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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.
  • 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 and community members who exemplifies one of our ELEVATE strengths in an extraordinary way: care, collaboration, empower, engage or focus on students.


CARE: Mara Thomas, School Social Worker, Riverdale Elementary

COLLABORATION: Carrie Lachermeier, BASE Programs Operations Manager

EMPOWER: Steve Bogucki, 6th Grade Science Teacher, Rocky Top Middle

ENGAGE: Amy Stice-Nevins, Social-Emotional Learning Specialist, Arapahoe Ridge Elementary

FOCUS ON STUDENTS: Kate Vogel, Principal, Rocky Mountain Elementary

Read why they won!

Classified Employee of the Year

Week of April 26-30

Winner: Raelene Crump, Stukey Office Manager
Read why she won!

Certified Employee of the Year

Week of May 3-7

Winner: Glenn Ashley, FutureForward at Washington Square Welding Teacher

Read why he won!

Administrative Employees

Week of May 10-14

Winner: Tim Griffin, Glacier Peak Principal

Read why he won!

Substitute/Guest Teacher of the Year

Week of May 17

Winner: Loulou Najjar, Vantage Point

Ready why she won!

Volunteers of the Year (Parent or Community Member)

Week of May 17

Winners: Stacy Lambright, Nativity Miller and Braedi Tagart, Horizon

Read why they won!


Diversity & Equity Champion

Week of May 17

Winner: Andres Martinez, Thornton High Social Studies Teacher 

Read why he won!