September Winners

Robiah Nelson – Administrator

Robiah has an amazing ability to build rapport with middle school students, yet she is fair and firm when dealing with them.
Robiah is a team player who goes above to be part of our school team. From washing cars to taking kids to play bingo there is no job
too big or too small for her. Robiah implemented Words of Wisdom on the morning announcements as she knows we educate
the whole child and focusing on their character is just as important as their academics.  

Robiah set goals with the teachers she is evaluating and has them look at their data and plan how they would make good gains. She does not shy away from hard conversations but
has them with grace and with each teacher feeling supported. Robiah builds relationships with parents and lets them know we are here for their students and we will love them,
help them, support them but also hold them accountable for their actions. Robiah goes above and beyond when working with the testing schedules.
She looks at all aspects of the day and sets our teachers and students up for success. She manages the technology and makes it all work!

She is positive and always has a smile and word of encouragement or fun for kids and staff members. She is dedicated to helping our ELL students achieve and is
making sure teachers know how to track the student goals and make sure they work on their standard every day in class. ILLP’s are not just about filling out
paperwork but helping our students achieve. Robiah is professional and keeps conversations positive and looking for solutions and outcomes.
Robiah is a friend to all and gives hugs to our aides, cafeteria workers, mail ladies, bus drivers…she is not “out of touch”
but very in touch with all staff members.. they are all just as important and anyone else!

She has worked hard to help teachers not just write ILLP’ s but implement them. She is helping teachers
use their data from Galileo to see if they are being successful at teaching their content. She continues to push our ELA
teachers and keeps them focused on reading, reading reading in the middle school areas and has really helped our
5th, 6th and 7th grade teachers get focused with their maps.

Three words:
Fun-loving, Dedicated, and Intuitive


April Rhodes – Central Office

April is very helpful and kind. She always has a smile on her face and is willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done.

April goes far above and beyond in her job. She is always there to answer a question or help with a task. She never complains –
even when you have to ask the same question several times. She is the perfect person to work in human resources
because she
genuinely seems to care about people and wants to help them.

April inspires me every day because she is so cheerful and kind. She is thoughtful in her responses and
very knowledgeable, so that after you speak with her, you walk away feeling uplifted.

April is an all-around good person and employee. She is always busy but never too busy to help or to just say hello.

Three words:
Kind, Caring, Thoughtful


Ashley Shedd – Bales

Ashley graciously welcomes every person in her room whether it be a student or a staff member. She goes out of her way to ask for the students that
others may shy away from. Instead of using her specials time as her prep time as it is meant to be, Ashley goes to 5th grade to assist with their
dismissal at the end of the day every day. If there is ever anything you need, Ashley will try her best to help you out.

Ashley is a team player. She plans with her team weekly to discuss what the academic goals are and where curriculum planning should go.
Ashley is almost always the first teacher arrive at school each day as she is prepping for the day/week and making sure her team has what they need.
The day that I needed to call out last minute for my toddler being sick, she told me I didn’t need to come in and prep for a sub because she would take care of it.

Ashley expresses her passion for student learning everyday she comes to school. Her students are aware of what the expectations are and they strive
to meet those expectations daily. If the majority of the students are not meeting the expectation or understanding the purpose of a lesson,
she will go back and reteach until they do. She does not move on until the class as a whole is on the same page.
As a veteran teacher, I look up to Ashley and am constantly observing her classroom management.

Ashley is the treasurer for the PTA here at Bales. She is also an active team member for the PBIS tier 2 & tier 3 team.
She is also willing to volunteer for whatever I ask her to do for tier 1 PBIS when it comes to assemblies and making PBIS videos.
She helps out other grades with the end of the day routines and dismissal instead of having her prep time to
herself to prep for the next day or get grading done.

Three words:
Passionate, Dependable, Mentor



Jean Berry, Buckeye

Jean is always consistent with her duties and attendance, willing to take on extra assignments in efforts to help
our team be successful, and goes the extra mile with both students, staff, and Administration.

Jean goes above and beyond her regular duties to ensure students are taken care of. She volunteered to be a chico specialist for a student by establishing a positive relationship and helping him to feel successful every day. She also volunteered to add an extra duty of helping one of our students on and off the bus each day, so that he has a consistently positive beginning and ending to each school day. She takes on new assignments with a “whatever I can do to help our team” attitude. Her new assignment this year was something she had never done before. She helped myself, the Special Education Teacher, set up a Level B setting for high needs special education students to do both ELA and Math Core Replacement for most of their school day.
It was a big undertaking that involved lots of manual labor, but she shared my vision and it was up and running by the date the Principal asked us to begin the program.
She showed great effort with preparation, and a willingness to help train other new employees for something she, herself, had just learned to do.
In our special education Level B setting, she tunes in to individual student needs and strengths, and helps them make both academic and social progress.
They are no longer upset and crying for most of the day, but feel happy and independent in a highly structured setting that sets them up for success.

Jean inspires students by getting to know their individual strengths and needs, adjusting their setting and work to help them be successful learners. She is willing to spend the extra time with students who just need “a moment”. She offers appropriate incentives for work completion, and holds students accountable for their work assignments. She is also an inspiration for staff by being a model for responsibility. She is early to work and makes sure she schedules doctor appointments on Wednesdays or after school. She has extra challenges in her personal life by being her husband’s caregiver. He is dependent on her taking him to his many doctor appointments, as well as assisting him with personal care. With all of that on her plate, she does not waiver with her work attendance, despite her demanding family needs. She also offers support for others on our team if they are in need of student coverage, or with help on work assignments.  

Jean has stepped up to the plate when presented the challenge of beginning a new assignment. She asked questions and paid close attention when the vision of the new program was explained to her. Upon beginning the program and working closely with students, she began to prepare individualized student work according to their IEP goals. Without being asked, she helped prepare workstations and detail the organization aspect of the program such as laminating, cutting out, and assembling visual schedules, labeling work areas, setting timers, assisted students during difficult transitions, even if it meant going back and forth to their general education classrooms with them until they were familiar with their schedules and with transitions.

Three words:
Responsible, Attentive, Self-Starter


Karina Kirksey – Inca

Karina is always willing to help no matter what the situation is, she is always
looking for ways to help the kids improve, she wants the kids to succeed

She is a brand new para this year and has been given one of the toughest jobs, working with
2 behavior students. She is always looking for ways to help them and to succeed.

She finds ways to challenge the kiddos at their learning ability and sometimes higher.
She is willing to listen to the kids and what they need help with.

Jumped right in working with the behavior students, she is always finding
ways to improve our room to make it more inviting to the students and staff

Three words:
Kind, Outgoing, Helpful


Kendra Garza – Jasinski

Kendra is a rock. A ‘thunder egg rock”. Tough exterior, not easily influenced by negative forces, but on the inside is a myriad of celebratory colors.
She is the textbook of student expectations to be followed. Students and staff respect her command of her classroom. And yet she gives you much more
than her position defines. She is a smile in the storm, a reliable port that can be counted on to get you through the day.

She organizes activities and lessons for the younger students and reminds older students the importance of using their time.
Far beyond her job description of Jasinski Librarian she has provided undeniable assistance with trouble students and classes.

Kendra sets a high bar of expectations (at appropriate grade levels) for students and for staff. She commands a level of respect with the students because she cares…
it is evident in what she does, even if it is reprimanding, she cares. I have never heard a student say a negative word about her and it is because they know what
is expected of them and if they cross the line, they know they are at fault. She makes the entire school a well oiled functioning entity.

AR reading scores are skyrocketing; library resources are well maintained; works with staff to get the resources they need for their classroom;
book fair activities that the kids look forward to. I have no doubt that there is a multitude of other things that most of us have no idea about.

Three words:
Reliable, Committed, Efficient


Emilia Castillo – Marionneaux

She strives everyday to create a positive learning environment for her students. Her interactions with her students make it highly evident
that she believes that every child can succeed and she gives each child in her classroom the best opportunities for success.
She shows amazing kindness and generosity not only towards her students, but also towards her fellow
teachers, always going above and beyond for others.

Just look at her behavior chart! She encourages positive choices through consistent recognition in a way that is meaningful to her students.
She is ALWAYS going that extra mile to create learning experiences for her students that engage them and bring out a love for learning
that will last them for years to come. 
She gives of her time to join teams like the Math Team – to better herself as a teacher,
to give back to her peers with new information to help them better themselves, and to better
our school by continually looking for ways we can improve.

She wears a smile everyday no matter what. She believes that there is a superhero inside each of us and reminds us to
live out that inner superhero. 
She gives her very best, inspiring those around her to do the same.

She is a part of the Math Team – striving to improve math teaching on our campus as a whole. She lends advice and time to those on her team to help ensure
their success. 
She spends numerous hours making sure that her classroom is a fun and inviting environment for her students to feel at home in everyday.

Three word:
Joyful, Giving, Motivated


Jessica Ebel-Wheat – Preschool

Jessica always goes above and beyond her current duties. You will often times find Jessica at the preschool after work hours and weekends making sure
her students have everything they need to be successful and the staff have everything they need to assist their students in being successful.

Jessica not only has a well managed special needs classroom but she is willing to observe other classrooms that seek help with behaviors.
She does this very effectively with taking on a lot of extra projects around the Preschool. Both the Preschool and BESD benefits from
Jessica’s monthly Parent Support Group. It is here that she shares resources and knowledge with parents of children with
special needs. Parents are very thankful for her dedication and the opportunity to meet and engage with others in similar situations.
I don’t think Jessica will ever know what it is like to simply do her job and go home
because on top of everything else she tutors a couple days a week.

Jessica has some of the most severely challenged students in our school but that does not stop her from having high
expectations for her class. She truly inspires and rejoices in her students daily accomplishments. It is evident that they
will attempt to try new things as her classroom is a very safe environment. Jessica inspires her peers by always showing
willingness to take the lead and share her knowledge. Jessica also inspires the parents she works with. The parents of her
students and who attend her parent support group feel very privileged to work with her.

With the school psychologist being out Jessica has taken over PBIS implementation year 3. This is on top of already implementing
and trying to sustain both PBIS Tier 1 and Tier 2. As if that wasn’t enough, Jessica also continues to manage and monitor
Teaching Strategies Gold which is our preschools assessment system. When I am unavailable, I have heavily relied upon
Jessica to lead Professional Development. She is the perfect person as she is knowledgeable, trustworthy and respected among her peers.

Three words:
Leader, Respected, Compassionate



Carrie Dixson – Sundance

Carrie is constantly working to improve her instructional practice; she spends countless hours continuing with professional learning
through workshops, as well as reading and developing new and engaging lessons for her kids.
She is always willing to help a colleague
in need; if there’s something she can help with, she will. 
She cares so deeply for her students, she gets to know about each and
every one of them-she gets to know them so well, she can remember their names and interests years after they leave her classroom.

Carrie works to ensure all of her lessons are meticulously aligned to standards, are engaging for kids, and allow students to actively
participate in the learning process. 
She spends time getting to know each of her kiddos-she even gives up lunch time to have a
special lunch with a small group of kids, they always feels so special! 
She is never satisfied with student scores, even if a
student is proficient, she’s always pushing them to improve.

Carrie inspires her peers when they see the level of care she puts into each conversation. Even if a child misbehaves, the conversation
that follows is one of the utmost respect for the child. 
She inspires her peers to continuously work to improve when they see how
much time it takes her to craft her lessons. 
She always inspires her students to be the best versions of themselves by celebrating both
their successes and failures along the way. Her students truly understand that failure is a wonderful opportunity to grow.

Carrie is part of our school STEM team, she is constantly working to ensure that as we roll out or STEM initiative that teacher
will have the resources and support they need. 
She worked tirelessly on curriculum maps to ensure that all teachers would have a
guiding document when the year began. 
She is also a member of various committees, helping to make the school run
smoothly, and teachers feel appreciated and valued.

Three words:
Passionate, Committed, Loving


Maria Moreno – WestPark

Maria is a dedicated employee that goes above and beyond in her duties as BEA president, 1st grade teacher, and colleague.
She is always willing to help others and sets a great example of being a model employee.

Maria is very active in many committees, both at the school and district level. She gives her time freely to anyone that needs
help and is a listening ear for many of her friends and colleagues. Maria not only helps support her team,
but reaches out to other teachers within her grade level across the district.

Maria is an inspiration because she is a wonderful representative for our district and does so with grace, professionalism, and humility.
She is a model teacher that displays care and concern for her students, while also maintaining high expectations.
Her love for her students is readily apparent in all that she does.

Maria serves on a variety of committees that help to improve Buckeye as a district. Her sense of pride in the district
and in her school comes through in all that she does. Maria is one of the most dedicated teachers in the
district and helps anyone that asks. She is truly deserving of this award.

Three words:
Dedicated, Caring, Passionate