Employees of the Year Profiles 2020-21

Updated on Fri, 04/30/2021 - 3:54pm

Employees were nominated by colleagues and each employee group had a separate committee made up of various roles to decide on the finalists and winners. 

2020-21 Certified Employee of the Year - TBD

2020-21 Administrative Employee of the Year - TBD

2020-21 Guest Teacher/Substitute of Year - TBD

2020-21 Volunteer of the Year - TBD

2020-21 Diversity and Equity Champion - TBD

Strengths in Action Awards

The “Strengths in Action” award recognizes a Five Star employee, family or community member who exemplifies one of our ELEVATE strengths in an extraordinary way: care, collaboration, empower, engage or focus on students.


Strengths Awards Winners
  • CARE: Mara Thomas, School Social Worker at Riverdale Elementary
    “A scholar was reluctant to come to school because of the structure in one of her specials classes. Mara took the time to listen and understand, provided advice to the specials teacher about how to improve the class for all scholars, and has stood in the class several times since then. Each day when she sees the scholar's car approaching, she watches for hesitation from the scholar and always makes time to go speak with her or the specials teacher if needed. This is just a small problem to some people that would have been handled with a conversation between the student and maybe even the specials teacher. However, Mara made sure that what wasn't such a simple problem for the student was addressed and continues to be addressed until every student feels safe and accepted at school. I'm humbled to work with such a caring individual.” -Staff member
  • COLLABORATION: Carrie Lachermeier, BASE Programs Operations Manager
    “BASE was one of the first programs to launch this summer and the staff were apprehensive at first. Carrie spent hours researching how to successfully operate a program to provide the highest level of safety and care for staff and students in the COVID world. Fast forward to learning pods and the work Carrie did with IT and principals, helping them with their enrollment lists and the logistics around pod operations to make them successful. Carrie was also instrumental working with the COVID lean team, especially working to bring vaccination clinics to the district and her continued collaboration with Children's Hospital, Broomfield Health Department and Thornton Fire Department. I am so proud of Carrie and the work that she has done this year and would love for her to be recognized for her service.” -Staff member
  • EMPOWER: Steve Bogucki, 6th Grade Science Teacher at Rocky Top Middle School
    “Remote learning has included many challenges for both teachers and students, such as students struggling to find ways to connect with others (both adults and peers), make friends, and feel “seen” each day. During a typical year, students can meet and connect with peers while at their locker, in the cafeteria, or during structured or informal conversations in the classroom.  Despite the absence of these elements this year, Mr. Bogucki finds ways for his students to connect and get to know each other, even in the remote or hybrid setting. He uses informal team builders and poses questions that allow students to share a little bit about themselves and find similarities with peers. He uses the students’ names, tells stories, invites students to share about their own lives, and strives to ensure all students are “seen.” During this year when so many students feel lonely and disconnected, his efforts to empower students truly stand out and make a difference!” -Staff member
  • ENGAGE: Amy Stice-Nevins, Social Emotional Learning Specialist at Arapahoe Ridge Elementary
    “Even though Amy started her first year as the SEL at Arapahoe Ridge in the midst of a crazy year she has worked to ENGAGE all aspects of our community. Amy has worked tirelessly to ensure our families have the resources they need through coat drives, food drives, and setting up our new resource closet. She has engaged the community by setting up successful partnerships with SFOP and Kiwaniis and engaged our students and staff by creating trusting relationships, honoring all perspectives, co-teaching lessons and creating student leadership groups. We are truly grateful for all the amazing things she has been able to accomplish in both the in person and remote settings.” 
    -Staff member
  • FOCUS ON STUDENTS: Kate Vogel, Principal at Rocky Mountain Elementary
    “Kate stepped up at the beginning of this year as the new principal of Rocky Mountain Elementary School. She took on this difficult role, during a pandemic, and has been nothing but caring and focused on students. She created clear expectations for staff and students and has improved morale and the school environment exponentially in her short time that she's been here. She has led by example and not only has positive interactions with students, making them feel welcome in our school but also advocates for the education and wellbeing of each student. We are so lucky to have her as a part of our school and I think she more than qualifies for all of the strengths in action.” -Staff member

2020-21 Classified Employee of the Year - Raelene Crump, Office Manager at Stukey Elementary

Raelene Crump has been the Office Manager at Stukey Elementary for more than 20 years and has made an incredible impact. She received 10 different nominations for this award this year and each one gushed about how Raelene consistently goes above and beyond for her school and community! Nearly all of the nominations included stories that exemplified Raelene’s kindness, willingness to help and commitment to the work she does. She knows every student and parent by name, strength and need, and makes the time to listen to their stories, their needs and their celebrations. Additionally, she is always willing to help her colleagues by assisting with printing and records requests, attending after school events like choir concerts and PTO meetings, and answering any and all questions they may have. 

In addition to her normal office manager duties, Raelene manages fundraising events, provides resources for the community and even designed a new staff lounge. She single handedly manages the fundraising partnership with the Colorado Rockies where she secures discounted tickets and a portion of ticket sales goes back to Stukey. She also created Stukey t-shirts as a fundraiser and for a way for students to show school spirit. This year, Stukey was without a Family Liaison so Raelene stepped into that role by filling the school’s Resource closet with diapers, food, clothing and other essentials for families in need. Finally, Raelene took her own time to buy materials and supplies to outfit a newly designed staff lounge and also helped design a new library at Stukey. 

Raelene’s extraordinary care and dedication builds a strong foundation for students, parents and staff at Stukey. Her colleagues describe her as the “second mother” to all the students, a “master of all trades,” a “shero,” a “legend” and now she can add Classified Employee of the Year to that list.


See all of the nominees for the 2020-21 Five Star Awards.

Read more about the ELEVATE strengths of the district.

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