Do you work with someone who is doing an amazing job and “Modeling the Way“?

Shout Out: Transportation Team!
Our drivers are always looking out for the safety of our students. One driver in particular made a great choice with assisting a student when he noticed she wasn’t looking right and sat on the curb when she got off the bus. He didn’t drive away, nor did he just think she was being silly. He proceeded to see if she was okay and helped her out by waiting for her parents to come get her. This student actually has a congenital heart defect and she was blacking out. Thankfully our driver noticed something was off and went to assist with the student. The parents are over the moon with what the driver did and says that he saved her life. I cannot begin to say thanks to our driver for this awesome action.
Thank you Claude Elia & our whole Transportation Team!
Modeling the Way is recognition for individual employees; however, we know that site or department full staff or teams often do amazing things that deserve special recognition as well.
Administrators: if your staff or team has done something exceptional …

Thank you for “Modeling the Way”

Engage.  Inspire.  Empower.

Novato Unified School District


Graciela Navarro
Graciela NavarroNight Custodian / Hamilton
Graciela “Models the Way” every day in the way she cares for those around her and in her incredible work ethic. She goes the extra mile to ensure that our campus is spotless every day for our staff and students. Graciela leads by example taking on projects simply because it needs to get done. She is an absolute pleasure to have on campus and a gift to our school.
Lucia Avalos
Lucia AvalosPlayground Supervisor / Loma Verde
Lucia Avalos is a yard supervisor and a parent in our school community. This year she has been leading the way and modeling inclusiveness by taking many risks in bridging gaps between our various communities on campus. She has been meeting with and participating more by attending and contributing to staff meetings and professional development normally only attended by certificated staff. Lucia has developed a playful connectedness with students on the yard and has become a liaison between Hispanic parents and the teachers at our school who do not speak Spanish. Lucia’s spirit in modeling the way is leading to other classified staff joining in the professional community of our school, making it a better place!
Janna Morbitz
Janna MorbitzTeacher / San Jose
Janna is a .8 employee who feels like 2.0. Her unquenchable desire to serve kids is visible in everything she does. She sits on the COST team which helps to “triage” our information about students who are not thriving. She gives up her prep every week for this work and is always prepared with information about a student that has aroused her concern. She takes the time to form deep relationships with students AND their parents, calling home often for positive reasons as well as to discuss areas demanding attention. She voraciously reads and questions everything that we are considering as a staff and is a full (yet respectful) participant in the discussions and decisions that affect the life of the school. She uses every possible moment to get to know kids, so almost every time a student’s name is mentioned, Janna knows something about the student.

Her deep level of caring and her commitment to student success makes her a valuable member of our team.

Irene Howard
Irene HowardTeacher / Rancho
Irene has created an warm loving environment in her classroom. She has spent countless hours teaching the children about inclusion, kindness and how to be a good friend. She allows the kids to grow and gives them comfort and warmth as they push through some tough challenges that come with any growth. Children feel loved and valued in her presence.

May 2019

Andrew StrawbridgeTeacher / Hamilton
Gabriel BrandInstructional Assistant / Lynwood
Heather ArnoldTeacher / NHS
Cassandra DiazSystems Analyst / DO: IT

April 2019

Helen Hughes-TomeAdmin Asst III / DO: SpEd
Kathy WarrenTeacher / SMHS
Eden ThibeaultTeacher / Lynwood
Rama KalluriCampus Supervisor / SJMS

March 2019

Christina HawkinsTeacher / Rancho
Stella SimonTech Support Tech II / San Ramon
Tracy PickardSchool Office Manager / Loma Verde
Mary McGurkeTeacher / Sinaloa

February 2019

Grace CosentinoTeacher / San Jose
Karen MatsonTeacher / Lu Sutton
Barbara RoddieLibrary Media Specialist / San Ramon
Juan RealCustodian III / Hamilton

January 2019

Debra Mattson
Debra MattsonTeacher / Lynwood
Kelly Johnson
Kelly JohnsonDirector - Special Ed / DO
Pam Baker
Pam BakerSchool Office Manager / San Ramon
Emily Cavallero
Emily CavalleroTeacher / Loma Verde

December 2018

Tiki Martin
Tiki MartinSchool Projects-Fiscal Specialist / Loma Verde
Erin Hart
Erin HartTeacher / Hamilton
Pier Rindone
Pier RindoneSpeech-Language Therapist / Ready, Set, Grow!

November 2018

Suzi Hirshfield
Suzi HirshfieldDistrict Coordinator / DO
Emma Donovan
Emma DonovanTeacher / Olive
Shannon Dugdale
Shannon DugdaleYard Supervisor / Rancho
Kris Sargent
Kris SargentTeacher / Lu Sutton

October 2018

Steve Lamott
Steve LamottTeacher / SMHS
Miguel Rae
Miguel RaeParaeducator / Olive
Lisa Nyquist
Lisa NyquistTeacher / Loma Verde
Alex Kinnee
Alex KinneeTeacher / NHS

September 2018

Mary Pozzi
Mary PozziTeacher / San Jose
Christy Stocker
Christy StockerAssistant Principal / NHS
Julie Spaan
Julie SpaanSchool Office Manager / PV
Wes Swedlow
Wes SwedlowTeacher / SMHS

May 2018

Lisa Ferrigno
Lisa FerrignoSchool Account Clerk / SMHS
Heidi Joseph
Heidi JosephTK/K Teacher / Lu Sutton
Brenda Pfeifer
Brenda Pfeifer5th Grade Teacher / Loma Verde
Whitney McEachern
Whitney McEachernCore-AVID Teacher / San Jose

April 2018

Roberto Cordoba
Roberto CordobaCustodian / Olive
Diane Elsmore
Diane ElsmoreTeacher / San Ramon
Arthur Mendonca
Arthur MendoncaCustodian / Hill Center
Ben Knudson
Ben KnudsonTeacher / NHS

March 2018

Anna McGee
Anna McGeeCounselor / Novato Adult School
Catherine Nam
Catherine NamInstructional Coach / District Office
Teri Wack
Teri WackParaeducator / Lu Sutton
Alison McMorrow
Alison McMorrowTeacher / Loma Verde

February 2018

Judge Taylor
Judge TaylorFacilities & Custodial Supervisor / District Office
Bob Lacy
Bob LacyTeacher / SMHS
Jazmin Babendir
Jazmin BabendirCommunity Liaison / Lynwood
Kaila Budwell
Kaila BudwellTeacher / NHS

January 2018

Amanda Langford
Amanda LangfordPrincipal / San Ramon
Mary O'Keeffe
Mary O'KeeffeSchool Office Manager / Sinaloa
Carrie Lucia
Carrie LuciaParaeducator / SMHS
Marion Hickman
Marion HickmanTeacher / Hamilton

December 2017

Craig Lubey
Craig LubeyStudent Data Sys Spc / District Office
Carolyn Tagliaferri
Carolyn TagliaferriTeacher - RSP / Olive
John Matern
John MaternTeacher / Marin Oaks
Jennifer Boutet
Jennifer BoutetLibrary Media Specialist / Loma Verde

November 2017

Cindy Klinkman
Cindy KlinkmanInstructional Coach / District Office
Damaris Caro
Damaris CaroCommunity Liaison / Hamilton School
Irma Manion
Irma ManionFirst Grade Teacher / Loma Verde
Terrie Baum
Terrie BaumCounseling Technician / NHS

October 2017

Amber Hatfield
Amber HatfieldInstructional Coach / District Office
Sierra Cubley-DeBruin
Sierra Cubley-DeBruinOffice Manager / Lynwood
Stephanie Searle
Stephanie SearleTeacher / NHS
Erik Briggs
Erik BriggsTech Support Tech II / San Jose

September 2017

Carole Mencarelli
Carole MencarelliOffice Manager / Rancho
Yvette Garcia
Yvette GarciaRSP Teacher & RSG Coordinator / Rancho
Greg Fister
Greg FisterAssistant Principal / NHS
Marcia Carey
Marcia CareyAdmin Asst III / Student Services

August 2017

Darian Raras
Darian RarasParaeducator / Hamilton
Dana Luis
Dana LuisTech Support Tech II / Olive
Laura Triantafyllos
Laura TriantafyllosCounselor / SMHS
Lisa Heslip
Lisa Heslip1st Grade Teacher / Pleasant Valley

May 2017

Amy Ferhart
Amy FerhartIndependent Study Teacher / NOVA @ Hill
Gina Proffitt
Gina ProffittProgram Specialist / FANS @ Lynwood
Julie Spaan
Julie SpaanOffice Manager / Pleasant Valley
Mariah Fisher
Mariah FisherMusic Teacher / San Jose Middle School

April 2017

Dana Sarubbi
Dana SarubbiBenefits Specialist / District Office
Heather Geraci
Heather GeraciParaeducator - RSP / Early Intervention @ Hill
Marie McMahon
Marie McMahonCounselor / NHS
Theresa Cook
Theresa CookTech Support Tech II / Lynwood

March 2017

Digna Rojas
Digna Rojas3rd Grade Teacher / Lynwood
Erin Cilia
Erin CiliaFood Service Site Manager / San Jose
Vivian Lee
Vivian LeeMath Teacher / Sinaloa
Karin Jinbo
Karin JinboCoordinator of Behavioral Health / DO

February 2017

Christine Bok-Osborne
Christine Bok-OsborneFood Service Site Manager / Hamilton
Michelle Drake
Michelle DrakeFourth Grade Teacher / Lu Sutton
Glenn Dal Poggetto
Glenn Dal PoggettoSDC/Resource Teacher / SMHS
Hassan Fathi
Hassan FathiTech II / NHS

January 2017

Elizabeth Vega
Elizabeth VegaTeacher / Loma Verde
Ernesto Zamorano
Ernesto ZamoranoCustodian III / NHS
Sara Davis
Sara DavisMath Teacher / SMHS
Allison McIvor
Allison McIvorMusic Teacher / SMHS

December 2016

Jeff Packman
Jeff PackmanLeadership / PE Teacher Marin Oaks / Nexus
Arezu Iranipour
Arezu IranipourSchool Psychologist Novato High School
Alex Perez
Alex PerezData System Supervisor IT, District Office
Joanne Briggs
Joanne BriggsFinancial System Specialist - IT, DO

November 2016

Mark Silva
Mark SilvaDirector - Maintenance, Operations & Transportation
Amanda Davis
Amanda Davis5th Grade Teacher - Pleasant Valley Elementary
Peter Ornstein
Peter OrnsteinCinematic Arts Teacher, MSA Director - Novato High School
Mary Pozzi
Mary PozziLA / SS Teacher - San Jose Middle School
Jonathan Ferrer
Jonathan FerrerAssistant Superintendent, Human Resources
Kris Cosca
Kris CoscaSuperintendent
“Our employees are our GREATEST asset!”


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