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Strengths in Action 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