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Packed Fantastic 49 Presentation Launches 2024

District 49 kicked off the new year by honoring 23 exceptional teachers and four support staff team members during the Fantastic 49 presentation on Jan. 11 at Creekside Success Center.

Foundation mini-grant recipients honored during Fantastic 49.


Frances Delgado, School Counselor at Patriot High School, was honored for receiving the designation of National Certified School Counselor (NCSC). Delgado is one of 23 school counselors in Colorado to earn this achievement and one of five in El Paso County. "Frances continued to go above and beyond for our students and was willing to be compared to high-level expectations," wrote Ryan Bailey, Principal at PHS, in his nomination. "She is the only NCSC in District 49, and she continues to be an incredible asset for our students."


Nelda Dettwiler, Registered Nurse at PEAK Education Center and Falcon Middle School, was recognized for consistently supporting the annual D4.9K Run-Walk. She has hosted the first-aid station every year. "Nelda reached out to me and volunteered to set up the first aid station," said CharLynn Stegman, D49 Health and Wellness Specialist. "I was so appreciative of that, and as we have built a relationship, I see that is who Nelda is. She will watch out for kids and watch out for participants."


Two building managers, Jeffrey Leitzen at Bennett Ranch Elementary and Corneliu Muresan at Odyssey Elementary, were thanked for their work ethic and dedication to ensuring their buildings always look great. "I received a Fantastic 49 Award a few years ago at Falcon Elementary," said Muresan. "I thought about it and wasn't sure if my job really mattered too much. I go to work every day and do my best, and then I go home to the ones I love. The next day, I repeat. But now I see my job does matter. People start noticing, and one of those people is Mr. Levi [Principal at Odyssey Elementary]."


To wrap up the evening, Falcon Education Foundation board members were in attendance to congratulate teachers selected as mini-grant recipients. The Foundation presented nearly $25,000 to the educators for innovative classroom projects. The following teachers, listed by zone, are mini-grant recipients for the 2023-24 school year.


Name of Teacher


Title of Mini-Grant Project

Amount Awarded



Charity Garner

Bennett Ranch Elementary

Elevate Your game, Elevate your Mind


Teresa Howe

Woodmen Hills Elementary



Eric Canuel & Jennifer Newberg

Falcon High School

Future Purpose


Jennifer Newberg

Falcon High School

3-2-1 Break






Sammie Kinnett

Banning Lewis Preparatory Academy

Dungeons & Dragons After School Club


Laura Patterson

Banning Lewis Preparatory Academy

FBLA Competition Preparation


Robin Walters

Falcon Homeschool Program

Tapping into the Teenage Brain


Jane Wilson

Falcon Homeschool Program

Power Up to Smarter Flight


Natalie Cummings

Pikes Peak Early College

Drone Competition Team


Laura DeLa Garza

Springs Studio for Academic Excellence

Steampunk Science


Lori Hall

Springs Studio for Academic Excellence

360 Degree Journalism: Writing & Sharing Through Experience


Kaitlyn Pukansky

Springs Studio for Academic Excellence

Yeti Middle School Robotics






Kerstin Conquest


Dragon Masters Help Dragonets Learn How to Type


Tara Wold


“Eye” Spy Young Scientists


Tara Wold


Hoppin’ to Learn About the Human Body


Tara Wold


One Stitch at a Time


Leslie Chase

Inspiration View Elementary

A Taste You Will Remember


Eleanor Lambert

Odyssey Elementary

Securing Student Success with Scanmarkers


Jessica Orinak

Ridgeview Elementary

Buddies Who Learn Together Have Fun Together


Brandon Ager

Vista Ridge High School

Vista Ridge High School Art & Design Club


Mary Mullikin

Vista Ridge High School

Interior Design Capstone Projects


Cheng Yu

Vista Ridge High School

Red Dragon Loves Tea






Lindsay Alonge

Remington Elementary

Remington Elementary Multicultural Night


Melanie Hawthorne Long

Horizon Middle School

Flipping for Band! Spirit of Horizon Prep Band Flip Folders


Melanie Hawthorne Long

Horizon Middle School

Light 'Em Up with Horizon Middle School Percussion Ensemble


William Yerger

Sand Creek High School

Army Medic & Rescue


William Yerger

Sand Creek High School

Labor & Delivery


William Yerger

Sand Creek High School

Pediatric Phlebotomy Limbs



Fantastic 49 is the district's recognition program celebrating fantastic staff, students, parents, and community members before Board of Education meetings. A sincere thank you to Air Academy Credit Union, Dion's, and Texas Roadhouse for donating gift cards for honorees.


Frances Delgado, school counselor, receives a Fantastic 49 Award.. Nelda Dettwiler, registered school nurse, is recognized during Fantastic 49.. Building managers thanked during Fantastic 49.

Amy Matisek