Staff Members Show Heart for Students, Fellow Colleagues
Team members contribute to success in District 49 every day, and many give it their all. The May 9 Fantastic 49 festivities honored five employees for giving their heart and soul to D49 students and colleagues.
The celebration kicked off by recognizing Matt Monfre, P.E. teacher at Stetson Elementary School. He supervises the Garden Club for students, while also earning countless grants to support health and wellness of students in his time at SES. “Matt’s contributions go well beyond the classroom,” commented Sherry Kyle, interim principal at SES. “He is always looking for ways to better our school community.”
Karen Bixler, instructional coach and fellow SES staff member, also received honors. “Karen’s knowledge of instructional practices makes her a perfect coach,” shared Kyle. Bixler facilitates the SES professional learning community and lead mentors. When asked about her passion for helping teachers, Bixler was quick to add, “My heart is with the kids.”
The transportation department recognized team member Shauna Orth, special needs router and liaison. Orth is instrumental in ensuring students facing homelessness are safe and in school. “Interacting with parents and students who are in a life crisis is something she navigates with grace,” remarked Kim Brown, Title 1 family engagement teacher on special assignment. Robert Sparks, transportation manager, shared similar sentiments. “Shauna has a big heart for our community, students and fellow employees.”
The board recognized two honorees from the Remington Elementary School family to round out the festivities. Sadie Russell, parent volunteer, earned kudos for the numerous hours she gives to RES. “Sadie is at our school every day,” commented Lisa Fillo, principal at RES. For Russell, it is all about acting as a positive role model for students. “It’s a true blessing to send my child off to the school and then help others. I love everyone there.”
James Sellman, building manager at RES who is retiring at the end of the year, completed the honoree line up. “He maintains our building with great pride, but that is just a little bit of what he does,” remarked Fillo. “Whether it is greeting students in the crosswalk, or supporting staff each day, he always puts others first.” Board members expressed gratitude for his service. “Thank you for 28 years of impact,” stated Marie La Vere-Wright, BOE president. “Think of the number of children whose lives you made a difference in.”
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