celebration included recognizing two teachers including Söndra Rymer, discovery professor at ALLIES, who dealt not only with COVID in 2020, but also a personal challenge. “Mrs. Rymer has had to face this year with more stress and turmoil than one person should have to face in a lifetime,” said Rebecca Thompson, director of academic services at ALLIES. “She finds solutions and then looks for the positive changes amidst a pandemic. Sondra is the epitome of the quote, ‘Change the way you look at things, and the things you look at will change.’”

The second teacher to receive accolades was Linda Rogers, business teacher at Horizon Middle School. Rogers is helping address equity in education by serving on the district’s new Equity Leadership Advisory Council. “I truly believe that diversity, equity and inclusion should guide the way for everyone,” stated Rogers. “If we truly aim to be the best district to learn, work and lead, then the answer to do what is best for kids is to be fair, care about others and to promote justice for all.”

Board of Education President John Graham wrapped up the event by sharing words of gratitude. “One of the greatest pleasures we have being board members is being able to sit here as our wonderful team is recognized … you’re all superstars, and I know you go the extra mile to take care of the kids.”

Linda Rogers, teacher at Horizon Middle School, shows joy for receiving a Fantastic 49 award Feb. 11. Sondra Rymer, discovery professor at ALLIES, is celebrated during Fantastic 49 Feb. 11. Frances Delgado, counselor at Patriot High School, is a Fantastic 49 honoree Feb. 11.

Amy Matisek