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Staff, Community Members Demonstrate Hearts of Goodwill

The holiday season provided a perfect time for District 49 leaders and board members to recognize the kindness and giving spirit of two staff members and four community partners during Fantastic 49 festivities, Dec. 16.

Tresa Flanegin with Woodmen Valley Chapel is recognized for her contributions to D49 schools during Fantastic 49.

Jessica Cole, interim assistant principal at Inspiration View Elementary, was first to receive accolades. Cole often serves as crossing guard, and one day when a driver was passing by too quickly, she jumped into traffic to lift a student to safety. “She has speed and agility that has been proven … she played softball at Colorado State University and is in the Hall of Fame,” shared Pam Holloman, interim principal. “She knows how to think quickly and how to respond … it is her care that we greatly appreciate.”

Next in the line-up for recognition was Rachel Zilverberg, significant support needs paraeducator at Falcon Elementary. “Rachel is dedicated, and always puts her students and team first,” said Elisabeth Walsh, special education teacher and colleague who nominated Zilverberg. “She comes to work early each and every day, and takes initiative. It is an honor to work with her.”

The second part of the presentation focused on honoring community individuals, starting with Tresa Flanegin, ACTS coordinator at Woodmen Valley Chapel. Tresa and her organization have facilitated reading groups in D49 schools, helped clean buildings, donated food to families in need and hosted staff appreciation events. “We value this friendship and partnership, and this recognition tonight is just a tiny offering of gratitude for everything,” shared Cari Brewer, dean of students at Falcon Elementary. 

Direct Services Manager Steven Williams from Care and Share Food Bank was recognized for bringing their Mobile Market to families in need at D49 schools. “With this partnership, we serve on average 180 neighbors a week,” said Lauren Stuart, community liaison in the Sand Creek Zone. “I can’t explain how much of a positive impact this has made on our community … Steven is accommodating to our needs, loyal to our families, and invested in our community beyond measure.”

To wrap up the celebration, Mike Tapia and Dana Smith from Christmas Unlimited were thanked for their donations of school supplies and holiday gifts in the Sand Creek Zone. “Dana reached out to me to see if we were in need of schools supplies … I asked for 400 pencils, and she gave me 4,000. I asked for 30 packs of paper, and she gave me 150,” shared Stuart. “They also gave us masks, hand sanitizers and wipes to help us ease back into the classroom.” 

Fantastic 49 is the district’s recognition program that celebrates fantastic staff, students and community members before board of education meetings. A sincere thank you to Air Academy Federal Credit Union, Dion’s, Texas Roadhouse and Whirlyball for donating gift cards for all honorees.

Rachel Zilverberg, paraeducator, is honored during the December Fantastic 49 presentation.Steven Williams is recognized at the Dec. 16 Fantastic 49 celebration.Individuals from Christmas Unlimited are recognized during the Dec. 16 Fantastic 49 presentation.Pam Holloman congratulates Jessica Cole on her Fantastic 49 award.

Amy Matisek