Congratulations January Staff Members of the Month. White text on teal background

Jonathan Denne, an instructional assistant at North Middle School

“Jonathan is consistent in his approach and utilizes strategies and tools to appropriately challenge and support the students that he works with. Mr. Denne maintains a calm, positive, and professional demeanor and is willing to go above and beyond to support teachers and students. He is highly collaborative with colleagues to ensure that priority items are carried out. Thank you, Mr. Denne, for your continued dedication to our North Middle School students!” 

Amber Largent, an instructional assistant at Loess Hills Computer Programming Elementary School.

“Amber has done a great job keeping data and providing instruction for the students she works with. She is dependable and shows up for work every day. She follows directives and instructions given to her by the classroom teacher she works with. Amber has made, and continues to make, an impact on her students. Thank you, Amber, for all you do! We are so thankful to have you at Loess Hills!”

Trista King, a building assistant at Morningside STEM Elementary School.

“Trista is an amazing and supportive member of our Morningside STEM team. She helps support teachers in the classroom and assists with regulating student behaviors. She is always kind and considerate. She forms positive relationships with staff and students and promotes the values we have established with our ‘SOAR’ values. We are grateful to have someone working here like Trista. She genuinely cares about the students and wants to help them succeed!”

Jade Calvillo, an art teacher at Irving Dual Language Elementary School.

“Mrs. Calvillo makes a difference in students' lives every day. Several of her students have recently been recognized for their artistic skills. She also has a before and after-school art club where students can sharpen their skills and collaborate with her and others. Thank you, Mrs. Calvillo, for being at Irving Dual Language and for encouraging our students to believe in themselves!”

Jo Monahan, a bus assistant in the transportation department.

“Jo is so great with the students she works with as well as others. She comes to work and does her job well. Jo is a very kind person and always greets people with a smile. Congratulations, Jo!”

Caitlin Schlesser, a fourth-grade teacher at Hunt A+ Arts Elementary School.

“Ms. Schlesser always goes above and beyond for her students. She has set high expectations for all students and does everything she can to ensure students are meeting these expectations. She has built positive relationships with both students and staff. She spends countless extra hours working on new reading curriculum materials that everyone can use for next year and is always willing to help other staff when needed. She is dependable, hardworking, and a great teammate. Hunt A+ Arts Elementary School is very lucky to have her as a teacher!”

Eric Blom, an instructional assistant at Riverside Elementary School.

“Eric Blom is dedicated to the students at Riverside. When he is not supporting students in his program, he is willing to help wherever he is needed in school. He builds positive relationships with students and staff. He understands that each child is different and has different needs and will work to support each child at their level. We appreciate all that he does for us at Riverside. We couldn't do it without him!”

Heather Siepker, a science teacher at West Middle School.

“Heather Siepker is a superhero! She shows care for her students and is an exceptional facilitator of learning. Her procedures are set and understood, which allows her students to participate in a structured manner. Heather is also a wonderfully supportive colleague and an asset to our Building Leadership Behavior Team. Congratulations, Heather!"

Jenny Larsen, a special education teacher at East Middle School.

“Mrs. Larsen is so passionate about her work. She is willing to help anyone who needs it, and her calm demeanor greatly benefits her students. She is dedicated to her students and is a great advocate for them. Mrs. Larsen collaborates with teachers, paras, parents, and our local AEA to help her students get the support they need. We are so grateful to have her at East Middle! Keep making a difference, Mrs. Larson!”

Jen Gengler, a math teacher at West High School.

“Ms. Gengler serves on our building leadership team, social committee, and the math curriculum committee. Several students wrote, ‘Ms. Gengler helps us with schoolwork and concerns outside of school as well. She always helps everyone!’ Great job, Ms. Gengler. Congratulations!”

Elizabeth Walz, a third-grade teacher at Leeds Elementary School.

“Mrs. Walz has the unique ability to encourage and inspire every student in her class and offers compassion and understanding to all students. She is knowledgeable, kind, and always willing to help and support in any way she can. Mrs. Walz is an active member on many of our committees and teams at Leeds and continues to bring new ideas forward while keeping the best interests of our students at the forefront. Mrs. Walz’s dedication to our school and students helps make Leeds a great place to be!”

Hanna Nikkel, a special education teacher at East High School.

“Hanna has been a huge help in our math professional learning committee. She is learning a whole new curriculum while actively helping her team every day. She asks questions, brings new ideas to teachers to better help them explain the material to students, and works hard to help her fellow teachers and students be successful in math. Her energy makes it a great experience for everyone involved. She is a rock star! Congratulations Hanna!”

Kelsey Miller, a family and consumer science teacher at North High School.

“Kelsey gives all of her energy and effort to her students. Each year she develops new and engaging curriculum. Kesley encourages her students to think outside the box and continuously helps them be better humans. Kelsey and her students even provide delicious food for teachers in the building to try. Kelsey volunteers her time for many outside-of-school activities and adventures and she truly is always trying to help others. Congratulations, Kelsey!”

Kelsey Paskert, a special education teacher at Spalding Park Environmental Sciences Elementary School.

“Ms. Paskert goes beyond the needs of her students to ensure they have a positive and successful day in school. She makes connections with students and other staff members that encourage a positive learning environment for all. Kelsey develops relationships with her students that extend into their world outside of school. Congratulations!”

Danielle Castaneda, an early childhood special education coach at Clark Early Childhood Center.

“Each day, Danielle has a contagious positive attitude! Danielle has a wealth of knowledge related to preschool and works diligently to support preschool teachers and preschool students. Congratulations, Danielle!” 

Dan Murphy, a building service technician at Liberty Elementary School.

“Mr. Murphy provides support to our students and staff in a variety of ways. On any given day, along with his assigned daily tasks, Dan has a variety of things pop up that he handles with ease. Even on Dan’s busiest day, he responds with a smile and a ‘can-do’ attitude. Recently, he dedicated countless hours to snow removal to ensure our walkways were safe and ice-free. He regularly puts in time outside of his typical work schedule to ensure things are running smoothly in the building. We are so grateful for the many things Mr. Murphy does behind the scenes to ensure students can learn and staff can teach in the safest possible way. Thank you for all you do to ‘Make it Happen!’ at Liberty, Dan!”

Becky Sheets, special education finance coordinator for the District.

“Becky is always willing to help others when they're unsure where to turn and in doing so easily fosters positive working relationships with those in the District. She is a true team player and does what it takes to support her team members and get her job done well—even if that means working through lunch and staying late almost every day. Becky is an invaluable asset to our Learning Supports and Finance departments. She is extremely organized and genuinely cares about delivering excellent quality work for the betterment of our staff, students, and district overall. Every department deserves to have a Becky on their team!”