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


Shout Out: Your Team Here

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

February 2019

Grace Cosentino
Grace CosentinoTeacher / San Jose
Mrs. Cosentino models the way because she is an amazing teacher. She is always there for each of her students. She provides her students her love and support. She calls us her second family. She wants us to succeed in everything we do and she helps us succeed and accomplish amazing things. She is always ready to start the day. She is compassionate, wonderful, respectful, and big hearted. We need her to get recognized for her hard work she has accomplished. When I was having a hard time, she was so supportive and respectful to me and she gave me lots of advice and love. She always has a positive and respectful attitude every single day. She definitely models the way. – A Student
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Grace is in her third year of teaching, and already demonstrates a plethora of qualities and practices that many veteran teachers strive to acquire. She is an unwavering advocate for every single student on our campus whether they are on her roster or not, with equity at the forefront of her mind throughout all that she does. Grace helps run Binder Boot Camp on campus, which is a place once a week where students can go to get any and all materials they need to be successful and organized. Grace strikes up a conversation with every student who is referred to Binder Boot Camp, getting to know them better in a supportive, low-stakes, safe environment. She asks about their classes and family and friends, helps them get organized, gives them the materials they need, and even assists students in working on some assignments that may improve their grades. If she’s not running Binder Boot Camp, Grace might be in her classroom going over an assessment, even working on verbal test questions for students who struggled with written responses on their assessment. Grace sees potential in all of her students, and doesn’t believe there’s such thing in a student not caring. She works every day to find out what makes each of her students “tick.” The phrase “lifelong learner” describes Grace perfectly, as she consistently looks for new professional development opportunities that will incorporate standards, the 6 Cs of NUSD, and the qualities she feels will best develop her students’ success. She inspires members of her department, her students, and staff throughout the campus with her conscientious thought processes, collaboration, and communication. Grace is an absolute asset to NUSD!
Karen Matson
Karen MatsonTeacher / Lu Sutton
Karen Matson goes above and beyond in her teaching duties. She provides love and safety in such an extraordinary way that even the most traumatized of students have healed and excelled in the classroom. In all my years of parenting, fostering and teaching, I’ve never witnessed such a genuine connection between teacher and students as Karen Matson provides. One former foster child in her class had all of his behavior portions of his IEP removed as no longer needed. Another foster child became proficient in all subjects and is healing, growing and coming out of her shell because of this teacher and her commitment to love and teach these children in such a caring, gentle and kind way. – A Parent
Barbara Roddie
Barbara RoddieLibrary Media Specialist / San Ramon
Mrs. Roddie does so much to help all of our students and staff at San Ramon. She organized Novel Knowledge again this year with over 100 3rd – 5th graders volunteering to participate this year alone. Teams of students read 6 books and work collaboratively and communicate effectively for answers to questions that she designs. Our students are motivated to read new books (culturally competence and conscientious learners) and she ensures that all students have access to these books by borrowing from other school sites or our Marin County libraries (community). She is a stellar gem and we are all so fortunate to have her tireless spirit and efforts helping all of our student readers!
Juan Real
Juan RealCustodian III / Hamilton
Jual Real embodies the spirit of Hamilton School. He is compassionate towards others. He is someone who students can lean on during challenging times. Students reach out to him, asking to be with him when they are upset or to re-center themselves. He listens to students and provides guidance to many. Juan also is in the center of the community. Families, primarily Spanish speaking families, know that Juan is one of the voices of our community. Families rely on him for information, guidance, and trust he will support them. Juan steps in when a person/family needs a voice to be heard. He volunteers his time as an unofficial translator at community events, Juan is not only a custodian, he is a valued un-official community liaison who puts his community first. Juan models the way every day.

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
Steve Lamott is kind and very patient with all his students. The kids adore him and many students refer to him as their favorite teacher. I observe him every day working with his students to guide and teach them to prepare them for life after high school. He is firm and sets boundaries but always let the kids know that he is in their corner and they can come to him for any extra help or support. When kids need food or bus fare he never hesitates to make sure the kids have what they need, this includes buying notebooks, pencils, and folders for every class and every student. I see him go above and beyond every day.
Miguel Rae
Miguel RaeParaeducator / Olive
Mr. Rae works with an array of students on a daily basis, each of whom have varying needs that require a very specific type/level of support. On any given day Mr. Rae will facilitate self-soothing strategies to help a student calm him/herself, modify curriculum to meet the learning style of an individual student and, most importantly, advocate for special education students so that they can reach their highest potential every day they set foot on the Olive campus. These are just several concrete examples of Mr. Rae’s professionalism and passionate approach towards helping students who receive special education services. While concrete examples of his professionalism are important, Mr. Rae also possesses many intangible qualities that truly make him an exceptional colleague to work with. You can notice his smile from miles away, his demeanor with challenging students is an innate skill that few possess, can’t be taught, and many wish to attain. Mr. Rae has it all – he’s kind, professional, humorous, and most importantly a true asset to students, staff, and the greater NUSD. NUSD (and Olive especially) is lucky to have him around!
Lisa Nyquist
Lisa NyquistTeacher / Loma Verde
Lisa is passionate about music education and helping her students to discover the best in themselves. She has created an instrument inventory system for over 200 instruments (a monumental task) and checked out all the elementary instruments to our 5th grade students across the District. Lisa is always looking for new music trainings and eager to try new things in her teaching. When she sees a way to improve something she takes action and makes the changes that need to happen. Lisa sets the bar high in terms of what she expects from herself. Her parents recently lost their home in the fire, and barely made it out alive, it was so close. Lisa only missed one day of work in spite of taking in her parents and caring for them. She truly inspires me to give more, be more kind, and make NUSD the best it can be!
Alex Kinnee
Alex KinneeTeacher / NHS
Alex is a great team player. She is a prime example of a Conscientious Learner. She is organized (she has an amazing bullet journal planner! You should check it out!), and her organization is clear in her ability to teach three preps all with very different agenda’s and needs and is able teach engaging and relevant curriculum to all of her students. She is a passionate learner herself and conveys the love of learning and helping people to her students. She teaches her students to set goals for themselves as students and as leaders. As an AVID and Link Crew teacher, she teaches her students to self-advocate for themselves as well as teaching them how to teach others to do the same (Link crew does this with their freshmen). She sets her classroom environment up to be one that students fell safe enough to discuss issues of wellness and self-care in not only one on one private conversations with her but in the overall group classroom setting. She is a great role model for students in the Conscientious Learner category.

She has incredible character. She is about the nicest teacher on our campus. She is always willing to help out and to show up for our staff and the students in whatever they may need of her. Whether it is attending a student’s game, nominating and watching her students accept their Academic Awards, or teaching 140 county-wide students from 8 schools and 6 different programs how to Country Line Dance (which she had never taught before and did a fantastic job) at the Youth Leadership Summit Overnight Retreat at Walker Creek Ranch. She is kind. She loves to honor her kids who go above and beyond, usually with recognition as well as sometimes she will bake them delicious homemade treats. She is not shy about expressing her appreciation of the people in her life.

She is Collaborative. She is always willing to help as stated above. She will work with anyone to help improve the school. She has stepped up to help us create a user friendly, visually pleasing Graduate Portfolio, Defense to roll out to our students. She will film silly videos to help educate our students on the 6 C’s, she works with her fellow history teachers as well as cross-curricular teachers to create common assessments and common capstone projects. Her Link Crew class is all about collaboration as she is the lead teacher but she collaborates with several other staff members to deliver the Orientation to all incoming freshmen, she works with the Health and CCR teachers to have the LINK Crew kids deliver lessons in their classes to ensure that the freshmen have the best opportunity for success in their transition to high school.

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
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Kris Cosca
Kris CoscaDeputy Superintendent - Human Resources & Strategic Development
“Our employees are our GREATEST asset!”


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