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Staff, Community Partners Shine as Leaders in D49

SROs are thanked during the October Fantastic 49 presentation.

District 49 recognized staff members and community partners who are dedicated to living our mission to “Be the Best Choice to Learn, Work and Lead” every day during Fantastic 49 festivities on Oct. 26. The line-up of honorees introduced to the board of education included individuals who contribute to D49 in many different ways.

Theresa James, social studies teacher at Vista Ridge High School, was honored for being named one of seven finalists for Colorado Teacher of the Year. “Theresa is one of those teachers that students are drawn to for a multitude of reasons. She academically challenges them, and she has a teaching approach that is attentive to students’ individual needs,” shared Amy Zweifel, assistant principal. “One of the best things I can say about Theresa is that she continues to show up for all the right reasons … she is positive, and real with students and staff.”

A new addition to Vista Ridge High School, Athletic Director Eddy McGee, received accolades for making an impact at the school quickly. “Eddy has been phenomenal. He does a great job every day with our students and staff,” Elizabeth Vigil, athletic secretary, said. “He knows kids by name, and they come looking for him … he is a positive role model and there at every activity. I am very thankful that he is with us.”

The D49 Individualized Education Department recognized team member Lisa Amthor. Her list of responsibilities is extensive with supporting gifted education, collaborating with academic teams and training special education teachers. “She is an example of work ethic, integrity, patience and respect,” said Leatha Hansz, compliance assistant. “Lisa’s positive attitude shines through in all she does with her willingness to work through hard situations.”

Lisa Amthor from individualized education is recognized during Fantastic 49.

In recognition of America’s Safe Schools Week, Dave Watson, director of safety and security, thanked five school resource officers. The group included Officer Dean Baird from Sand Creek High School, Officer Joe Langlais from Vista Ridge High School, Deputy Adam Brown from Horizon Middle School, Deputy Teresa Murphy from Falcon Middle School and Deputy Mark Meyer from Falcon High School. “They are the epitome of our safe schools mission. We collaborate every day, and I am blown away by their professionalism,” Watson shared. “I am super thankful I get to work with these fine individuals every day.”

The evening wrapped up by showing appreciation for Sue Holmes, Falcon Zone leader, who is retiring from D49 at the end of the month to serve an organization that has helped shape the zone, Modern Teacher. “The Falcon Zone is as strong as it’s ever been, and it’s because of the team that Sue has assembled and led,” said Peter Hilts, chief executive officer. “We love her and what she’s done over the years. Sue epitomizes our culture, our strategy and what it means to ‘Be the Best Choice to Learn, Work and Lead.’ We thank Sue for her legacy and the team she’s formed that will carry us forward.”

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.

Theresa James is an honoree at the Oct. 26 Fantastic 49 presentation..  Falcon Zone principals help honor Sue Holmes for her retirement..  Eddy McGee receives an award during the October Fantastic 49 celebration.

Amy Matisek