Home » News » News » Education Champions Named in 2019 ACE Awards

Education Champions Named in 2019 ACE Awards

4J educators honored in awards program

4J staff and volunteers were honored for excellence in education at the 2019 ACE (A Champion in Education) Awards ceremony on Thursday, May 2.

All 117 nominees were recognized and four outstanding educators were named as champions in their category. Each champion will receive a $250 grant for their school from the Eugene Education Foundation. In addition, one exceptional longtime 4J team member was honored with a special lifetime achievement award.

4J’s 2019 ACE Awards champions are Kyle Kordon, Hayward Alexander, Cheryl Linder and Nancy Fischer. The Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Cheryle Konold.

Congratulations to all of our staff and volunteers who were nominated and celebrated at the 2019 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
Kyle Kordon, Science & Math Teacher, Kelly Middle School

Kyle teaches with energy, passion and dedication. His students feel safe, secure and willing to try new topics with the belief that they can do the work and be successful. Kyle’s even been known to dress up in costume, such as Jack Frost to teach a lesson about snow or Larry Potter (Harry’s long-lost cousin) to teach about genetics, to get his students’ attention and engage their curiosity.
He sees his students—each and every one—as individuals who deserve to be heard, to be known and to be valued at all times and in all ways. Kyle teaches his students with passion and energy, engaging them in meaningful inquiries that elicit authentic and sustained engagement.
Through Kyle’s leadership, energy, dedication, passion and joyful spirit, Kelly students reach their fullest potential.

TEACHER AND LICENSED SPECIALIST NOMINEES
David Adee, Music Teacher, River Road/El Camino del Río Elementary School • Lee Baker,  Counselor, Roosevelt Middle School • Richard Bell, Home Instruction Teacher, Student Services Department • Stephanie Birmingham, Language Arts Teacher, Kelly Middle School • Kathleen Brandt, Third Grade Teacher, Spring Creek Elementary School • Sheryl Carroll, Special Education Teacher, Edison Elementary School • Sebastian Catlin, Student Support Teacher, South Eugene High School • Tammy Coleman, Essential Skills Coordinator, Willagillespie Elementary School • Patrice Cowman, First Grade Teacher, Willagillespie Elementary School • Christie • Creed, Alternative Education Teacher, Eugene Education Options • Desere Doan,  Special Education Teacher, North Eugene High School • Chris Dobson, Music Teacher, South Eugene High School • Erica Dunn, Third Grade Teacher, Chávez Elementary School • Dene Eller, PE Teacher, River Road/El Camino del Río Elementary School • Kristen Gianforti, Counselor, Awbrey Park Elementary School • Carrie Grabowski, Fifth Grade Teacher, Charlemagne French Immersion Elementary School • Jon Hellner, Fourth Grade Teacher, Willagillespie Elementary School • Lynn Hellwege, Math Teacher, Sheldon High School • Jeff Hess, Physical Education & English Teacher, South Eugene High School • Krista Hocker, Teacher on Special Assignment, Instruction Department • Christie Hoogendoorn, First Grade Teacher, Camas Ridge Elementary School • Miho Hosaka, Home Economics Teacher, North Eugene High School • Anne Hubbard, Kindergarten Teacher, Willagillespie Elementary School • Kathryn Hulse, First Grade Teacher, Buena Vista Spanish Immersion Elementary School • Kristina Hulse, Fourth Grade Teacher, Spring Creek Elementary School • Sara Justice, First Grade Teacher, Awbrey Park Elementary School • Nathan Klarr, PE Teacher, Monroe Middle School • Scott Klein, Counselor, Yujin Gakuen Japanese Immersion & Corridor Elementary Schools • Kyle Kordon, Science Teacher, Kelly Middle School • Linda Lamb, Special Education Teacher, Howard Elementary School • Richard Leebrick, Language Arts & Drama Teacher, Roosevelt Middle School • Susan Lerch, Special Education Teacher, Transition Education Network • Marlee Litten, Staff Development Specialist, Student Services Department • Debra Lydum, Special Education Teacher, Kelly Middle School • Melissa Mares, Kindergarten Teacher, Buena Vista Spanish Immersion Elementary School • Dayna Mitchell, Title I Teacher, Spring Creek Elementary School • Yareli Montaño Ramirez, Second Grade Teacher, Buena Vista Spanish Immersion Elementary School • Sarah Jane Moore, Second Grade Teacher, Holt Elementary School • Alex Patton, Advanced Math Teacher, Churchill High School • Patricia Polter, French & Language Arts Teacher, Monroe Middle School • Jennifer Potter, Title I Coordinator, Holt Elementary • Sarah Prater, Teacher on Special Assignment, Instruction Department • Tracy Reed, Kindergarten Teacher, Chávez Elementary School • Angela Ruzicka, Science & Math Teacher, Cal Young Middle School • Elise Salmond, Kindergarten Teacher, Charlemagne French Immersion Elementary School • Deon Saraceno, Social Studies Teacher, Eugene International High School • Jennifer Scurlock, Language Arts Teacher, Churchill High School • Marcy Siegrist, Science Teacher, Roosevelt Middle School • Roxanne Simpson, First Grade Teacher, Gilham Elementary School • Linda Smart, Social Studies Teacher, Kelly Middle School • Lodi Soderholm, Advanced Math Teacher, Churchill High School • Michelle Squires, Fourth/Fifth Grade Teacher, Twin Oaks Elementary School • Michael Stead, Industrial Education Teacher, Madison Middle School • Zachary Stone, Fifth Grade Teacher, Howard Elementary School • Randall Streets, Kindergarten Teacher, Twin Oaks Elementary School • Katrina Sugar, Kindergarten Teacher, Howard Elementary School • Cathy Sullivan, Second Grade Teacher, Awbrey Park Elementary School • Lynette Williams, Teacher on Special Assignment, Instruction Department • Bobbie Willis, Journalism Teacher, South Eugene High School • Lisa Winter, Special Education Teacher, McCornack Elementary School • Erika Wolf, First Grade Teacher, Charlemagne French Immersion Elementary School • Kyle Yamada, Social Studies Teacher, Eugene International High School


Classified Staff


CLASSIFIED CHAMPION
Hayward Alexander, Special Ed Education Assistant, Fox Hollow Program

Hayward works at 4J’s Fox Hollow program, which serves students who have some of the greatest needs and challenges in our schools. He is patient, kind and passionate about his students. He checks in with them daily, provides them with positive reinforcement continuously and makes a special effort to mentor those who have trouble connecting with others and making good decisions independently.
Students know he cares about them and that he is 100% committed to their growth as learners and individuals. His care for this program and students shows in his extra activities. He set up a holiday store for students to reward positive behavior, started a student yoga class, initiated group staff lunches and developed an instructional library for staff.
Hayward goes way beyond his job description to ensure a school climate of positivity, collaborating with teachers, administrators and district specialists to develop and implement support strategies to help Fox Hollow students be their best. He radiates caring, commitment and has high expectations making others want to do—and be—better.

CLASSIFIED NOMINEES
Heather Acharya, Attendance Clerk, Spencer Butte Middle School • Yasmin Aguilar, Bilingual/Bicultural Office Support, River Road/El Camino del Río Elementary School • Hayward Alexander, Special Ed Educational Assistant, Fox Hollow Program • Ana Boyd, Special Ed Educational Assistant, Cal Young Middle School • Ryan Brown, Custodial Maintenance Coordinator I, Holt Elementary School • Joan Chu, Food Service Assistant I, Awbrey Park Elementary School • Deborah Dailey, Homeless Student Liaison, Instruction Department • Joni de Saint Phalle, Finance Clerk, South Eugene High School • Melody Fry, Educational Assistant, Awbrey Park Elementary School • Angie Gee, School Secretary, Chávez Elementary School • Linda Grape, Federal Programs & Operations Coordinator, Instruction Department • Kelly Greatwood, Special Ed Educational Assistant, Spring Creek Elementary School • Megan Hazelton, Food Service Coordinator I, Awbrey Park Elementary School • Maricela Hernandez, Educational Assistant, Gilham Elementary School • Julie Hopkins, Library/IMC Assistant, Howard Elementary School • Karen Kingzett, School Secretary, Roosevelt Middle School • Cheryle Konold, School Secretary, McCornack Elementary School • Regina Ligon, Technology Integration Assistant, McCornack Elementary School • Melanie Namkoong, Department Secretary, Eugene International High School • Trista Neuman, School Secretary, South Eugene High School • Jana Ouimet, Cognitive Educational Assistant, Gilham Elementary School • Mary Peterson, Special Ed Educational Assistant, Roosevelt Middle School • Mary Pat Piazza, Educational Assistant, Gilham Elementary School • Jeanette Prior, Educational Assistant, Chávez Elementary School • Julie Quelch, Federal Programs & Operations Coordinator, Instruction Department • Rick Raish, Student Supervision Assistant, North Eugene High School • Kym Ramsing, Attendance Clerk, ECCO/Eugene Education Options • Jason Rau, Warehouse Operations Assistant, Warehouse • David Robinson, Plumber Specialist, Facilities Department • Corey Rusco, Custodial Maintenance Coordinator II, Arts & Technology Academy • Jeremy Rutledge, Custodial Maintenance Coordinator I, Awbrey Park Elementary School • Doug Simonsen, Custodial Maintenance Coordinator II, Spencer Butte Middle School • Claire Smith, Elementary School Assistant, Awbrey Park Elementary School • Meladie Sorensen, Transition Specialist, Transition Education Network • Elton Steyding, Autism 1:1 Educational Assistant, South Eugene High School • Sandy Stinnett, Cognitive Educational Assistant, Transition Education Network • Deborah Stowell, Food Service Coordinator II, Holt Elementary School • Connie Summers, AV/Textbook Specialist, South Eugene High School • Ethan Tibbs, Educational Assistant, Gilham Elementary School • Heather Wilson, Educational Assistant, Edison Elementary School • Rose Winand, Technology Support Specialist III, Technology Department


Administrators, Managers, Supervisors & Professionals


ADMINISTRATOR CHAMPION
Cheryl Linder, Director, Student Services Department

For more than 40 years, Cheryl has been dedicated to serving 4J students with special needs, and the school staff and systems that support their learning. She has tirelessly led her department staff as they face compelling and competing priorities every day.

She has a steadfast commitment to improving inclusion and accessibility for students living with disabilities. Driven by her commitment to these students, Cheryl has impacted the culture and day-to-day operations of the district. She has improved special education students’ access to technology and general education curriculum, worked to make our playgrounds and bathrooms more accessible and created programs to support students’ unique needs.

One of the biggest impacts she has had is helping the district embrace the notion that not every student learns in the same way, that those differences provide a richness that enhances our district, that equity means students deserve to get what they need to succeed, not just what everyone else is given, and that there is no act too great for the students we serve.

ADMINISTRATOR/MANAGER/PROFESSIONAL/SUPERVISOR NOMINEES
Molly Gillett, Principal, ECCO/Eugene Education Options • Cheryl Linder, Director, Student Services Department • Chris Mitchell, Principal, Cal Young Middle School • Mike Riplinger, Principal, Awbrey Park Elementary School


Volunteers


VOLUNTEER CHAMPION
Nancy Fischer, Spring Creek Elementary School

Nancy has been steadfastly committed to meeting the needs of students and their families at Spring Creek Elementary School since 1998. She retired from teaching at Spring Creek in 2013. But, thankfully, she didn’t leave! In her retirement, she is still a constant presence at Spring Creek and remains dedicated to helping kids and families.
Nancy runs a support program that she created several years ago called “Snack Pack,” which provides much-needed weekend food to low-income Spring Creek families. Nancy also volunteers in the 4th grade classrooms twice a week to help students with reading fluency, and she helps organize Spring Creek’s annual events, like the Cultural Fair and the Oregon Trail celebration.
Spring Creek would not be the same without Nancy’s incredible dedication, commitment and caring, and legendary selflessness.

VOLUNTEER NOMINEES
Amy Barrutia, Gilham Elementary School • Alexis Borrevik, Roosevelt Middle School • Ed Chastain, Gilham Elementary School • Ashlee Dixon, Gilham Elementary School • Nancy Fischer, Spring Creek Elementary School • Angela Nickerson, Gilham Elementary School • Kimberle Overton, Chávez Elementary School • Moira Querns, Holt Elementary School • Jessica Rasmussen, Family School • Doreen Vaughan, Cal Young Middle School


Lifetime Achievement Award


LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Cheryle Konold, School Secretary, McCornack Elementary School

Miss Cheryle, as she’s known to students and staff, has dedicated her life to helping 4J students since 1988. On any given day you will see her simultaneously working on her computer, answering phones, communicating with staff and parents, and greeting and comforting children, all in a calm, composed manner.
Not only is she naturally kind and thoughtful, but Cheryle is also a gifted office manager. In every 4J school she has worked, administrators have marveled at her intuitive abilities to improve systems and help staff work smarter and better.
From wiping a nose to checking for lice, from tying a shoe to giving a hug, from attending a student performance to washing health room blankets at home, Cheryle is conscientious, caring and loving. She takes on even the most mundane and dreary tasks with a smile or a shrug, just knowing that it needs to be done because that’s what we do to help others.
Cheryle has been at McCornack since 2008 and it’s hard for the staff, students and families to imagine the school without her. She will be greatly missed when she retires this spring.

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT NOMINEES

David Adee, Music Teacher, River Road/El Camino del Río Elementary School • Sebastian Catlin, Student Support Teacher, South Eugene High School • Desere Doan, Special Education Teacher, North Eugene High School • Lynn Hellwege, Math Teacher, Sheldon High School • Jeff Hess, Physical Education & English Teacher, South Eugene High School • Cheryle Konold, School Secretary, McCornack Elementary School • Cheryl Linder, Director of Student Services, Student Services Department • Marlee Litten, Staff Development Specialist, Student Services Department • Dayna Mitchell, Title I Teacher, Spring Creek Elementary School • Mike Riplinger, Principal, Awbrey Park Elementary School • Angela Ruzicka, Science & Math Teacher, Cal Young Middle School • Claire Smith, Elementary School Assistant, Awbrey Park Elementary School • Sandy Stinnett, Cognitive Educational Assistant, Life Skills Network • Cathy Sullivan, Second Grade Teacher, Awbrey Park 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 Eugene Education Foundation for supporting 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.

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