Updated on Fri, 07/26/2019 - 3:39pm

Living out our strategic plan through stories of gratitude

Our strategic plan ELEVATE outlines five core strengths of our district: Care, Collaborate, Engage, Empower and Focus on Students. These strengths were determined through the 2017-18 ELEVATE process where over 7,000 parents, students, staff and community members came together to develop a five-year strategic plan to elevate student success in the Five Star District. Through the process, participants told stories about a time we did right by a student in order to build on our strenghts. Five key strengths were determined and now live in our strategic plan as a guide for our future to continue to build on our success.

The following are stories told of staff or community members who exemplify our district strengths. 

What story will you tell? Share your own strength story about or say thank you to a teacher, colleague, student or community! 

ELEVATE Sharing Stories of Strength 2019

"I was at Riverdale Elementary on the first day of school during the afternoon school release. An Adams 12 bus pulled up to the school to pick up two of our SSN students. The interaction that occurred between the bus driver and the two students was humbling to see. The bus driver, Anthony Zamora, immediately asked the two students how their day was and talked to the boys the entire time they were being loaded and prepared for a safe ride home. Neither student could respond to Anthony, but it did not stop him from having a conversation with the students about the great first day of school they just had. The care Anthony displayed for the two boys could only come from a place of respect and compassion, and it was great to see his dedication to his students."

Submitted by Anonymous 

"One of our Rocky Mountain Elementary families suffered an apartment fire this summer. Our 3rd grade student suffered burn over 40% of her body and has yet to return to school. Mom also suffered burns and the entire family lost many of their clothing and other possessions. Our Rocky Mountain Family stepped up and donated money, clothing and other needed items to the family. It was amazing to see a large cart full of goodies when the family came by yesterday. Such a wonderful example of care."

Submitted by Octavianne "Tavie" Maroncelli


"Michael Stelling, counselor and assistant wrestling coach at Northglenn High School, went above and beyond for a student who is currently experiencing homelessness by allowing the student access to the coach's locker room so that he could have the opportunity to shower.  Mr. Stelling not only recognized this student's need but understood how much what most of us take for granted every day can truly be a luxury for a student who does not have a stable place to live, and in so doing was able to restore some of that stability in the student's life. His recognition of students as individuals worthy of dignity is the highest reflection of care in Adams 12 Five Star Schools."

Submitted by Lisle Reid


"I wanted to take a moment to celebrate JoAnne Trujillo from Eagleview Elementary for exhibiting all of our ELEVATE strengths.  JoAnne continues to go above and beyond to reach students that typically identified as "difficult students to reach".  Rather than seeing students through the eyes of deficit, she chooses to take the precious time to develop an authentic relationship focused on student strengths and that reaches beyond the school setting. JoAnne strives to meet students where they are, and takes everyo pportunity to celebrate them as individuals. The students JoAnne reaches, leave her room feeling empowered and confident...some for the very first time in their life!"

Submitted by Anonymous

"Rey Torres is a parent who has jumped in to assist our school in launching our Watch D.O.G.S. program.  Rey has collaborated with staff to give feedback on the daily schedule for a Watch D.O.G volunteer.  He is also encouraging other parents to join the program. One way he is doing this is by talking to parents when they are dropping off their students every morning in English and Spanish.  His excitement for the program is contagious and increasing the number of parents coming to our kickoff event. His belief in parent involvement exemplifies true collaboration within our school community.

Submitted by Angela Chambliss

"Marlin Cawthra and Dale Kelley went above and beyond to help prepare materials for kindergarten teachers. The two of them jumped to help immediately when asked if there was a way to provide boards for teachers to create a math graph for their little ones.  Both gentlemen jumped in to provide the support immediately. How blessed are we as a district that EVERY member of our staff is here to provide care for our teachers and students."

Submitted by Sherri Calcagno


"A big shout out to Julia Franklin for living the district strength of ENGAGE! As an English Language Development teacher at McElwain Elementary School, a large part of Julia's day is spent working with students new to the country. This year, Julia has not only worked strategically to ENGAGE her students, but has gone above and beyond to ENGAGE their families in school too. Through the use of the Telelanguage service, home visits and networking, Julia is crushing barriers for students and families new to the country. By providing information and resources and through partnering with families, she is truly embracing the cultural diversity of our school and our district, helping to grow our community both academically and socially. Thank you, Julia for your work and dedication to McElwain students and families!"

Submitted by Suzy O'Dorisio

"Keith is a custodian at The International School at Thornton Middle.  Keith was instrumental in the success of the Back to School Bash this year.  He worked tirelessly to ensure both the Five Star Stadium and the space at ISTM was clean and welcoming for the more than 3,000 attendees of this year's event.  We appreciate his positive energy!" 

Submitted by Anonymous


"Hello, I would like to share a very positive and uplifting story about a Mountain Range High School student.  On Route 47, I have a Special Needs, Autistic student, who is  just overall a very happy student, truly a joy to have, who rides  every day in seat 4. Most of the other students ignore her, as she tries to "blend in" with her peers, to no avail, most of the time her attempts go ignored, all except for ONE student, Laney. She is one of the most amazing students I have had the pleasure of having on my bus. Laney appears to be a "popular" student, who can sit anywhere and/or with anybody she wants on this bus, however, Laney chooses to ride with my Autistic student, in seat 4. Both Laney and my other student enjoy each other, they talk and laugh, at times I can hear Laney encouraging and supporting the Autistic student. It is the compassion of Laney that needs to be recognized, in my opinion, not only school-wide but district-wide as well. Laney truly is a young lady who has a big warm heart, who I have been fortunate enough to witness her acts of kindness and the care that Adams 12 tries to instill in each student."

Submitted by Debbie Chamberlain

“Willie 'Lindsey' Basey is a wonderful school bus driver here at Adams 12 Five Star Schools. He takes personal pride in what he does every day. Lindsey has a very outgoing personality that is contagious throughout our Transportation building as well as his bus. Lindsey cares so much about his students that he took it upon himself to go above and beyond to help out those students that are a little less fortunate. Lindsey gathered donated jackets, coats, clothing, shoes and even a pair of roller skates. He took them to two of his elementary students who were in need. Thank you, Lindsey, for making this more than a job."

Submitted by Karen Bannister



Mr. Stevens
“On a Friday afternoon at 4:30pm I get a phone call from my son's science teacher Mr. Stevens. Growing up there would only have been one reason a teacher calls on a Friday afternoon, so I was pleasantly surprised to find out he was simply taking the time to call me and let me know how well James is doing in his class and how much he enjoys having him in class. I love that he took the time to make a phone call like that. It shows me how much care he has for his students. It meant so much to me and I wanted you to know the effort was appreciated.”

Submitted by Stephanie Hicks


"EVERY SINGLE MORNING I get to witness our fabulous Special Needs paras get our special needs students off the bus. The greetings that these outstanding and caring group of ladies give to our students are priceless.  I think every person should have the opportunity to start their day feeling like this or witnessing this compassionate and genuine act of kindness, caring and love of students.  I feel blessed every time I get to see this moment.  It reminds me, once again, why people make it a choice to work with students.  I could not be more proud."

Submitted by Darren Oliver


“I would like to highlight two people at Silver Creek Elementary who embody characteristics of caring, empathy, compassion, and a willingness to help everybody. The two women I am referring to are Jodi Newby and Ronda Chappell. These women have cared for my children, and consistently go above and beyond to help my kids regardless of what that help may be. That would be amazing enough, but in addition to taking care of our children, they also help parents. Last year, I was having an extremely difficult time with my Rhuematoid Arthritis (very difficult to walk, stand etc). When they found out what was going on, they told me of a number of ways in which they could help so I wouldn’t have to walk any more than absolutely necessary. When the PTO decided not to use the school supply service anymore, Jodi and Ronda took it upon themselves to email me the school list the day they finalized it so I would have plenty of time to order the supplies without having to go into a store. These examples may seem insignificant, but for me, they have shown a thoughtfulness and caring that I very rarely see. I know that much of what they do to help me is far outside their job descriptions, but they do it out of empathy, caring, and engagement and collaboration with the students and parents. It is very important to me that people know what amazing people we have in administration. Jodi and Ronda have not only touched my life, they have made a huge difference. I am so appreciative of both women as well as Mr Oliver. He clearly sets the tone of Silver Creek administration and empowers Jodi and Ronda to go above and beyond. I hope everyone in Adams 12 District Administration knows how truly caring and remarkable Ronda, Jodi, and Mr. Oliver are. We are very lucky to have them at Silver Creek!”

Submitted by Janis Schiltz

“Tina Fanning and Ginger Moe are two people that care deeply about our students and their mathematical abilities. Ginger is an 8th Grade Math Teacher at the International School at Thornton Middle and serves as their Math Department Chair. Tina is the Math Instructional Coach in the building. The two of them have been able to co-teach an 8th grade math class for students who have had some struggles in math.  This has been a powerful collaboration between two professionals that is having significant positive benefits on their students. Together they have been able to bring about language objectives in a math classroom that directly benefit the many English-Language Learners in the classroom, but also pushes the mathematical understanding of the entire class as well. Through their partnership, they are generating a new and successful way of instructing middle school math that has the significant potential to change the overall mathematical achievement at the International School and of Adams 12 overall. They are a great example of teachers whose intentional collaborative work has the lasting and important impacts on the students that we all serve.”

Submitted by Nathan Montgomery

"Tom Adams, a parent at Silver Creek Elementary, has been a volunteer crossing guard for the past 2 years.  We had an incident occur as the students were dismissed earlier in the week.  Mr. Adams played a vital role in communicating with staff and the principal regarding a safety issue with a parent in their automobile.  He kept the parking lot closed as school personnel approached the person in the car.  Mr. Adams kept students and community safe during the issue.  By Mr. Adams keeping the parking lot closed and continuing to monitor students, he was able to ensure the safety of everyone in the area.  Mr. Adams also maintained control and was a key witness for the officers that became involved.  Mr. Adams stayed way longer past his dismissal time to make sure all cars were redirected, students crossed safely and met with officers and admin regarding the issue. He is a perfect example of the caring and attention to safety of all students, parents and community members. As the school's crossing guard coordinator, I am proud of his actions and his character.  I couldn't be more honored to have him as part of my team."

Submitted by Darla Koci

"I want to acknowledge your training center and district headquarters  staff and instructional leadership teams from numerous elementary schools across the district. They demonstrated a well orchestrated response to the reunification of students from Shadow Ridge Middle School. In particular I offer a shout out to Jake Johnston for his calm yet precise response to an out of district facilitator unfamiliar with your specific reunification process. With a keene sense of responsibility, Mr. Johnston clearly communicated the expectations, offered a calming yet focused set of action steps to be taken and maintained a level of confidentiality to assure an organized and safe evacuation of the space.

As a group of almost 100 people from our class prepared to immediately leave the training center, other staff from the training and administrative
building moved into action assuring the space was properly prepared, information was available and assigned roles were fulfilled. Together they demonstrated their ability to adapt to challenging situations in efficient and productive ways.

It is an honor to work occasionally in Adams 12 Five Star and I am grateful for the level of commitment, dedication and expertise of all staff.

Submitted by Joyce Joyce

"I am truly impressed at the level of professionalism that Shadow Ridge Middle School staff as well as district staff exuded when having a solid evacuation plan in place and the efficiency of the execution of such plan. Your procedures were extremely organized, and made the transition of the child from school to safety, and into their parents arms, smooth and seamless. I want to thank all students, parents and families, Shadow Ridge Staff, district staff, and anyone else involved in today's evacuation, for keeping ALL of our children safe. A recognition of merit should be awarded for all staff and students who were preset today. A job BEYOND well done!"

Submitted by Shawna Gubser

Chelsea Behanna and her team at Rocky Top middle school exemplify all of the 5 traits of our Elevate plan!  As a parent I am so very proud to send my child to such an amazing school!!  Recently they earned the prestigious title of the National award - Schools to Watch!!  This a huge honor and very well deserved!  From staff to students to families - the Schools to Watch Team evaluated, observed, visited and listens to see if Rocky Top fit the requirements.  It was found that Rocky Top was overwhelmingly caring, collaborative, engaging, empowering and focused out our students!!  They are a true example of family!  And the true spirit of community!"

Submitted by anonymous

What story will you tell? Share your own strength story about a teacher, colleague, student or community!