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District 49 Celebrates Contributions of Fantastic Staff

Leaders across D49 know our staff members make our district fantastic. Fourteen team members were thanked for their contributions at the Fantastic 49 presentation on March 10 before the monthly BOE meeting.

Shauna Anderson, special education teacher at Skyview Middle School, is honored during Fantastic 49.

Shauna Anderson, a special education teacher at Skyview Middle School, was the first to receive accolades. Anderson was behind the creation of a student-run coffee shop, Rise Above Grounds. Her baristas take orders from staff throughout the week and deliver orders each Friday. “Shauna has a strong focus on how to take student learning to the next level,” said Matthew Sisson, principal at Skyview. “The really exciting part is our kids are becoming truly ingrained in the school community.”

The kindergarten team at Evans Elementary, including Christine Dodson, Jenna Whitson, Katya Schmidt, and Melissa Anderson, was honored next. “I could not be prouder to work with this group of people at Evans,” shared Marcia Case, principal. “At the beginning of the year, we knew we had a lot of catching up to do … our students grew four proficiency levels in just one semester. This team is very systematic … and they’ve had amazing success.”

District Affective Needs Instructional Coach Maria Austin was next up for recognition. “Maria has been a gift to this district, but especially to Stetson,” said Beth Dowdy, principal at Stetson Elementary. “She leads with compassion … everyone she encounters, she cares for. She has brought in structure and routine for students, and anyone who needs support, she is happy to help.”

Dowdy also honored the special education team at Stetson Elementary, including Nicole Vallance, Alana Roytan, Madison Young, Cristina Locke, Nakeesha Cluse, and Angela Sharp. “This is an entirely new team, and they have impressed me so much,” shared Dowdy. “They have students who need a lot of support. When you see them walking in the halls with their students, you can feel the genuine care they have for them, and that is truly hard to find.”

Last in the Fantastic 49 line-up were Tamara Myers, a first-grade teacher at Remington Elementary, and Joe Hites, the boys’ basketball team coach at Vista Ridge High School. Myers had a student she wanted to reward for his hard work improving his reading. The two staff members collaborated, and the young learner was named honorary captain for a varsity game. “This is about community, relationships, and doing whatever it takes to honor student achievement. Thank you for allowing me to recognize these individuals for making such a positive impact,” said Lisa Fillo, principal at Remington Elementary.

Fantastic 49 is the district’s recognition program that celebrates fantastic staff, students, and community members before the 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.

Marisa Austin receives an award during the Fantastic 49 presentation.. VRHS boys' basketball team is recognized during the Fantastic 49 celebration.. COO Pedro Almeida congratulates honorees at the Fantastic 49 presentation.  Evans Elementary honors kindergarten teachers at March Fantastic 49 celebration.

D49 Core Commitment Spotlight: People

Through the month of March, D49 is collaborating with the communications department to feature stories that show how D49 values all people by putting our values of care and respect into action through strategic initiatives that promote equity, respect diversity, and celebrate the contributions of all.