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Education Champions Named in 2018 ACE Awards

4J educators honored in awards program

4J staff and volunteers were honored for excellence in education at the 2018 ACE (A Champion in Education) Awards ceremony on Wednesday, May 23.

All 117 nominees were recognized and four outstanding educators were named as champions in their category. Each champion will receive a $1,000 award for their school, a generous donation from Oregon Community Credit Union. In addition, one exceptional longtime 4J team member was honored with a special lifetime achievement award.

4J’s 2018 ACE Awards champions are Ashley Reich, Julia Johnson, Teresa Martindale and Alice Lin. The Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Craig Young.

Congratulations to all of our staff and volunteers who were nominated and celebrated at the 2018 ACE Awards. To learn more about each nominee, please see the ACE Awards program that includes a short excerpt from their nomination.


Teachers & Licensed Specialists


TEACHER CHAMPION
Ashley Reich, Fourth Grade Teacher, Holt Elementary School

Ashley brings so much energy, optimism and encouragement to her school. Her smile can lift up anyone’s day. Between her light-up shoes, custom-saying t-shirts, and outgoing attitude, her positive outlook is instantly contagious.

Ashley is an innovator, constantly finding new ways to improve instruction and think outside of the box. She understands that every student is different and needs to be reached in their own way. She spends time every day making sure each student feels successful, encouraged, talented and important. Ashley’s students are successful because they know she is doing her best for them every day and in return, they want to work their best for her.

TEACHER AND LICENSED SPECIALIST NOMINEES
Margaret Albright, Counselor, Spencer Butte Middle School • Katharine Ankeny, Speech-Language Pathologist, Holt Elementary School • Ashley Baker, Fourth Grade Teacher, Yujin Gakuen Japanese Immersion Elementary School • Kimberly Brown, First Grade Teacher, Willagillespie Elementary School • Adrienne Carlson, Fifth Grade Teacher, Charlemagne French Immersion Elementary School • Meg Carnagey, First Grade Teacher, Adams Elementary School • Sebastian Catlin, Student Support Teacher, South Eugene High School • Patrick Chesterman, Fourth Grade Teacher, Awbrey Park Elementary School • Lisa Chinn, Physical Education Teacher, Awbrey Park Elementary School • Kwasi Diehl, Special Education Teacher, Monroe Middle School • Tom Di Liberto, Spanish Immersion Teacher, Monroe Middle School • Dene Eller, Physical Education Teacher, Buena Vista Spanish Immersion and Edgewood Elementary Schools • Jack Fertal, Math Teacher, Roosevelt Middle School • Daniel Gallo, Social Studies and Health Teacher, Eugene International High School at Sheldon • Katie Gates, Special Education Teacher, Howard Elementary School • Laura Harris, First/Second Grade Teacher, Edison Elementary School • Carisa Henniger, Kindergarten Teacher, Awbrey Park Elementary School • Rae Heselbach, Special Education Teacher, Howard Elementary School • Jeff Hess, Physical Education & English Teacher, South Eugene High School • Brian Holte, Language Arts Teacher, Monroe Middle School • Christie Hoogendoorn, First Grade Teacher, Camas Ridge Elementary School • Eric Johannsen, Health Education Teacher, Roosevelt Middle School • Maggie Jones, Second Grade Teacher, Holt Elementary School • Sara Justice, First Grade Teacher, Awbrey Park Elementary School • Kyle Kordon, Science Teacher, Kelly Middle School • Joel Kuiper, Special Education Teacher, South Eugene High School • Debra Lydum, Special Education Teacher, Kelly Middle School • Kelly McGhehey, Counselor, Eugene Education Options • Jason Miller, Language Arts Teacher, Kelly Middle School • Tommy Morrow, Math & Science Teacher, Kennedy Middle School • Chris Mudd, Music Teacher, Churchill High School • Pat Nickerson, Special Education Teacher, Kelly Middle School • Aurelie Noble, Second Grade Teacher, Charlemagne French Immersion Elementary School • Ian Ogden, Language Arts Teacher, Churchill High School • Ashley Pond, Second Grade Teacher, Howard Elementary School • Jennifer Potter, Title 1 Coordinator, Holt Elementary School • Justin Potts, School Psychologist, Student Services Department • Dan Powell, Music Teacher, Arts & Technology Academy • Ashley Reich, Fourth Grade Teacher, Holt Elementary School • Taylor Reineke, Math Teacher, Arts & Technology Academy • Pam Reynolds, First Grade Teacher, Awbrey Park Elementary School • Alyssa Ricken, Kindergarten Teacher, Adams Elementary School • Jason Robbins, Special Education Teacher, Awbrey Park Elementary School • Ashley Robinson, Math Teacher, Spencer Butte Middle School • Rebecca Robinson, Third Grade Teacher, Howard Elementary School • David Roderick, Special Education Teacher, Roosevelt Middle School • Leah Roderick, Fourth Grade Teacher, Gilham Elementary School • Korrinne Ross, Special Education Consultant, Student Services Department • Hollie Schultze, Counselor, Roosevelt Middle School • Adam Shepard, Fourth/Fifth Grade Teacher, Edgewood Elementary School • Beth Shershun, First Grade Teacher, Camas Ridge Elementary School • James Squires, Third Grade Teacher, Gilham Elementary School • Chris Stober, Special Education Teacher, Roosevelt Middle School • Katherine Tierney, Language Arts Teacher, Sheldon High School • Catherine Wiebe, French Teacher, Roosevelt Middle School • Bobbie Willis, Journalism Teacher, South Eugene High School • Brandeis Zaklan, Counselor, Gilham Elementary School


Classified Staff


CLASSIFIED CHAMPION
Julia Johnson, Outreach & Recovery Coordinator, Eugene Education Options

Julia makes a significant difference for the most disenfranchised and vulnerable students and families in our district. She seeks out and re-engages students who are in circumstances that have led school attendance to not be a current priority.

She finds them—through our schools, the court system, community organizations, and by walking on the downtown mall—and works with the student, family and school to break down barriers and provide bridges to their education. Julia also works with our middle and high school teams to build a stronger understanding of the needs of our underserved populations and students who struggle connecting with our schools.

She truly believes that every student has a right to an education. When she is asked, “When do we say enough is enough, and give up on a kid?” Julia is famous for answering, “Never.”

CLASSIFIED NOMINEES
Peggy Blair, Campus Supervisor & Read Right Specialist, Monroe Middle School • Kathy Bruegman, Educational Assistant, Gilham Elementary School • Racheal Bryant, Educational Assistant, Monroe Middle School • Micah Champion, Bus Driver, Transportation Department • Vincent Colmenares, Bus Driver, Transportation Department • Steve Dent, Bus Driver, Transportation Department • Keith Fjordbeck, Lead Custodian, Churchill High School • Tiny Galago, Student Supervision Assistant, Churchill High School • Lynne Given, School Secretary, Eugene International High School at Churchill • Lisa Goff, Educational Assistant, Holt Elementary School • Vicki Gotchall, Educational Assistant, Gilham Elementary School • Perla Grado, School Secretary, Buena Vista Spanish Immersion Elementary School • Brian Gregory, Bus Driver, Transportation Department • Gary Henager, Bus Driver, Transportation Department • Rich InLove, Bus Driver, Transportation Department • Mike Jackson, Fleet Mechanic II, Transportation Department • Julia Johnson, Outreach & Recovery Coordinator, Eugene Education Options • Jane Kinports, Records & Scheduling Assistant, Roosevelt Middle School • Teresa Koepp, Bus Driver, Transportation Department • Debora Kovensky, Educational Assistant, Roosevelt Middle School • Katie Mackey, School Secretary, Holt Elementary School • Nick Moore, Vocational Training Assistant, Student Services Department • Jeremy Niccum, Custodial Maintenance Coordinator II, Kelly Middle School • Heather Penfold, Educational Assistant, Twin Oaks Elementary School • Mary Peterson, Educational Assistant, Roosevelt Middle School • Jeanette Prior, Educational Assistant, Chávez Elementary School • Samantha Russell, Educational Assistant, Gilham Elementary School • Melanie Schwarte, School Secretary, Holt Elementary School • Abe Smith, Program Coordinator Assistant, Fox Hollow Campus • Ethan Tibbs, Educational Assistant, Gilham Elementary School • Alexander Zuniga, Office Support Bicultural/Bilingual, Buena Vista Spanish Immersion Elementary School


Administrators, Managers, Supervisors & Professionals


ADMINISTRATOR CHAMPION
Teresa Martindale, Assistant Principal, Madison Middle School

Teresa is a peacemaker, a good listener and a person of integrity. Her kind, open and supportive manner elicits trust and cooperation. Teresa is held in high regard by students and families with challenging life circumstances. When people are navigating a chaotic life, they need consistency. Teresa has made herself an anchor for those in rough waters.

Teresa encourages staff to be continuous learners and to always be improving their craft. She builds on their strengths and leads staff in relevant and useful professional development. Consensus is important to Teresa and she works to find it with all Madison staff. She also is a decisive leader who isn’t afraid to choose her own direction.

What doesn’t often get talked about is that when things are at a fevered pitch, Teresa finds the best ways to restore the Madison community. In a job that can seem heavy and serious, Teresa constantly finds the fun. Her levity and willingness to just goof around with kids brings her colleagues back to the simple fact that we all love middle school kids and are grateful to do what we do.

ADMINISTRATOR/MANAGER/PROFESSIONAL/SUPERVISOR NOMINEES
Eric Anderson, Principal, Charlemagne French Immersion Elementary School • Kevin Gordon, Principal, Adams Elementary School • Tyler Hebard, Payroll & Accounts Payable Supervisor, Finance Department • Teresa Martindale, Assistant Principal, Madison Middle School • Mike Riplinger, Principal, Awbrey Park Elementary School • Joyce Smith-Johnson, Principal, Holt Elementary School • Rhonda Stewart, Executive Assistant to Director of Technology, Technology Department • Denisa Taylor, Principal, Chávez Elementary School • John Wayland, Assistant Principal, Kelly Middle School


Volunteers


VOLUNTEER CHAMPION
Alice Lin, McCornack Elementary School

Alice is truly a special volunteer. She has volunteered for more than 20 years in 4J elementary schools, long after her own student graduated from school. Among her many qualities, Alice is highly regarded for her selfless dedication, rapport with students, and creative capacity to transform students and change lives. Some have even described her as a “Child Whisperer.”

Alice works long hours every day to help take care of kids’ academic, social, emotional and physical needs at McCornack Elementary School. She helps in classrooms, working with individual students and small groups. She works behind the scenes organizing the school store and providing food and clothing donations. She strives to serve students better with each gift of her skills, her relatability, her compassion, and her generosity with her time and resources.

Most importantly, everything Alice does to contribute to McCornack is done with a huge heart and a student-centered focus.

VOLUNTEER NOMINEES
Danielle Bowerman, Gilham Elementary School • Heidi Dixon, River Road/El Camino del Río Elementary School and Spencer Butte Middle School • Sharon Docherty, Arts & Technology Academy • Steve Evans, Awbrey Park Elementary School • Laura Fuhriman, Roosevelt Middle School • Barbara George, Chávez Elementary School • Amy Green, River Road/El Camino del Río Elementary School • Jenelle Hunt, Edgewood Elementary School and Spencer Butte Middle School • Bob Jones, Edison Elementary School • Mia Kubu, Gilham Elementary School • Alice Lin, McCornack Elementary School • Brian Petersen, Spring Creek Elementary School • Jessica Rasmussen, Family School and Arts & Technology Academy • Kalleen Stoddard, Gilham Elementary School • Tiffany Wright, Buena Vista Spanish Immersion Elementary School


Lifetime Achievement Award


LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Craig Young, Custodian, River Road/El Camino del Río Elementary School

Mr. Craig, as he’s known to students, has been extremely dedicated to River Road/El Camino del Río and the generations of students who have passed through its halls. He has seen students through four decades, from the 1980s to the 2010s. He has worked in and on one of 4J’s oldest school buildings and now the newest. Much has changed and much stays the same.

In addition to being dedicated, reliable, and an outstanding model custodian, Craig has a deep understanding of how to build community and has played a major role in the strong sense of togetherness that is enjoyed at the school. Craig is fun, caring, kind, and always willing to help students and staff. He has served as a key positive role model for generations of children.

It’s hard for the River Road/Camino del Río community to imagine the school without Craig. He will be greatly missed when he retires after 38 years in 4J.

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT NOMINEES
BJ Blake
, Secondary Education Director, Instructional Services Department • Diane Brock, School Secretary, Yujin Gakuen Japanese Immersion School • Harlan Coats, Director of Facilities, Facilities Department • Tom Di Liberto, Social Studies Teacher, Monroe Middle School • Jason Miller, Language Arts Teacher, Kelly Middle School • Ila Shapiro-Southworth, Special Education Teacher, Student Services Department • Craig Young, Custodial Maintenance Coordinator I, River Road/El Camino de Río Elementary School

 


Thank You!

Thanks to all those who took time to nominate a deserving staff member or volunteer, or attended the event to celebrate excellence in education.

Thanks to Oregon Community Credit Union for continued generosity in support of our public schools and outstanding educators.

Last but not least, thank you to all of our 4J staff and volunteers who make a difference in the lives of children every day.

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