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Fantastic Individuals Make D49 Fantastic

Volunteer Pam Travnicek is thanked during Fantastic 49.

District 49 honored staff and volunteers during Fantastic 49 festivities on April 11. The presentation served as an excellent reminder that it takes individuals pitching in and contributing in many different ways to operate our district and educate students.

Destiny Williams, Lunch & Recess Monitor at the Academy for Literacy, Learning & Innovation Excellence (ALLIES), was recognized for consistently going above and beyond her job duties. “Children don’t always come to school knowing how to get along, how to play safely, how to solve interpersonal problems, or even how to be honest when making a mistake,” said Rebecca Thompson, Director of Academic Services. “Destiny has formed relationships with students and helped guide them with becoming honest citizens and kind classmates. She doesn’t just watch the cafeteria or walk the playground. Instead, she spends time building relationships and teaching our Dragons how to be good humans.”

Marci Strunc and Corey Bates, Math Teachers at Falcon Middle School, were thanked for graciously taking on more classes when the school was unable to fill a math teaching position. “These two teachers have remained committed to their own students, but have extended their support by stepping into other seventh grade classrooms,” shared Christina Tiernan, Coordinator of Math Performance. “Not only did they support students academically, but they gave stability that is needed each and every day. Their dedication to go above and beyond for Falcon Middle students has not gone unnoticed.”

Pam Travnicek, volunteer, was nominated for recognition by two teachers at Springs Ranch Elementary School. “When I first began teaching, I did not know what it was like to have volunteers in the classroom,” said Nicole Juhl, Kindergarten Teacher. “I quickly learned the impact they have in our D49 community. Pam’s help this year has lifted so many weights off my shoulders. As a kindergarten teacher, you plan more than necessary, you make more than necessary, and Pam is always there to step in to paint, glitter, or otherwise. But it is so much more than the task she helps with. It is the way all my students have connected and built relationships with her.”

Teacher Sammi Cosgrove demonstrates the ACC device that Ashlynn, her student, uses.

“You would think Pam is a full-time employee with as much time as she spends at our school helping out,” said Amanda Wise, Fourth Grade Teacher. “Whether making copies, helping me grade, or simply bringing me a smile to help brighten up my day, Pam is always there to do what I didn’t even know I needed.”

The presentation wrapped up with celebrating staff at Evans Elementary who serve students in the Significant Supports Needs (SSN) program. Samantha Cosgrove, Special Education Teacher, and her team of paraeducators—Cheryl Betheta, Lindsey Hurley, Amanda Johnston, Marla Line, and Lauren Owens—were thanked for creating an environment where all students are nurtured and inspired to grow academically. “The SSN program is a core element of our school community and a proud piece of our identity. The incredible team in charge deserves all the credit for the program’s success,” said Marcia Case, Principal. “Every day they display relentless work ethic and the most effective collaboration to best serve kids and families. Their joyful attitudes are contagious, and it is no surprise our kids are absolutely thriving in Room 50. They have literally changed the lives of students and families who come through their program.”

Ashlynn Grippin, fourth grader in the SSN program, was present to share a few words about the Evans team. She uses an Augmentative and Alternative Communication device (ACC), and worked with her speech therapist to pick out the words she wanted to share and to help program the device to say, “I love Miss Sammi because she is nice and silly. I love Miss Cheryl because she is funny. I love Miss Lauren because she is fun. I love Miss Amanda because she is smart. I love Miss Lindsey because she is hardworking. I love Miss Marla because she is helpful.”

Fantastic 49 is the district's recognition program that celebrates 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.


FMS Math Teachers are recognized during Fantastic 49.. Destiny Williams from ALLIES is thanked during Fantastic 49.. SSN team members from Evans Elementary are recognized during Fantastic 49 on April 11.. SRES teachers honor a volunteer during Fantastic 49.

Amy Matisek