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Waco ISD honors Virtual Shining Stars

October 30, 2020 - Waco ISD is celebrating some of its teachers and paraprofessionals as the Virtual Shining Stars that they are! Campus administrative leadership teams recently identified one teacher and one paraprofessional from their campus who have exemplified excellence as a virtual educational leader. The paraprofessionals selected may support virtual and/or in-person instruction.

These hardworking employees were each selected for various reasons from building outstanding lessons within the new learning management systems and ensuring high engagement with both in-person and virtual learners to assisting with Zoom and classroom facilitation, and even assisting other campuses when staff shortages proved to be difficult.

Julie Sapaugh, principal of Brook Avenue Elementary, opted to selected her entire staff for each category, noting that "every staff member... has been working so hard to stay safe and keep learning going... Everyone stands out as awesome at this point!"

Although the reasons for why they were each selected may vary, Stephanie Tankersley, principal of Lake Air Montessori Magnet School, may have summed it up best with her note for Ms. Arely Gonzales -- "Rocking it in person and virtually!"

Following a hiatus due to closures and delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the district will resume its Employees of the Month program in November.

Congratulations to each of these Virtual Shining Stars!

(listed alphabetically by last name)

Virtual Shining Stars (Teachers)

Jennifer Adams, Tennyson Middle
Andrew Amor and Brittney Bunton [tie], Dean Highland Elementary
Virginia Beck, West Avenue Elementary

Ryan Clark, G.W. Carver Middle
Valerie Davis, Parkdale Elementary
Emily DeRosier, Kendrick Elementary

Arely Gonzalez, Lake Air Montessori
Ashlee "Michael" Haskett, Mountainview Elementary
Cassandra Hinds, Cesar Chavez Middle
Janessa Holles, Waco High
Teresa Kelm, Greater Waco Advanced Healthcare Academy
Trisha McCook, J.H. Hines Elementary
Lacey Merrifield, University High
Kelly Miah, Hillcrest PDS
Vivian Mitchell, G.L. Wiley Opportunity Center
Cathy Montemayor, Provident Heights Elementary
Kirsten Neff, Cedar Ridge Elementary
Sharon Orcutt, Greater Waco Advanced Manufacturing Academy
Rhonda Ostic, South Waco Elementary
John Pacey, Crestview Elementary
John Pedrotti, Brazos High
Alma Picazo, Indian Spring Middle
Sarah Tatum, Bell's Hill Elementary
Elena Torres-Breeding, Alta Vista Elementary
Toni Truesdale, McLennan County Challenge Academy
All teachers & professional staff, Brook Avenue Elementary

Virtual Shining Stars (Paraprofessionals)

Ladejia Adams, South Waco Elementary
Sherilyn Rice, Dean Highland Elementary
Robert Cantu, Kendrick Elementary
Sylvia Cash, Crestview Elementary
Hilda Castillo-Abate, Provident Heights Elementary
Ronte Crump, Alta Vista Elementary
Jeremy Davis, G.W. Carver Middle
Veronica Dodson, Mountainview Elementary
Elizabeth Earnest, Greater Waco Advanced Manufacturing Academy
Shonquala Edwards, Tennyson Middle
Darlene Griffin, Waco High
Ashley Hardt, Hillcrest PDS
Necail Hawkins, West Avenue Elementary
Jacqueline Jones, G.L. Wiley Opportunity Center
Maria Martinez, University High
Maria Martinez-Saucedo, Cedar Ridge Elementary
Greg Mitchell, McLennan County Challenge Academy
Ana Moya, Cesar Chavez Middle
Kimberly Oliver, Indian Spring Middle
Fatima Pena Solis, Parkdale Elementary

Francisca Perez, Lake Air Montessori
Mayra Reyes, Bell's Hill Elementary
Kevin Rogers, Brazos High
Briana Sutton, Greater Waco Advanced Healthcare
Conchera Woolfolk, J.H. Hines Elementary
All paraprofessional & custodial staff, Brook Avenue Elementary