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

Shout Out: 
"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


Roxana Mis
Roxana MisSchool Office Technician / Lynwood
What I most admire about Roxana is her unwavering desire to learn and grow professionally. She is not afraid to ask questions, pose innovative solutions and solicit valuable feedback so as to be maximally informed when weighing the most effective approaches for solving problems. Students feel supported and heard by her, and she is an embodiment of the larger culture of caring felt at Lynwood. As a natural leader on the yard supervisor team, Roxana balances firm boundaries with unwavering positive reinforcement while regulating behavior both on the yard and in the office. She is perceptive to the needs of students, checking in with kids regularly to make sure they are feeling healthy, safe, fed, and ready to succeed socially and academically at school. She has polished her communication skills and collaborative restorative justice practices in both English and Spanish, and never hesitates to pick up slack both in the office and on the yard, whether it's helping translate or efficiently solve problems as they arise. As an excellent multitasker, her professional capabilities and confidence continue to blossom as she collaborates with her coworkers in tackling any task which is thrown her way. Always ready to help, she is both receptive to advice from her team and willing to jump in where needed, even when it is a task outside of her comfort zone. I can't think of anyone more deserving of the Modeling the Way award.
Laura Rinkor
Laura RinkorParaeducator / Lu Sutton
Laura works with our resource students and always creates a safe space for them to learn and grow. She also helps out with many of our students that are struggling with social emotional regulation, and she always does so in the most caring and genuine way. She is often pulled from her daily schedule to jump in and support students when they are having a hard time in class. She also works hard to support staff and creates opportunities for us to relax in surprising ways. Last year she brought in gingerbread cookies and decorating materials and placed them in the staff lounge. It was so nice to see everyone sitting down and just creating their own Zen moment decorating them, especially during such a busy time. She threw a back to school get together at her house, and is hosting another event this holiday season. She works hard to create community among the students, as well as among the staff.
I love having Laura in my classroom. She is always looking for ways for the students to feel involved and included. We work with students who have Special Needs, and I believe she does an excellent job. For the holidays, she made sure to bring in a craft that each of the students can do to help decorate our classroom. She goes above and beyond, and I am so appreciative of her!
Emily Atkinson
Emily AtkinsonPE Teacher / Sinaloa
Emily Atkinson exhibits strong moral character in and out of the classroom. She is a PE teacher who lives and breathes fitness. Students look at her and see a healthy role model who maintains a positive attitude about life. She is committed to our youth and often tries to find ways to improve their lives whether it be finding an extracurricular placement for a student or writing words of wisdom in the locker room. Emily not only teaches, but she coaches two softball teams. She spends her weekends with teen girls on the softball field inspiring them to be the best they can be. She preaches self-respect, responsibility, and accountability. The students and players she encounters on a daily basis know that not only does she preach these things, but she also walks the walk. Emily not only models the way but inspires us all to be better!
Stephanie Ortega-Kennison
Stephanie Ortega-KennisonTrans K Teacher / Pleasant Valley
Stephanie is our quiet Do Good, Be Kind Angel. This year, her goal is to bring more peace and happiness to her students and the world around her, and she models this in many ways. Just this week, for example, she posted a banner on her fence to celebrate and encourage PV Alum Jared Goff; she spent an evening (after a long day with a staff meeting) helping parents set up the Rummage Sale event in the MPR, she volunteered to be the admin designee for an IEP meeting after school, and she has single-handedly provided snacks and cleaned up the staff lounge for the last 2 weeks. Stephanie is the epitome of collaboration and strives to create a culture of caring. She always responds to everyone with kindness and deep attention and she always sees the best in everyone. She is our PV Angel and we love her!!!


Jennifer Valerius
Jennifer ValeriusAdult Ed Teacher / Hill Center
Dana Sadan
Dana SadanPrincipal / Pleasant Valley
Jose Rosales
Jose RosalesNight Custodian / DO
Brian Khoury
Brian KhourySDC Teacher / SMHS


Melissa Duggan
Melissa DugganBond Project Coordinator / DO
Caroline Purtell
Caroline PurtellSchool Office Manager / NHS
Melanie Gutierrez
Melanie GutierrezTeacher / Lynwood
Robin Nosti
Robin NostiTeacher / Olive


Graciela Navarro
Graciela NavarroNight Custodian / Hamilton
Lucia Avalos
Lucia AvalosPlayground Supervisor / Loma Verde
Janna Morbitz
Janna MorbitzTeacher / San Jose
Irene Howard
Irene HowardTeacher / Rancho

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 MattsonTeacher / Lynwood
Kelly JohnsonDirector - Special Ed / DO
Pam BakerSchool Office Manager / San Ramon
Emily CavalleroTeacher / Loma Verde

December 2018

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

November 2018

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

October 2018

Steve LamottTeacher / SMHS
Miguel RaeParaeducator / Olive
Lisa NyquistTeacher / Loma Verde
Alex KinneeTeacher / NHS

September 2018

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

May 2018

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

April 2018

Roberto CordobaCustodian / Olive
Diane ElsmoreTeacher / San Ramon
Arthur MendoncaCustodian / Hill Center
Ben KnudsonTeacher / NHS

March 2018

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

February 2018

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

January 2018

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

December 2017

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

November 2017

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

October 2017

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

September 2017

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

August 2017

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

May 2017

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

April 2017

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

March 2017

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

February 2017

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

January 2017

Elizabeth VegaTeacher / Loma Verde
Ernesto ZamoranoCustodian III / NHS
Sara DavisMath Teacher / SMHS
Allison McIvorMusic Teacher / SMHS

December 2016

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

November 2016

Mark SilvaDirector - Maintenance, Operations & Transportation
Amanda Davis5th Grade Teacher - Pleasant Valley Elementary
Peter OrnsteinCinematic Arts Teacher, MSA Director - Novato High School
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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