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D49 Celebrates Staff Who Go Above and Beyond

Individuals across District 49 deliver their best every day. For some, it encompasses ensuring the health and wellness of staff and students. For others, it is about helping students reach academic excellence. D49 honored four deserving staff members Feb. 13 during the Fantastic 49 presentation before the monthly board of education meeting.

Mary Velasquez, IGNITE expeditions project manager, congratulates Patsy Prettyman, lead nurse, during Fantastic 49 Feb. 13.

The event kicked off by recognizing Kathy Tarry, culturally & linguistically diverse education teacher at Falcon Elementary School of Technology. “Kathy shines whenever I watch her teach,” shared Dr. Michael Roth, principal at FESoT. Tarry inspires students not proficient in English to learn to read above grade level. “She has invested so much in our families.”

Tara Carey, safety and compliance specialist, received accolades next. She professionally conducts safety audits across D49 to ensure all buildings are safe for learning. “She exemplifies what the Fantastic 49 award is all about,” stated CJ Jilek, co-director of facilities.

The board celebrated Patsy Prettyman, lead nurse, for helping make STEAM camp last fall a success. She made sure the district supported all student needs during the event. “It was amazing to watch her jump into action … her desire to help our students was quite obvious,” commented Mary Velasquez, IGNITE expeditions project manager.

The final honoree of the evening was Shannon Cruz, a paraprofessional from Ridgeview Elementary School. Andrea Aragon, assistant principal at RVES, shared remarks from staff and students who adore Cruz. One sentiment was from a fifth-grader, “I know Ms. Shannon wants to help everyone. She always cares about how I’m feeling, so I care about her too.”

Dave Cruson, BOE treasurer, presents a plaque to Tara Carey, safety and compliance specialist, during Fantastic 49 Feb. 13.  . Shannon Cruz, a paraprofessional at Ridgeview Elementary, receives accolades during the Fantastic 49 celebration Feb. 13.  . Kathy Tarry, CLDE teacher, receives accolades during Fantastic 49 Feb. 13.

Amy Matisek