2020-21 Employees of the Year

Updated on Fri, 05/21/2021 - 3:11pm
Five Star Awards

This school year we have seen our colleagues tackle new responsibilities, rise to new heights to meet the needs of our students and exhibit strength, resilience and innovation while facing unprecedented challenges. Adams 12 Five Star Schools, in partnership with the District Twelve Educators Association (DTEA) and the Classified School Employees' Association (CSEA), announce the employees of the year for the Five Star District! We are proud of every employee in our community and excited to announce those who colleagues have designated as going above and beyond for student success - in the classroom or from a distance.

From teachers to custodians, principals to counselors, the many different roles and responsibilities of Five Star employees ELEVATE student success in every classroom, every day


All district employees were invited to nominate colleagues at will. Nominations involved answering questions regarding how the nominee fulfills our mission and vision, and goes above and beyond to ELEVATE student success. To determine winners, each award category had a separate committee made up of staff from various roles to decide on the finalists and winners. 

  • Strengths in Action Award: Employees, family or community members who exemplify one of our ELEVATE strengths in an extraordinary way: care, collaboration, empower, engage or focus on students.
  • Classified: Operational staff such as office staff, custodians, nutritional services, etc.
  • Certified: Staff who are licensed in their field such as teachers and counselors, etc. 
  • Administration: School and district leadership such as principals and district staff, etc. 
  • Substitutes: Classified and Certified substitutes (guest teachers) across the district
  • Diversity and Equity Award: A staff members who provides exceptional leadership and outstanding commitment to the advancement of excellence through diversity, equity and inclusion efforts. Read more here.
  • Volunteers of the Year: A volunteer at the school or district level.
Strengths in Action Awards
Week of April 19-23
The “Strengths in Action” awards recognize Five Star employees who exemplify one of our ELEVATE strengths in an extraordinary way: care, collaboration, empower, engage or focus on students.


Strengths Awards Winners

>>>Read why they won!


  • Naji Adwan, Transportation
  • Steve Bogucki, Rocky Top
  • Sharon Brunner, Arapahoe Ridge
  • Rob Buster, Westview
  • Megan Cabral, Learning Services
  • Megan Cain, Learning Services
  • Sherie Cook, Westview
  • Paula Dickerson, Hulstrom K-8
  • Alicia Estis, Coronado Hills
  • Melissa Fore, Horizon
  • Taryn Garcia, Transportation
  • Maggie Gimbel, Parent
  • Tiffany Hansen, Mountain Range
  • Michael Hart, Arapahoe Ridge
  • Amy Hepp, Century 
  • Lidia Hernandez, Vantage Point
  • Julio Hernandez Mendez, Migrant Education Youth Advocate
  • Laura Israelsen, Westlake


  • Carrie Lachermeier, BASE Operations
  • Patricia LaRue, Mountain Range
  • Edee Marcanno and Greg Mirelez, Vantage Point and ESC
  • Kyle O’Keefe, Stukey
  • Andrea Okell, Vantage Point
  • Adria Padilla-Chavez, Guest Teacher
  • Sary Portillo, ELL Youth Newcomer Advocate
  • William Ryszkowski, Stellar
  • Heidi Shaw, Learning Services
  • Evan Siegel, Thornton Middle School
  • Tracy Simpson, Leroy
  • Amy Stice-Nevins, Arapahoe Ridge
  • Translation Services Team
  • Mara Thomas, Riverdale
  • Rebecca Turner, Coronado Hills
  • Anna Uecker & Rocky Top MS Kitchen Team
  • Kate Vogel, Rocky Mountain
Classified Employees
Week of April 26-30
Employee of the Year:
Raelene Crump, Stukey Office Manager
  • Raelene Crump, Stukey Office Manager
  • Jennifer Meir, STEM Lab Head Custodian
  • Renita Montoya, Tarver Paraeducator
  • Jeff Shaver, Lead Electrician
  • Lori Swanson, Northglenn High School Office Clerk 
All Nominees: 
  • Lorraine Anderson, Hulstrom Media Tech
  • Susan Bacon, Westlake Paraeducator
  • Tanya Bartoloni, Bus Assistant
  • Jeffrey Bolduc, FutureForward at Washington Square Campus Security Officer
  • Jennifer Brienza, FutureForward at Bollman Paraeducator
  • Molly Brooks, Bus Assistant
  • Robert Buster, Westview Head Custodian
  • Tina Camacho, Rocky Mountain Media Tech
  • Yerina Castrejon, Vantage Point Secretary
  • Joni Cochran, Century Health Aide
  • Raelene Crump, Stukey Office Manager
  • Jody Davis, SFRC Secretary
  • Maria De La Cruz, Westview Custodian
  • Rosa Delin, ESC Administrative Assistant
  • Melissa Derenzo, Westview Custodian
  • James DeRouin, Legacy Head Custodian
  • Roxanne Domenico, Leroy Secretary/Registrar
  • Valerie Duggan, Stukey CCLC Program Site Director 
  • Jennifer Francis, Prospect Ridge School Nurse
  • Emma Gallegos, Horizon Custodian
  • Kathleen Gonzalez, Classified Substitute
  • Lisa Hassel, Prairie Hills Media Tech
  • Barb Hatfield & Julie Andasola, Facilities Reservations Coordinators
  • Cynthia Herrera, Warehouse Worker
  • Jennifer Hopkins, Transportation Support Specialist
  • Cheryl Johannsen, Horizon Media Tech
  • Mary Law, Hulstrom Paraeducator
  • Linda Lee, BASE/Nutrition Services Specialist
  • Michela Lucero, Thornton Elementary Secretary/Registrar
  • Mark Lundy, Woodglen Head Custodian
  • Tammy Martindale, Skyview Paraeducator
  • Cindy Martinez, Century Nutrition Services Manager
  • Jennifer Meir, STEM Lab Head Custodian
  • Regan Mijares, Mountain Range Secretary
  • Anthony Milano, Coyote Ridge Head Custodian 
  • Barbara Monroe, Century Paraeducator
  • Renita Montoya, Tarver Paraeducator 
  • Cynthia Mulnix, Skyview Health Aide
  • Melissa Nadon, FutureForward at Washington Square Office Manager
  • Stephanie Ochs, ESC Administrative Assistant
  • Kalyn Peter, Bus Assistant
  • Christine Rankine, Vantage Point Head Custodian
  • Jennifer Rendon, Vantage Point Health Aide
  • Karla Rivera, Hunters Glen Student Monitor
  • Jordan Romick, Speech/Language Pathology Assistant
  • Jeff Shaver, Lead Electrician 
  • Tanya Siegfried, Legacy Building Computer Technician
  • Teresa Simmons, Silver Creek BASE Program Site Director
  • Jill Slack, Stukey Student Monitor
  • Ethan Stemm, Pathways Family Outreach Liaison
  • Lori Swanson, Northglenn High School Office Clerk
  • Vicki Taylor, Mountain View Media Tech
  • Amanda Ulmer, Rocky Mountain Head Custodian
Certified Employees
Week of May 3-7
Employee of the Year:
Glenn Ashley, FutureForward at Washington Square Welding Teacher
  • Glenn Ashley, FutureForward at Washington Square Welding Teacher
  • Alisa Carroll, North Mor 4th Grade Teacher
  • Alexis Hoffmann, Horizon Social Studies Teacher
  • Christopher Lorenz, Shadow Ridge Instructional Technology Teacher
  • Kyle O'Keefe, Stukey 3rd Grade Teacher
  • Darcee Stang, Silver Hills Severe Cognitive Needs Teacher
All Nominees:
  • All Adams 12 Five Star Teachers (Remote and In Person)
  • Sarah Allshouse, Mountain View 4th Grade Teacher
  • Glenn Ashley, FutureForward at Washington Square Welding Teacher
  • Bernadette Baca, Rocky Top English Teacher
  • Laura Birdsill, Thornton High ELD Teacher
  • Michelle Bishard, Meridian 3rd Grade Teacher
  • Jeannine Caldwell, Homebound Teacher
  • Andrea Carlini, Mountain View SEL Specialist
  • Alisa Carroll, North Mor 4th Grade Teacher
  • Suzanne Carroll, Hillcrest ELD Teacher
  • Ashley Chrzanowski, Hillcrest ELD Teacher
  • Jason Cianfrance, Legacy Math Teacher
  • Karen Cohn, Century Mild-Moderate Needs Teacher
  • Brianna Conroy, Legacy Severe Cognitive Needs Teacher
  • Rebecca Cuevas, Hillcrest ELD Teacher
  • Gail Cummiskey-Peak, Federal Heights Mild-Moderate Needs Teacher
  • Caroline Davis, Westlake Social Studies Teacher
  • Emily Deakin, Centennial 1st Grade Teacher
  • Emily Dixon, Coronado Hills 3rd Grade Teacher
  • Lou Doran, Century Middle School
  • Wendy Dray, Legacy German Teacher
  • Elizabeth English, STEM Launch English Teacher
  • Christy Flack, Legacy Social Studies Teacher
  • Erica Gardner, Hillcrest ELD Teacher
  • Michelle Gilio, Century Counselor
  • Amanda Glazier, Thornton High Counselor
  • Julie Anne Gleason, Centennial Art Teacher
  • Tom Gonzales, Shadow Ridge
  • Elizabeth Grace-Mullett, Vantage Point English Teacher
  • Grace Helgeson, Tarver 4th Grade Teacher
  • Amber Higgins, Silver Hills Mild-Moderate Needs Teacher
  • Alexis Hoffmann, Horizon Social Studies Teacher
  • Merae Hoffman, FutureForward at Washington Square Counselor
  • Laura Israelsen, Westlake Digital Literacy
  • Deborah Jaggard, Pathways Mild-Moderate Needs Teacher
  • Cynthia Kinderknecht, STEM Launch Counselor
  • Susan Kunert, Thornton High Mild-Moderate Needs Teacher
  • Cody Lahman, Century PE Teacher
  • Susan Lenny, Pathways ELD Teacher
  • Christopher Lorenz, Shadow Ridge Instructional Technology Teacher
  • Jim Madole, Horizon Social Studies Teacher
  • Denise Mattingley, Occupational Therapist
  • Molly McCarthy, Tarver Speech Language Pathologist
  • Anne Namuth, Westlake English Teacher
  • Loretta O'Brien, FutureForward at Bollman Medical Science Teacher
  • Kyle O'Keefe, Stukey 3rd Grade Teacher
  • Priestley Parker, Vantage Point Counselor
  • Janene Peralta, Thornton Middle Counselor 
  • Jonathan Petykowski, Independence Academy Social Worker
  • Julianna Pieken, Shadow Ridge SEL Specialist 
  • Julie Richter, SSN Specialist
  • Angela Shields, Horizon Counselor
  • Jason Soukup, Silver Hills Math Teacher
  • Darcee Stang, Silver Hills Severe Cognitive Needs Teacher
  • Stacy Stansbury, Mountain Range School Psychologist
  • Stacy Stelling, Century Science Teacher
  • Kim Walker, Tarver Speech Language Pathologist
  • Carrie Weaver, Malley Drive Teacher
Administrative Employees
Week of May 10-14
Employee of the Year:
Tim Griffin, Glacier Peak Principal
  • Kim Brady, Horizon Principal
  • Tim Griffin, Glacier Peak Principal
  • Betsy Miller, Administrator on Special Assignment
  • Greg Mirelez, Youth Advocate
  • Jodie Turner, Technology Manager
All Nominees:
  • Valarie Almanzar, Parent Engagement Coordinator
  • Lori Bailey, Director of Student Engagement Initiatives
  • Kim Brady, Horizon Principal
  • Molly Brandt, Executive Director of Business Services Strategic Engagement
  • The Budget Team
  • Helen Butts, Stukey Assistant Principal
  • Cabinet/Superintendent
  • Adam DiGiacomo, Prospect Ridge Principal
  • Julie Evans, Silver Hills Principal
  • Erika Fiorenza, North Mor Principal
  • Tiah-Lynne Frankish, Library Services Coordinator
  • Gail Gaskins, Buyer
  • Tim Griffin, Glacier Peak Principal
  • Pat Hamilton, Chief Operating Officer
  • Stephanie Hansen, Extended Learning Manager
  • Tiffany Hansen, Mountain Range Principal
  • Eric Hodges, Senior Software Engineer
  • Sierra Hoover, Legacy Assistant Principal 
  • Quixie Jenkins, Independence Academy Director
  • Dawn Kane, Senior Applications System Analyst
  • Katherine Klaver, STEM Launch Principal
  • Carrie Lachermeier, BASE Operations Manager
  • Judith Madsen, Skyview Principal
  • Betsy Miller, Administrator on Special Assignment
  • Greg Mirelez, Youth Advocate 
  • Jon Novotny, Westlake Assistant Principal
  • Lisle Reed, Whole Child Initiatives Coordinator
  • Greg Schneider, Systems Administrator
  • Eyan Shields, STEM Lab Assistant Principal
  • Brooke Tolmachoff, McElwain Assistant Principal
  • Martin Tonjes, Horizon Assistant Principal
  • Jodie Turner, Technology Manager
  • Kristin Vollmar, Century Middle Principal
  • Michael Ward, Custodial Services Manager
Substitutes/Guest Teacher
Week of May 17
Employee of the Year:
Loulou Najjar, Vantage Point
  • Domani Barkley, FutureForward at Bollman
  • Johnna Bossi, Stukey
  • Barbara Buchan, Hunters Glen
  • Lou Doran, Century Middle 
  • Tom Gonzales, Shadow Ridge
  • Dr. Rehab Karar, Meridian
  • Loulou Najjar, Vantage Point
  • Bruce Vaness, Horizon
Volunteer of the Year (Parent or Community Member)
Week of May 17
Volunteers of the Year:
Stacy Lambright, Nativity Miller and Braedi Tagart, Horizon
Nominees (Parents or Community Members):
  • Michelle DeBell, Meridian 
  • Stacy Lambright, Nativity Miller and Braedi Tagart, Horizon
Diversity & Equity
Week of May 17
Employee of the Year:
Andres Martinez, Thornton High Social Studies Teacher 
  • Nina Amabile, Centennial ELD Teacher
  • Kayla Burkel, Thornton Middle Instructional Technology Teacher
  • Taryn DeStasio, Mountain Range English Teacher
  • Breanna Greene, Coronado Hills 1st Grade Teacher 
  • Megan Huber, Thornton Middle Social Studies Teacher
  • Andres Martinez, Thornton High Social Studies Teacher 
  • Kareena Romero, Vantage Point Transition Services Coach
  • Veronica Vang, Thornton High Counselor

Recent News

Community-driven strategic plan released

Tuesday, September 17, 2019 - 9:00am

Plan to elevate student success for years to come.

We asked staff members how they will ELEVATE student success this year. Watch below to hear what they said!

How will you ELEVATE student success?

Video of How will you ELEVATE student success?

View the video with Spanish subtitles .

ELEVATE, our community-created strategic plan, is complete and we are well on our way to implementing the initiatives dreamed-up by our ...

Community approves Ballot Issue 5C

Wednesday, January 9, 2019 - 10:45am

Additional funding will jump-start strategic plan priorities

Thank you! Thank you for investing in the students of Adams 12 Five Star Schools. Ballot Issue 5C passed with 56.30 percent voter approval.

With your support, we are now able to jump-start the priorities outlined in our strategic plan ELEVATE that parents, students, staff and community members worked together to create.

Thank you for passing 5C

This additional ...