CHAMPions

  • CHCCS CHAMPion

    CHAMP=Celebrating Heroes and
    Magnificent People

     

    in partnership with the

    Public School Foundation

     

    Please nominate a deserving student or staff member and tell us how they are making a difference as a CHCCS CHAMPion! Honorees receive a CHAMPion totebag, t-shirt, journal, water bottle, stress ball and a personal note from Superintendent Nyah Hamlett.  Beginning in 2022-23, the Public School Foundation is giving each CHAMPion a gift card.  To nominate someone, please use this link.

    Superintendent Nyha Hamlett Superintendent Nyah Hamlett

      

  • Kristie Winter, Social Studies Teacher at Carrboro High

    Posted by CHCCS on 2/6/2024 7:00:00 AM

    Kristie Winter

    Congratulations to Kristie Winter, Social Studies Teacher at Carrboro High School, today’s CHCCS CHAMPion! Kristie was nominated by Matt Cone, Teacher on Special Assignment. “Kristie is one of the most gifted young teachers who I have encountered in over 20 years in education. She consistently finds creative ways of connecting with and advocating for her Carrboro High students. Because Kristie is a model of positivity who has greatly enriched the lives of her students and colleagues, I believe that she embodies the spirit of the CHCCS 'CHAMP'ions award.”

    Comments (-1)
  • Nakia Allen, Secretary of the Transportation Department

    Posted by CHCCS on 2/5/2024 7:00:00 AM

    Nakia Allen

    Congratulations to Nakia Allen, Secretary of the Transportation Department, today’s CHCCS CHAMPion! Nakia was nominated by Sarah Morales, School Counselor at McDougle Middle School. “Ms. Allen is a wonderful coworker and CHCCS employee. Over the years, I’ve leaned on her to help me figure out complicated bus situations for my students (in my role as a middle school counselor). She is always eager to help and seems genuinely happy to answer my phone call - even when I’m sure she knows I’m going to make a request that will take up her precious time. This is my first year as a parent of a bus rider, and she has been just as fabulous to talk to and eager to help for ‘my baby’ as she has been when I call about my students. She’s the best!!!”

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  • Stefanie Mazva-Cohen, School Social Worker at Culbreth Middle

    Posted by CHCCS on 2/2/2024 7:00:00 AM

    Stefanie Mazva-Cohen

    Congratulations to Stefanie Mazva-Cohen, School Social Worker at Culbreth Middle School, today’s CHCCS CHAMPion! Stefanie was nominated by Culbreth principal Luke Paulsen. “Ms. Mazva-Cohen has taken a positive leadership role among both students, parents and staff. She is the chair of our leadership team, collaborates with numerous community members to support the mental health of students (including pet pals), runs our “fish hooks” program to support students that struggle with attendance and coordinates our digital wellness series for parents. Overall, just an absolute CHAMP and CHCCS is lucky to have her.”

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  • Ellie Lieder, Music Teacher at Northside Elementary

    Posted by CHCCS on 2/1/2024 7:00:00 AM

    Ellie Lieder

    Congratulations to Ellie Lieder, Music Teacher at Northside Elementary School, today’s CHCCS CHAMPion! Ellie was nominated by Northside librarian, Kathryn Cole.

    “JOY is the first word that comes to mind when I think of what Ms. Lieder has brought to our cultural arts program at Northside. She radiates joy from the moment she welcomes students at her door with her Ukulele in hand, singing to greet students until they are seated. Our Northside students feel the joy too! They have stated how much they love having her as their music teacher and how much they enjoy going to music class throughout the week.

    “She was instrumental in helping plan our recent ‘Sí Se Puede’ community event where she worked with all K-2 students to prepare a song and dance alongside our art teacher's storytelling and art showcase. She centers the contributions of music and music artists across cultures at every turn.

    “She is excited to bring ideas and joyful engagement to the arts program at our school and loves collaborating with others in the school and on her team to make meaningful connections and help music education come alive for students.

    “She has breathed incredible life into our cultural arts program that has left our students eager to express their creativity through the arts each week. She inspires me to be better daily.

    “Ms. Lieder is a hero and magnificent person and deserves to be honored as a CHCCS Champion. I have loved working with her and want to celebrate all that she brings.”

    Comments (-1)
  • Christi Toston-Haith, 4th Grade Dual Language Teacher at Carrboro Elementary

    Posted by CHCCS on 1/31/2024 7:00:00 AM

    Kristi Toston-Haith

    Congratulations to Christi Toston-Haith, 4th Grade Dual Language Teacher at Carrboro Elementary School, today’s CHCCS CHAMPion! Christi was nominated by CHCCS parent Valerie Stewart.

    “Ms. Haith has been an incredible teacher and positive role model for 4th graders at Carrboro Elementary. She works tirelessly to connect with each student, to challenge them to achieve their potential and to see them for who they are. She celebrates the uniqueness of each student and allows them to be themselves.

    “She is notable in that she is not just teaching the kids the content in a way that demonstrates enthusiasm, but she also creates an environment where they are seen and heard. I have had two children have her as a teacher and they stated she is a favorite for the way she nurtures with high expectations, uses music to help students focus (which also creates a soothing atmosphere) and allows for outdoor reading time as a reward and way to cultivate learning in a natural setting.

    “There are two instances where she showed the depth of her care for the growth of our students as people first - even beyond academics - from speaking at a memorial service for a classmate to sharing her personal story and her “why” behind being a teacher as a response when a child was upset in class. These moments were very vulnerable and quite emotionally charged and yet I have witnessed her bring the utmost level of empathy and compassion for the students and families involved.

    “My boys came home with lessons beyond the 4th grade classroom, and that is priceless. She goes beyond the job description to highlight the special characteristics of each student, celebrating their curiosity and questions, and recalling the moments where they brought a new perspective or a new approach to a problem. She embodies a sense of community care.

    “The true nature of her teaching and her gift as a quiet yet confident teacher was never more evident than when remembering a child that was lost too soon. She spoke and gave such a beautiful tribute that it left me feeling, as a parent, that we could only ever be this lucky to have a teacher know our kids in such a deep and profound way, to see our kids for all their potential.

    “Ms. Haith is an amazing champion for our students. I am so grateful that she teaches and gives to her classrooms in the humble and gentle way that she does - celebrating the individuality of each student. For that, she is a teacher to be celebrated and honored.”

    Comments (-1)
  • Kady Gonzalez, a CHCCS parent and community member

    Posted by CHCCS on 1/30/2024 7:00:00 AM

    Kady Gonzalez

    Congratulations to Kady Gonzalez, a CHCCS parent and community member, today’s CHCCS CHAMPion! Kady was nominated by four fellow CHCCS parents. Here is what they had to say:

    “Kady Gonzalez runs the Critter Corner at Seawell Elementary. She is dedicated year round to ensuring the care of the animals and the development of this school’s learning resource. She gives countless hours to maintaining the Critter Corner, caring for our beloved Critters, training and managing volunteers, and looking to the future while providing us with roots. Kady is kind and unassuming and deserving of recognition. Without her, the Seawell community wouldn't benefit from the many gifts that the Critter Corner bestows. From the Critter Corner we receive life sciences education, animal care skills, work ethic, emotional regulation, fresh eggs, and love. Thank you Kady” - Scarlett Coley

    “Kady Gonzalez is a parent volunteer who goes way above and beyond in running the Seawell Elementary Critter Corner, a wonderful resource for students (and parents like me!). She single-handedly trains and organizes the other parent volunteers, obtains supplies, arranges repairs, fills any empty shifts, arranges vet care, and generally makes sure all the animals are well cared for at all times. She also looks to the future by obtaining new animals, like bunnies a few years ago, and a bunch of beautiful new hens this year. With her at the helm, the Critter Corner has flourished, and she does it all beautifully--I look forward to her funny and informative emails with critter updates! The Critter Corner is by far my favorite part of Seawell and it's all due to her hard and often underappreciated work.” - Anne Knecht

    “The critter corner would not survive without her! She devotes so much time and works so hard!” - Rachael Abuin

    “Kady is the tireless force that keeps the beloved animals at Seawell School's Critter Corner fed, watered, and loved. She also helps bring so many of us together as a community of volunteers to care for the animals. Because of her, this unique-to-our-district "corner" of our school helps provide students with amazing educational opportunities around science, agriculture, responsibility, and empathy, not to mention the moments of joy and connection we all share with the critters. It's a year round responsibility, and Kady takes on much of the load herself. She deserves recognition for all her work and the benefits it brings to our school community.” - Emily Love Kader

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  • Larry Chadbourne, Crossing Guard at Ephesus Elementary

    Posted by CHCCS on 11/3/2023 7:00:00 AM

    Larry Chadbourne

    Congratulations to Larry Chadbourne, Crossing Guard at Ephesus Elementary School, today’s CHCCS CHAMPion! Larry was nominated by CHCCS parent Sarah Bergmann. “Larry is the crossing guard at Ephesus. He has served the school for at least 5 years and is ready every morning and afternoon to help students and parents safely cross the street. He is always smiling, greets both parents and kids, and knows most of his ‘customers’ by name. Recently, Ephesus planned ‘color days’ where students were to wear a particular color each day. Larry also participated in color days and reminded students of the designated color for the following day. Larry truly cares about Chapel Hill schools and recently mentioned the research he was doing to prepare for the upcoming school board elections. The Ephesus community is lucky to have Larry helping everyone get safely to and from school!”

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  • Eimy Rivas Plata, EC Resource Teacher at East Chapel Hill High

    Posted by CHCCS on 11/2/2023 7:00:00 AM

    Eimy Rivas Plata

    Congratulations to Eimy Rivas Plata, EC Resource Teacher at East Chapel Hill High School, today’s CHCCS CHAMPion! Eimy was nominated by three ECHHS students.

    “This teacher is simply amazing. She is always kind, patient and understanding of every student, and goes out of her way to help them as much as she is able to. She also has great relationships with many students, and takes the time to individually learn about them and their interests. She makes sure that every student is at their best, and if they aren’t, she makes the time to sit down with them and listen to them and how they’re feeling. She’s incredibly positive as well and is always radiating happiness and encouraging students, giving them support.” - Natasha Luecking

    “She’s amazing and every student loves her because she cares for everyone.” - Renee Maloney

    “She puts in hard work everyday for the students and the teachers. She always has such a happy spirit and she tries to make everyone’s day better, students and teachers. Even though she doesn’t have to, she does it anyway because she’s that awesome. She tries to help all she can and I thank her for that and all she’s done for me.” - Zoren Byrd-Locklear

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  • Marcus Gear, 8th Grade Social Studies Teacher at Smith Middle

    Posted by chccs on 11/1/2023 7:00:00 AM

    Marcus Gear

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Congratulations to Marcus Gear, 8th Grade Social Studies Teacher at Smith Middle School, today’s CHCCS CHAMPion! Marcus was nominated by CHCCS student members of the Collective Uplift club. “Mr. Gear started an affinity group at Smith Middle School called Collective Uplift. It’s a group for young men of color. He has given these young men such support and guidance. Mr. Gear is a role model and with this only being the 2nd year of CU, Mr. Gear has made such an impact not only on our lives but also in the community. He always puts their needs before anything. We all love Mr. Gear - not only Collective Uplift members but his students and the entire community of Smith Middle School.”

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  • Kelly Fox, 6th Grade Social Studies Teacher and Field Hockey Coach at Phillips Middle

    Posted by CHCCS on 10/31/2023 7:00:00 AM

    Kelly Fox

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Congratulations to Kelly Fox, 6th Grade Social Studies Teacher and Field Hockey Coach at Phillips Middle School, today’s CHCCS CHAMPion! Kelly was nominated by CHCCS parent Courtney Yarbrough. “Ms. Fox is an amazing 6th grade social studies teacher. Also, last minute, she stepped up to be the Phillips Field Hockey coach along with another staff member and parent. She has helped foster a team filled with sportsmanship, work ethic, improved skills, team work, grit and kindness.”

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Meet Our CHAMPions for 2022-23!

  • Valerie Minogue, the School Nurse at McDougle Elementary

    Posted by CHCCS on 6/9/2023 7:00:00 AM

    Valerie Minogue

    Congratulations to Valerie Minogue, the school nurse at McDougle Elementary School, today’s CHCCS CHAMPion! Valerie was nominated by CHCCS parent, Natalie Long. “Nurse Val is like the energizer bunny! She always wears a smile along with her silly hats and outfits and makes school fun. My boys adore her! Having survived COVID, she deserves a huge acknowledgement for all she's done to keep our kids safe.”

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  • Baylor High, an EC Teacher at FPG Bilingüe Elementary

    Posted by CHCCS on 6/8/2023 7:00:00 AM

    Baylor High

    Congratulations to Baylor High, an EC teacher at Frank Porter Graham Bilingüe Elementary, today’s CHCCS CHAMPion! Baylor was nominated by CHCCS parent, Barbara Hall, and by Judit Dorado-Zimo, a fellow EC teacher at FPGB.

    Barbara shared, “Ms. High has ensured the success of our son, Justin Hall, this year. Justin has autism, and Ms. High has helped in several ways.

    “Justin was having trouble safely transitioning from the car to the classroom in the morning. He tried to run into traffic to ‘catch’ us on several occasions. Ms. High developed an incentive involving planets (Justin loves space!) and worked with us to develop a transition plan that begins in the car, then Ms. High greets Justin every morning at the car and walks Justin to class.

    “In addition, Ms. High worked with staff to develop a plan to help Justin grow accustomed to eating lunch at school. Justin now experiences ‘Tray Tuesday’ where he eats lunch at school. Ms. High practiced with Justin and now sends home choice cards the day before so Justin can have a visual reminder of his food choice to ease the stress of walking through the line.

    “Ms. High has probably helped in the classroom in many ways we do not see. These two instances I have described have ensured the safety of Justin and others during the morning drop off, have incentivized him to be successful by drawing on his hyper fixation of space, and have helped him learn how to access his complete educational and social opportunities.”

    Justin was present during Baylor’s recognition and loved telling Dr. Hamlett all about “Tray Tuesday!”

    Judit added to the accolades, telling us “Baylor is not only a great EC teacher but a great person and colleague. She does not only advocate fiercely for the students but makes sure that the transition of new EC teachers (like myself) is positive and easy. Every Monday after school we meet and she makes sure I feel ok, answers any doubts and provides ideas. She is happiness and positivity personified. You can feel as she walks through the school that she has a very welcoming and warm relationship with everybody. Students LOVE her! She is so deserving of this recognition!”

    Comments (-1)
  • Linda Fyle, the Secretary and Bookkeeper at Scroggs Elementary

    Posted by CHCCS on 6/7/2023 7:00:00 AM

    Linda Fyle

    Congratulations to Linda Fyle, the secretary and bookkeeper at Scroggs Elementary School, today’s CHCCS CHAMPion! Linda was nominated by Kelly Fields, an Inclusion Assistant at Scroggs ES. “She goes above and beyond for Scroggs kiddos and adults! Most importantly she ALWAYS does it with a smile, care and kindness!”

    Comments (-1)
  • Zosha Silverstein-Belden, a Science Teacher at Phoenix Academy High

    Posted by CHCCS on 5/26/2023 7:00:00 AM

    Zorah Silverstein-Belden

    Congratulations to Zosha Silverstein-Belden, a science teacher at Phoenix Academy High School, today’s CHCCS CHAMPion! Zosha was nominated by PAHS principal, Dr. Jon Dixon. “Ms. Silverstein-Belden is a fantastic science teacher at Phoenix Academy and our Virtual Academy who always keeps things engaging for her students, works to design field trips around the standards & content (like our recent trip to the Museum of Life & Science in Durham), and builds nurturing relationships with her kids. Ms Silverstein-Belden is our Equity Coach and our PAHS STAC Representative, and takes both of these jobs very seriously. She has worked to design our weekly Affinity Groups meetings and she truly represents our teachers by bringing their needs and concerns to STAC, and sharing out the information she gleans there. Ms. Silverstein-Belden will be leaving after this year to return to Boston with her family, which is even more reason why I would like to nominate her at this time. She really is a great teacher, loves the kids, and will do anything in her power to make Phoenix Academy and our Virtual Academy second-to-none!”

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  • Tequila Powell, a Fifth Grade Teacher at Northside Elementary

    Posted by CHCCS on 5/25/2023 7:00:00 AM

    Tequila Powell

    Congratulations to Tequila Powell, a fifth grade teacher at Northside Elementary School, today’s CHCCS CHAMPion! Tequila was nominated by fellow Northside teacher, Ashley Quick-Hooker. “Tequila is very dependable. She is always willing to do anything to support others. She always says, ‘what do you need?’ She then will proceed to help in any way possible. She builds relationships with her students that impact their performance and attitude toward school in a positive light. If there was a perfect attendance award, she would have that. She shows up daily for students no matter what. She is dependable and ready to take charge. She is a leader in our building, serving on our leadership team. I see her car when I arrive daily, and it’s still in the lot when I leave. She deserves this recognition because she SHOWS up in any capacity.”

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  • Kirsten Venema, a Multilingual Learner Teacher at Ephesus Elementary

    Posted by CHCCS on 5/24/2023 7:00:00 AM

    Kirsten Venema

    Congratulations to Kirsten Venema, a Multilingual Learner teacher at Ephesus Elementary School, today’s CHCCS CHAMPion! Kirsten was nominated by CHCCS parent Emilia Chylek. “She takes care of all the aspects of children's welfare at school. Mrs. Venema retires this year so the prize would be a good recognition of her engagement in making emigrated children feel welcome and safe in American schools.”

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  • Jeff Alguire, the Theater Manager at East Chapel Hill High

    Posted by CHCCS on 5/23/2023 7:00:00 AM

    Jeff Alguire

    Congratulations to Jeff Alguire, the theater manager at East Chapel Hill High School, today’s CHCCS CHAMPion! Jeff was nominated by ECHHS theater teacher, Hope Love. “Jeff does his job as Technical Theater manager with great competency but this is the baseline of his contributions to the school community. Jeff is a liaison to and the face of our system for many of the community organizations which rent our facilities. He is an advocate for students, often providing a space for a shy student to flourish. He not only supports the work of the technical theater students, he makes literal and metaphoric space for our Robotics Team and Dance Ensembles. He is the definition of a team player and should be celebrated as such.”

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  • Tania Agosto, a Teacher at the UNC Hospital School

    Posted by CHCCS on 5/22/2023 7:00:00 AM

    Tania Agosto

    Congratulations to Tania Agosto, a teacher at the UNC Hospital School working with children in middle grades in the Hematology/Oncology department, today’s CHCCS CHAMPion! Tania was nominated by UNC Hospital School principal, Marny Ruben. “Tania Agosto is a teacher here that works incredibly hard to meet the needs of her students and families, most of which are middle school students that have a cancer diagnosis. She puts her whole heart into her job! She is a role model for other staff and an advocate for what is right, always! We are so proud of her and lucky to have her on our staff.”

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  • Dorie Hall, the CHCCS Executive Director of Secondary Math and Science

    Posted by CHCCS on 2/17/2023 7:00:00 AM

    Congratulations to Dorie Hall, the CHCCS Executive Director of Secondary Math and Science, today’s CHCCS CHAMPion! Dorie was nominated by Valerie Sellars, a Secondary Science Coach. “It is with pleasure that I submit a recommendation for Dorie Hall as a recipient of the CHCCS CHAMPion Award. She understands the importance of relationship building in both student-teacher, coach-director, administration-director, and community-district relationships. Ms. Hall has a vast knowledge of leadership strategies to support all those she serves. As evidenced in her work experiences, she is passionate about empowering individuals and teams to fulfill the strategic plans of CHCCS.

    “As an academic leader and Director of Math and Science, Ms. Hall has built a district-wide instructional vision and implementation plan for improvements in math and science curriculum, instruction, and assessment, and has provided robust on-ramps for honors courses that have resulted in improved achievement for secondary math and science students. She has an innovative approach to leadership. As a leader in the instructional services, in addition to mathematics and science, she oversees other district initiatives such as Middle School Summer Success and Credit by Demonstrated Mastery for high school subjects.

    “Ms. Hall often refers to herself as a lead learner. She actively demonstrates this philosophy by leading learning opportunities. She develops and leads large-scale professional development events for the district and its schools, including training for district leadership teams. This work includes monitoring instruction through frequent instructional rounds to provide effective feedback. She also provides learning opportunities for one-on-one support and teams of teachers and school math coaches related to teaching and learning, effective instruction, curriculum, and student engagement. Ms. Hall has shared her expertise as a lead presenter at state conferences about her equity driven instructional work in CHCCS.

    “CHCCS students, teachers, coaches, school administrators, and district level departments are better because of the work that Ms. Dorie Hall has done and continues to do throughout her career in CHCCS. Her connections and passion for empowering teams to lead are valuable skill sets. I have seen this personally, as a member of her team, as a district science secondary lead coach, in the numerous school visits, meetings, etc. that I have attended with Ms. Hall, where participants define and implement initiatives. Participants leave with new ideas and excitement from working with her. Ms. Hall will always give herself in the support of others.”

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  • Sylvie Williams, a Bus Driver in our Transportation Department

    Posted by CHCCS on 2/16/2023 7:00:00 AM

    Congratulations to Sylvie Williams, a bus driver in our transportation department, today’s CHCCS CHAMPion! Sylvie was nominated by two East Chapel Hill High School students, Pri Finkral and Louis Dasher. Pri said “She is an awesome bus driver who always does her best to make sure everyone gets home as soon as they can. She's friendly and always makes everyone's day brighter. She genuinely cares about her students and tells us so all the time. She always goes above and beyond, regularly asking about and then volunteering to take home students that have no bus driver. All her students love her and we look forward to seeing her every day. She works so hard and is such an amazing person!!” Louis added, “She is the hardest working bus driver in the district. She is always helping get everyone home, and she always stays happy.”

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Meet Our CHAMPions for 2021-2022!

  • NaTasja Jeter, a Senior at Chapel Hill High

    Posted by CHCCS on 5/27/2022 7:00:00 AM

    Congratulations to NaTasja Jeter, a senior at Chapel Hill High School, today’s CHCCS CHAMPion! NaTasja was nominated by Benjamin Knight (CHCCS student), Lorie Clark (Coordinator for Student Leadership and Engagement), and Kate Kennedy (Director of Advanced Learning and Student Leadership).

    “Tasja is a strong leader in our school and district community, who effectively advocates for students’ needs. Recently, she, along with CHHS’s BBSU, CHS’s BBSC, and ECHHS’s LCSOC, organized a screening of “I’m Smart Too”, which was attended by district leaders and varied stakeholders. The event encouraged creative problem-solving, facilitated the sharing of ideas, and fostered connections between different people interested in improving racial inequities in the district.” - Benjamin Knight, student

    “NaTasja is an incredible young lady. Not only is she an outstanding student but she is a social justice advocate for students and the community. She has volunteered in various capacities with local organizations and stays busy as a student advocate. She is a member of YLI, TigerLinks, co-founder of Black and Brown Student Union and CHHS SIT.” - Lorie Clark

    “NaTasja is an outstanding senior at Chapel Hill High. She was selected to attend Governor's School last summer and she is also our Gifted Program Advisory Council Student Representative. She leads with joy and strength and puts the needs of her classmates into the center of all she does.” - Kate Kennedy

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  • Alejandro Huerta, Lead Custodian at Frank Porter Graham Bilingüe Elementary

    Posted by CHCCS on 5/26/2022 7:00:00 AM

     

    Congratulations to Alejandro Huerta, Lead Custodian at Frank Porter Graham Bilingüe Elementary School, today’s CHCCS CHAMPion! Alejandro was nominated by Principal Karen Galassi-Ferrer and Assistant Principal Kat Rangel. “‘Mr. Alejandro’ is such an integral part of FPGB, I know this paragraph won't even begin to show how much he means to our school. As lead custodian, he takes pride in ensuring our school is clean and functioning well each and every day - and in a school as old as FPGB, that is not easy!! He doesn't want our school to just be clean, but to be beautiful and takes on added painting projects to brighten our space--from the joyous yellow in the admin offices, to our fun multi-colored wall and even the cute tree bench he built and painted.  He is wonderful with our students (and staff!) and was invaluable in several situations with students in crisis. He brings joy every day to FPGB!”

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  • Gabriel Graña, Media Specialist at Smith Middle

    Posted by CHCCS on 5/24/2022 7:00:00 AM

     

    Congratulations to Gabriel Graña, Media Specialist at Smith Middle School, today’s CHCCS CHAMPion! Gabriel was nominated by CHCCS students Nicholas Nolan, Alexandra Jamieson, and Ella Levy, as well as ELL teacher Christiaan Van Jimenez.

    “He tries his hardest to make the library the safest space in this school. He's been making us happy by speaking up for us.” - Nicholas Nolan

    “He's a great librarian and a great ally to the lgbtq+ community! He's very kind to people and hosts events like Harry Potter Week.” - Alexandra Jamieson

    “He supports LGBTQIA+ unconditionally, he steps out of the way to support pride month and he's always very helpful and kind.” - Ella Levy

    “In addition to being our amazing bilingual librarian, Mr. Graña has worked tirelessly to make Smith Middle School the most inviting place it can be. He has opened the library to students every minute of the day and has made it a safe space for everyone. He works to help students make connections with others to support their emotional as well as intellectual growth. He supports the ESL, EC, and AIG departments, jumps into classes, leads sessions in the library, and makes it a mission to cultivate a love of reading everywhere he goes. During the pandemic he reached out to and facilitated virtual meet and greets with authors. He continues to work with the Equity Team to bolster representation in our school community and curriculum.” - Christiaan Van Jimenez

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  • Stevie Crownson, a Floater Custodian at Lincoln Center

    Posted by CHCCS on 5/23/2022 7:00:00 AM

    Congratulations to Stevie Crownson, a floater custodian at Lincoln Center, one of three employees from Operations nominated by Executive Director of Capital & Facilities, Eric Allen. Bobby Woodard and Lay Po were also recognized and have been featured in previous CHAMPions posts. They received their CHAMPions award at the April 21 Board of Education meeting. Mr. Allen said of the trio, “These three gentlemen display the character that embodies what school districts should be about. They are extremely hardworking. Everyday they exhibit the servitude that is required of everyone in the arena of public education. They do not complete tasks for individual praise but for the betterment of the students and the district. In my time here in CHCCS, I have received emails from principals, teachers and community members highlighting the great things that these men accomplish on a daily basis. CHCCS would not be as great as it is without these gentlemen.” 


    Mr. Crownson, a graduate of Chapel Hill High School, first worked for the district as a contracted night custodian. He was then the Head Custodian at Glenwood Elementary. After winning employee of the year honors and a short hiatus last year, he returned to his “Family” as a floater custodian at Lincoln Center.

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  • Patty Moore, School Social Worker at Glenwood Elementary

    Posted by CHCCS on 5/20/2022 7:00:00 AM

    Congratulations to Patty Moore, School Social Worker at Glenwood Elementary School, today’s CHCCS CHAMPion! Patty was nominated by fellow School Social Worker, Wendy Johnston. “Patty is an exceptional member of the Glenwood Team. She worked diligently to maintain a strong relationship with all families while remote. She regularly reached out to incoming families to establish a personal relationship with each so they had someone with whom to connect and ask questions. She is the leader of the MTSS Committee and works daily to support teachers in data collection and child find concerns. Patty has a vision for students which includes building not only great educational experiences, but also healthy thinking and strong interpersonal skills. Patty looks at the daily work of being a School Social Worker in the broad scope of growing happy families and strengthening the community.”

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  • Andres Reinosa, Second Grade Dual Language Teacher at Carrboro Elementary

    Posted by CHCCS on 5/19/2022 7:00:00 AM

    Congratulations to Andres Reinosa, Second Grade Dual Language Teacher at Carrboro Elementary School, today’s CHCCS CHAMPion! Andres was nominated by CHCCS parent Sara Garcia, who said “Excelente maestro.” Dual Language Coordinator Gina Bachelor added, “The level of mutual respect between him and his students is exceptional. The environment he creates allows for every student to learn. He is able to bring abstract concepts into concrete examples, and his students use content-specific Spanish so well that it’s hard to identify the native speakers from the non-native speakers.”

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  • Ellen DePinto, Third Grade Teacher at Morris Grove Elementary

    Posted by CHCCS on 5/18/2022 7:00:00 AM

    Congratulations to Ellen DePinto, Third Grade Teacher at Morris Grove Elementary School, today’s CHCCS CHAMPion! Ellen was nominated by CHCCS parent Lindsay Bedford. “Ms. DePinto is a third grade teacher who finds a way to meet each of her students exactly where they are. Her biggest strength is really knowing everything about her students and then helping to build them up in many areas that might not necessarily be academic, but are essential to their learning and success in school. For example, Ms. DePinto strongly values independence - in assignments, as a participant in group work, with executive functioning skills, and social emotional regulation. In each of her students, Ms. DePinto finds areas such as these that can be improved on and gives her students individualized strategies to help them learn and grow. Thank you Ms. DePinto, for valuing each of your students and helping them become the best version of themselves!”

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  • Lay Po, Head Custodian at Lincoln Center

    Posted by CHCCS on 5/17/2022 7:00:00 AM

    Congratulations to Lay Po, Head Custodian at Lincoln Center, one of three employees from Operations nominated by Executive Director of Capital & Facilities, Eric Allen. Bobby Woodard and Stevie Crownson were also recognized. Bobby was featured in April and Stevie will be featured in a future CHAMPions post. They received their CHAMPions award at the April 21 Board of Education meeting.

    Mr. Allen said of the trio, “These three gentlemen display the character that embodies what school districts should be about. They are extremely hardworking. Everyday they exhibit the servitude that is required of everyone in the arena of public education. They do not complete tasks for individual praise but for the betterment of the students and the district. In my time here in CHCCS, I have received emails from principals, teachers and community members highlighting the great things that these men accomplish on a daily basis. CHCCS would not be as great as it is without these gentlemen.” 

    Mr. Po’s began his career at CHCCS as a custodian at Carrboro Elementary School. He transferred to Lincoln Center as the Head Custodian at Mr. Woodard’s urging.

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  • Agnes Bernasconi, First Grade Teacher at Rashkis Elementary

    Posted by CHCCS on 5/16/2022 7:00:00 AM

    Julie Werry states, “‘Mrs. B’ as she is called is an amazing CHAMPion teacher! She is intentional about meeting every student where they are and emphasizing their strengths while at the same time gracefully addressing their challenge areas. She takes time to recognize students for the wonderful connections they are making to what they are studying. She takes pleasure in seeing that what her students learn in the classroom carries beyond the walls of the building and impacts them in their own worlds. She is a wonderful person, teacher and mentor especially during these times! My family is grateful to her and has relied on her heavily!”

    Whitney and John Martin added, “Ms. Bernasconi leads her 1st grade class with incredible enthusiasm, grace and compassion. Each day she points out ways she ‘made a mistake’ or is ‘learning new things’ so that her classroom is a place of courage and growth. I can think of countless days that her leadership lifted up my daughter and also myself.”

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  • Bobby Woodard, CHCCS Custodial Supervisor

    Posted by CHCCS on 4/29/2022 7:00:00 AM

    Bobby Woodard

    Congratulations to Bobby Woodard, CHCCS Custodial Supervisor, one of three employees from Operations nominated by Executive Director of Capital & Facilities Eric Allen. Lay Po and Stevie Crownson were also recognized and will be featured in future CHAMPions posts.

    They received their CHAMPions award at the April 21 Board of Education meeting. Mr. Allen said of the trio, “These three gentlemen display the character that embodies what school districts should be about. They are extremely hardworking. Everyday they exhibit the servitude that is required of everyone in the arena of public education. They do not complete tasks for individual praise but for the betterment of the students and the district. In my time here in CHCCS, I have received emails from principals, teachers and community members highlighting the great things that these men accomplish on a daily basis. CHCCS would not be as great as it is without these gentlemen.” 

    Mr. Woodard’s first position at CHCCS was as Head Custodian at Glenwood Elementary School before transferring to Facilities and Maintenance in Central Office. He is in his 27th year of service!

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