Return to Headlines

D49 Applauds Servant Hearts of Staff, Students

District 49 has fantastic individuals, and several were honored during the February Fantastic 49 presentation for demonstrating a generous heart and spirit of service.

Amber Brown and Gretchen Vazquez, D49 staff, are recognized during Fantastic 49.

Margaret Stanley, gifted education specialist for D49, was the first to receive accolades. She started serving in the role at the beginning of the school year. “Margaret worked tirelessly on weekends, and before and after school growing the Meridian Ranch program to what it is today,” Diane Neff, coordinator of gifted education, said. “This year I had the pleasure of hiring Margaret [for a districtwide role]. She has that drive to make our program the best it can be, and she constantly advocates for our students wherever her voice can be heard.”

Vista Ridge High School students were honored for brewing success with the school’s coffee cart business, a career and technical education program. Caleb Houser, Blake Livermore and Izabella Parlapiano Lovos helped launch the coffee cart and are dedicated to delivering excellent service. “Izabella is one of our workers who goes above and beyond for customers. She is always smiling and brings a certain work ethic to the school,” said Adolph Arista, VRHS business teacher, in his nomination. “Blake goes out of his way to eliminate any stress from workers by doing his job and ensuring everything is in top order,” Arista added. “He even promotes the business on his own.”

Jake Stewart, custodian at Falcon High School, was thanked for always offering a helping hand to colleagues. He was nominated for recognition by two teachers at FHS. “Jake has gone above and beyond in times when we were short-staffed to make sure the building was running smoothly … we are very grateful for all of his efforts and what he has done for the building,” said Katie Wasson, English teacher. “Jake’s been employed here probably since before I went to high school here,” added Morgann Cordova, long-term guest teacher. “He was always there to fix anything, always lending a helping hand, and I also just remember how kind he was to everyone.”

District Behavior Analysts Amber Brown and Gretchen Vazquez were next in the line-up. The two team members contribute numerous hours to help foster a positive learning environment in D49. “Amber and Gretchen are so dedicated in providing value across our district each and every day,” Jason White, coordinator of community care, said. “They spend countless hours behind the scenes, whether it be preparing behavior and de-escalation trainings, or writing intervention plans for the many referrals they receive. They are fearless in the pursuit of supporting students and staff with their craft.”

The event wrapped up by recognizing Jacki Kwon, culturally and linguistically diverse education (CLDE) teacher, and Ytzel Lugo, CLDE paraeducator, from Sand Creek High School. The duo genuinely cares about helping students and families new to the country and our district. “I know that no matter what we do, no matter what we try, anything that is going to be for the good of the students, these two will be leading up front,” said Amy Sanchez-Martinez, campus director. “These are students who they make sure have a safe place, they make sure are welcomed … words cannot describe the feeling and the gratitude that they have for these two educators. They have visited the homes of every one of their students.”

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.

SCHS staff are honored on Feb. 9 during Fantastic 49.. Margaret Stanley is honored during the recent Fantastic 49 celebration.. Students from Vista Ridge High School are thanked during the February Fantastic 49 presentation.. Jake Stewart is honored with a video during Fantastic 49 on Feb. 9.

Amy Matisek