Home » News » Featured » Education Champions Named in 2017 ACE Awards

Education Champions Named in 2017 ACE Awards

Local educators honored in business-sponsored awards program

Nearly 90 4J teachers, administrators, classified staff and volunteers, as well as many educators from the Springfield and Bethel school districts, were honored at the 2017 ACE (A Champion in Education) Awards Ceremony on Tuesday, April 25.

The ACE Awards are sponsored by the local business community to recognize exemplary work by educators in the Eugene 4J, Bethel and Springfield school districts.

At the annual awards ceremony, all nominees were honored and four outstanding educators from each district were named as champions. 4J’s 2017 ACE Awards champions are Jaimee Massie, Fernell Lopez, Londa Rochholz and Judy Salisbury. Brianna Stiller was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Each ACE champion’s school will receive a $1,000 award for a project or program at the school. Adding up those awards over the past 12 years, the ACE Awards’ sponsors have contributed $144,000 to local public schools!

Teachers & Licensed Specialists

TEACHER CHAMPION: Jaimee Massie, Essential Skills Coordinator & Math Teacher, Holt Elementary School

“Tenacious.” “Collaborator.” “Advocate.” Great characteristics for a champion in education. Add “Funny” and “Upbeat,” and you have a winning combination. Jaimee Massey is a dynamic instructional leader. She nurtures other teachers’ strengths and encourages them to share their skills, expertise and curiosity with each other. She supports other teachers to become leaders and continually advocate for students.

Beyond the classroom, Jaimee is a fierce and solution-oriented advocate for teachers and for excellence in teaching, sitting on state advisory teams and organizing Oregon’s first conference for Elevating and Celebrating Effective Teaching and Teachers (the “ECET2” teacher collaboration conference). Jamie is an inspiration.

TEACHER AND LICENSED SPECIALIST NOMINEES: Lisa Albrich, Spanish Teacher, Sheldon High School • Lee Baker, Counselor, Arts & Technology Academy • Salvador Barajas, Spanish Teacher, North Eugene High School • Tyler Boorman, Music Teacher, Kennedy Middle School • Becky Casado, Teacher, McCornack Elementary School • Jim Conaghan, School Psychologist, Student Services Department • Lindsey Daggett, Teacher, Bertha Holt Elementary School • Kenneth Davis, Spanish Teacher, South Eugene High School • Tom di Liberto, Social Studies Teacher, Monroe Middle School • Gregory Dunkin, Home Economics Teacher, South Eugene High School • Dene Eller, District Elementary Physical Education Specialist, Instruction Department • Sara Farmer, Physical Education Teacher, Kennedy Middle School • Carmella Fleming, Counselor, Bertha Holt Elementary School • Susanna Goodwin, Spanish Teacher, Roosevelt Middle School • Steve Grossberg, Essential Skills Coordinator, Churchill High School • Nora Hagerty, Teacher, Adams Elementary School • Eric Johannsen, Health Education Teacher, Roosevelt Middle School • Kristi Johnson, Teacher, Camas Ridge Community School • Ariel King, Teacher, Charlemagne French Immersion Elementary School • Karen Lacey, Speech Specialist, Student Services Department • Yvette Landrum, Special Education Teacher, Gilham Elementary School • Shirley Madathil, Counselor, Monroe Middle School • Dana Marks, Teacher, McCornack Elementary School • Tyler Martell, Advanced Math Teacher, Sheldon High School • Jaimee Massie, Essential Skills Coordinator/Teacher on Special Assignment, Bertha Holt Elementary School • Bethani Mayberry, English Language Learners Teacher, Camas Ridge Community School • Laura McCaskill, eacher, Gilham Elementary School • Nanci McChesney-Henry, Physical Education Teacher, Sheldon High School • Talon Nansel, Music Teacher, Monroe Middle School • Polly Nelson, Special Education Teacher, South Eugene High School • Jamie Nicholsen-Tait, Teacher, Awbrey Park Elementary School • Laura Queirolo, AVID Teacher, Spencer Butte Middle School/South Eugene High School • Tracy Reed, Teacher, César Chávez Elementary School • Ashley Reich, Teacher, Bertha Holt Elementary School • Jed Shafer, GED Program Coordinator, Eugene Education Options/Early College & Career Options (ECCO) • David Sheehan, Alternative Programs Teacher, Eugene Education Options • Marty Smith, Social Studies Teacher, Roosevelt Middle School • Chris Stober, Special Education Teacher, Roosevelt Middle School • Darcy Strange, Math Teacher, Arts & Technology Academy • Kim Sullivan, Special Education Teacher, Camas Ridge Community School • Jill Torres, Teacher, Howard Elementary School

Classified Staff

CLASSIFIED CHAMPION: Fernell Lopez, Bilingual Educational Assistant, Kelly Middle School

Fernell Lopez is the very model of kindness and compassion. He listens to others, understands their needs, and takes action to support or guide them. He cares deeply about people and helping them be whole in our society without having to give up their culture. He works tirelessly in support of Kelly Middle School’s Latino students and families, and for all students and families.

While Fernell is extraordinary in doing what is needed for Spanish-speaking families, his heart extends to the entire school community. Fernell gives his time and talents to build learning opportunities for students while supporting families and facilitating staff. He helps students grow through the GANAS and PILOT Leaders programs. He finds ways to showcase students’ leadership and academic skills while bringing arts into the school and organizing events that bring families together. With his endless dedication, deep understanding, and quiet strength, Fernell is truly a Champion in Education and a gift to the entire community.

CLASSIFIED NOMINEES: Julio Aguirre, Bus Driver, Transportation • Janell Baker, Educational Assistant, Gilham Elementary School • Joe Brainard, Student and School Coordinator, Instruction Department • Ann Christianson, Volunteer Program Coordinator, North Eugene High School • Peggy Farris, Department Secretary, Eugene International High School • Chanel Green, Middle School Secretary, Monroe Middle School • Stu Grenfell, Program Coordinator, KRVM Radio • Jason Lewis Harter, Behavioral Educational Assistant, Sheldon High School • Gary Henager, Bus Driver, Transportation • Sheree Houck, Career Center Assistant, Churchill High School • Debora Kovensky, Behavioral Educational Assistant, Roosevelt Middle School • Maria Lee, Educational Assistant, McCornack Elementary School • Anne Lettkeman, Food Service Coordinator, South Eugene High School • Fernell Lopez, Bilingual Educational Assistant, Kelly Middle School • Kaylee Luna, Program Coordinator Assistant, Eugene Education Options (EEO)/Early College & Career Options (ECCO) • Larry Meyers, Custodial Maintenance Coordinator, Awbrey Park Elementary School • Marguerite Moore, Educational Assistant, Howard Elementary School • Blake Ridgway, Behavioral Educational Assistant, Camas Ridge Community School • Judy Smith, Records and Scheduling Assistant, Arts & Technology Academy • Kevin Summerfield, Educational Assistant, Churchill High School • Christopher Turner, Educational Assistant, McCornack Elementary School • Misty Watson, Food Service Coordinator, Early College & Career Options (ECCO)

Administrators, Managers, Supervisors & Professionals

ADMINISTRATOR CHAMPION: Londa Rochholz, Principal, McCornack Elementary School

Londa Rochholz leads McCornack Elementary School with great energy and a warm heart, advocating for children of all ages, supporting teachers in classrooms, creating strong foundations for families, and encouraging students to be their best. She takes the time to personally get to know each and every student, parent, staff member and volunteer. She is committed to celebrating diversity, dignity and inclusion, and teaching students how important it is that all children and families should feel welcome, safe and nurtured. She has an open door policy for everyone—especially the kids. Even on her most stressful day, she is gracious to all.

And, when Londa walks down the hall in her bee costume, reminding students to Bee safe, Bee responsible, Bee kind, and Bee respectful, she is Beeing a champion for students and school climate. Her huge heart and true passion for the students really shine through.

ADMINISTRATOR/MANAGER/PROFESSIONAL/SUPERVISOR NOMINEES: George Gillett, Assistant Principal, Spencer Butte Middle School • AJ Hruby, Assistant Principal, Arts & Technology Academy • Michael Johnson, Principal, Monroe Middle School • Londa Rochholz, Principal, McCornack Elementary School • Leila Schuck, Education Administrator, Student Services Department • Charlie Smith, Principal, Kennedy Middle School • Brian Watson, Assistant Principal, Monroe Middle School


VOLUNTEER CHAMPION: Judy Salisbury, Willagillespie Elementary School

It has been said that “volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart.” Judy Salisbury has not only the time but a BIG heart. Judy dedicates her whole day, 5 days a week, to making Willagillespie Elementary School a better place to learn, grow, and thrive. Her personality and energy are incredibly contagious. Over the past 6 years, her efforts and connection with students and adults have made her a vital part of the learning environment and of Team Willagillespie.

When students were encouraged to write volunteer appreciation cards for Judy, they were in disbelief. They said, “She’s not a volunteer! She works here!” Judy’s dedication and commitment are a model of the exceptional school volunteer. She truly makes a difference every day.

VOLUNTEER NOMINEES: Ed Chastain, Gilham Elementary School • April Colgrove, Buena Vista Spanish Immersion Elementary School • Mark Harden, Awbrey Park Elementary School • Sue Harnly, South Eugene High School • Julie Henning, Arts & Technology Academy • Beth Hopkins, Gilham Elementary School • Sydney Koh, Buena Vista Spanish Immersion School • Lindsey Poulsen, Buena Vista Spanish Immersion Elementary School • Moira Querns, Bertha Holt Elementary School • Maya Rabasa, Camas Ridge Elementary School • Brandyn Rice, Gilham Elementary School • Judy Salisbury, Willagillespie Elementary School • Jenn Sheffler, Arts & Technology Academy • Sue Thompson, Awbrey Park Elementary School • Mike Truitt, Kelly Middle School • Barbie Walker, Early College & Career Options (ECCO) • Lisa Walker, Yujin Gakuen Japanese Immersion Elementary School • Julie Ward, Monroe Middle School • Tiffany Wright, Buena Vista Spanish Immersion Elementary School

Lifetime Achievement Award


Each year ACE title sponsor Oregon Community Credit Union presents one Lifetime Achievement Award to an individual who has made a noticeable difference in our community through their work. The OCCU ACE Lifetime Achievement Award was created to honor individuals who have dedicated their career to supporting and strengthening education and helping students to grow, thrive and reach their fullest potential. The Third Annual ACE Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to an individual whose career has had a lasting impact on countless students and educators in our community and throughout Oregon: 4J’s own Brianna Stiller.

Brianna is retiring this year after serving as a school psychologist in 4J for more than 30 years and coordinating the district’s positive behavior support programs for 11. Brianna’s work has had a tremendous impact on school climate by helping staff and students develop an environment that is welcoming to all students. She has co-authored three intervention programs and her work on positive behavior support programs is recognized both nationally and internationally. She was a key in developing district policy to support transgender and gender nonconforming students in 2015, making 4J a model for Oregon and beyond, and was involved in developing a toolkit to guide and aid other Oregon school districts in supporting gender expansive youth.

We are proud that Brianna has chosen to serve her career in 4J. Our students have benefitted from her skilled expertise and her caring heart. Our staff have benefited from her leadership and mentorship. She is an irreplaceable gift to our school district and to our community.

Thank You!

The ACE Awards program and awards ceremony are made possible by the Eugene and Springfield Chambers of Commerce and the generosity of sponsors from our local business community: presenting sponsor Oregon Community Credit Union, as well as supporting sponsors Coca-Cola Refreshments, NeuroSpine Institute, PacificSource Health Plans, Hershner Hunter Attorneys, Eugene-Springfield McDonald’s Restaurants, Carte Blanche Caterers, Lane Community College, and All Academic.

Thanks are due to these sponsors and to all those who took time to nominate a deserving staff member or volunteer.

This entry was posted in Featured, News. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.
  • News Archives

  • RSS Recent Posts