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Fantastic 49 Festivities Wrap Up for ’22-23 School Year

Parent Ashleigh Anderson shares remarks during Fantastic 49.

District 49 is committed to recognizing fantastic staff, students and community members who help make our district fantastic. During the ’22-23 school year, D49 honored more than 100 individuals during Fantastic 49 celebrations, and the presentation on June 8 was no exception when district leaders and the Board of Education thanked several staff members and a volunteer for consistently going above and beyond.

Angelina Irwin, first grade teacher at Woodmen Hills Elementary School, was recognized for encouraging a student to advocate for his learning and for helping develop a personalized learning plan for him. “My son Ryder was feeling like he needed more out of his education,” said Ashleigh Anderson, WHES parent. “She has created such a safe and caring environment that he felt safe going to Mrs. Irwin. She helped him be responsible, dig deep and find what he needed. He felt heard, and I appreciate that all his learning needs were met. I feel grateful as his mom, and I know Ryder feels grateful too.”

Dawnise Sandwick, special education instructional coach at Falcon High School, was praised for her work in building a bridge between general education and special education. “This is the first time a school-based special education instructional coach has been offered in District 49 and with this job, Dawnise has had to identify the supports needed and provide those supports to teachers,” shared Bridgitte Martin, special education coordinator in the Falcon Zone. “She has conducted countless evaluations for students and trained numerous staff … she supports all teachers with best practices. Dawnise has high expectations and has gone above and beyond with taking on other duties to support Falcon High and the special education team.”

Band leaders receive awards during the June Fantastic 49 presentation.

The custodial team at Stetson Elementary School—Ken Evans, Bobby Allen and Katarzyna Czepiel—was thanked for supporting everyone in the school beyond their regular job duties by coaching athletic teams and offering extra care in the lunchroom. “Some words to describe our custodial team are hardworking, collaborative, supportive, caring and fun … they engage with students and staff, and are an integral part of the Stetson community,” Beth Dowdy, principal, said. “They go above and beyond in their jobs by building great relationships with our students and staff … they definitely make Stetson the best place to learn, work and lead.”

A group of band leaders— Travis Yager, Andrew King and Staci Toma—was recognized for collaborating to create a districtwide percussion marching band that won the state competition this past spring. “A lot of times we end up being sectioned off in the zones, and we felt this was definitely a way to go above and beyond when we heard our band instructors were bringing our three high schools together,” said Amy Rogers, instructional coach at Vista Ridge High School. “These amazing people have done great things, and the best is yet to come,” added Jen Newberg, instructional coach at Falcon High School.

The evening wrapped up by honoring Ann Moomey, volunteer at Remington Elementary. Moomey has served kindergarten students and teachers for more than 25 years. She helps staff put together weekly folders, provides one-on-one reading and math support for students, and has built meaningful relationships at the school. “She has letter tested and site word tested every kindergartner in 26 years … doing the math, that’s nearly 3,000 kids,” Bonnie Bonser, former kindergarten teacher said. “She is one of our rocks … she is building firm foundations … she is loving, she is kind. Thank you, Ann, for everything you have done for us teachers. Thank you for your labor of love and your heart.”

“This is the highlight of being on the Board of Education … to recognize students, volunteers, staff for all the wonderful things they do,” added President of the Board of Education John Graham.

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

Custodians from Stetson Elementary are thanked during the recent Fantastic 49 presentation.. Students help honor Ann Moomey, volunteer, at the June Fantastic 49 presentation.. Dawnise Sandwick receives accolades during the June Fantastic 49 presentation.. Angelina Irwin, teacher at WHES, is recognized by a parent at the June Fantastic 49 presentation.

Amy Matisek