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Staff, Community Member Demonstrate Fantastic Commitment

District 49 leaders celebrated staff and a community member who are true examples of the D49 vision, “To Be the Best Choice,” during Fantastic 49 festivities on Sept. 28. All honorees demonstrate a commitment to ensuring D49 is the best district for students to learn and for staff to work.

Andi Adams receives an award during Fantastic 49.

Andrea Adams, photography and yearbook teacher at Vista Ridge High School, was first in the line-up for recognition. Adams was recently named the 2022 Colorado Student Media Association Adviser of the Year. “Andi is a dedicated teacher who empowers students to use their voice, to tell their experiences and report on matters important to our students,” said Becki Sims, interim principal at VRHS. “This award recognizes her dedication to scholastic journalism.”

Ridgeview Elementary custodial team members received recognition for going above and beyond. Kim Moore, principal at RVES, nominated Celia Bonilla, custodial night technician, and Christian Maldonado, building manager, for their contributions at the school. “Celia is a huge part of Ridgeview … right before the school year started, we lost one of our custodial staff members, and Celia worked diligently to make sure all our classrooms were ready for students,” shared Moore.

“Christian has a great attitude, and he is always jovial with the staff,” said Moore. “Some of his work is not easy, but he always approaches those tasks with a smile on his face and a happy heart. He makes a great addition to our team.”

Melanie Hawthorne Long, band director, congratulates Verne Campbell on this recognition.

A trio of staff members at Skyview Middle School—Carri Strand-Crowe, Cindy Doorack and Lura Moore—were honored for providing an exceptional onboarding experience for 25 new staff members at SMS this year. “The amount of support that is needed to bring them on board to make sure they understand the culture of D49, the culture of our building, and make sure they have the support they need is important,” said Mike Wedor, principal at SMS. “They all lead with care and compassion for our new teachers.”

The evening wrapped up by thanking a community member, Verne Campbell. Campbell has experience as a school band director and knows what it’s like for a program not to have enough instruments for students in need. He has purchased, refurbished and donated more than 70 instruments to the band program at Horizon Middle School.

“With my students who don’t think they can afford an instrument, I tell them, ‘We’ll get you one,’ and Verne is a reason I can say that,” shared Melanie Hawthorne Long, band director at HMS. “He, over the years, has provided opportunities for so many of my families … years ago, he donated a flute for a student to keep. She is now in high school and still remembers that moment … I know it’s those moments that kids carry with them, a time when someone reached out to them and instilled their love of music.”

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.

Kim Moore, RVES principal, helps honor Celia Bonilla..  SMS Principal Mike Wedor honors three staff members from SMS..  Christian Maldonado is honored during Fantastic 49 on Sept. 28.

Click on the image below to watch the entire Fantastic 49 presentation.

Fantastic 49 video

Amy Matisek