golden apple circle

STC will be highlighting faculty and staff, who have been nominated by their peers, in our newsletter throughout the year. We have great people in our schools and we want to let everyone know!

Do you know someone who brightens up the day just with their attitude?
How about someone who goes above and beyond for a peer, student or parent?
Is there a person in your building that always takes the time to help and share their expertise?
Maybe you just know someone you think is awesome and deserves a little recognition!

We want to here from you! Send us your nominations and we will select as many as we can to highlight in each newsletter throughout the year. Be creative, let your friends know you notice their hard-work, commitment and positive attitude and are grateful! Nominees will receive a certificate.

NOMINATE SOMEONE TODAY!

December 2016

Steven Zdrojewski-Technology Teacher Hamburg Middle School
Nominated by: Mary Ann Dates

Steven Zdrojewski, Hamburg Middle Tech Teacher
Steven Zdrojewski, Hamburg Middle Tech Teacher

Steven Zdrojewski is a 7th and 8th grade technology teacher at Hamburg Middle School who received tenure in August 2016. He has served as a member of building CORE team for the past 3 years and currently is the HMS web manager. Steve extends his passion for educating our students by Advising nature Club which grows fruits and vegetables in raised garden beds on school grounds and works to maintain and beautify the school and entrance to Howe field with flower planters. Recently he worked with another department colleague and a group of students in Tech Wars where they competed in the trebuchet pumpkin launch in Clarence–which the team took 2nd place.  Steve is a wonderful addition to our Bulldog community and is well deserving of a “Golden Apple”

Character Traits Observed: Creativity – Generosity of time/resources – Patience – Sincerity

AshleyDigati, Special Education Teacher Hamburg High School 
Nominated by: Sue Williams (photo not available)

I have worked with Ashley Digati for a short time beginning this year in September.  In that time I’ve learned that she is a very dedicated teacher who puts in an enormous amount of time dedicated to not only educating, but also caring for her students. She is consistently smiling and energetic as she instructs in the classroom and in afterschool activities  for her students. She is polite and kind to everyone who enters her classroom.  Ashley directs the DAWGs club at the HS with enthusiasm making everyone feel like they are a part of something that makes a difference.  Although I’ve only known Ashley for a short time, I feel as though she makes a great impact on her students both in the classroom and afterschool.  That is why I  nominate her for a Golden Apple. 

Character Traits Observed: Compassion – Creativity-Dependability – Determination- Discretion-Enthusiasm – Flexibility, adapting to change in a positive way – Generosity of time/resources – Gentleness – Initiative – Joyfulness/Morale Booster-Patience – Resourcefulness – Sincerity – Wisdom

Genevieve Federick, Teacher Hamburg High School
Nominated by: Michael Mancuso (photo not available)

Genevieve Federick takes her p5 planning period and heads down to the wellness center and works out with Mrs. Tanski’s class.  She truly seems to enjoy this and I am absolutely positive Mrs. Tanski’s students love seeing her there.  What a great arrangement for both parties involved.

Ms. Federick is a special person.  She is not looking for recognition.  Which, I feel, is the best time to recognize her.

Character Traits Observed: Availability/Mentorship – Compassion – Dependability – Determination   Discretion – Enthusiasm – Flexibility, adapting to change in a positive way -Generosity of time/resources-Gentleness – Initiative – Joyfulness/Morale Booster – Patience Resourcefulness – Sincerity – Wisdom

Sue McPherson, Teacher Aide Hamburg High School
Nominated by: Rachel Kent (photo not available)

Sue McPherson has been the Teacher Aide in charge of Hamburg High School’s In School Suspension room for over a decade. In that time, Mrs. McPherson has been able to use her position to form supportive, caring relationships with some of the hardest to reach students in the building. Throughout her day, Mrs. McPherson uses her past experience as a Social Worker to talk to students about their actions and choices, hoping to help them turn a corner and make better choices. Throughout her tenure in the In School Suspension Room, Mrs. McPherson has never lost her enthusiasm for helping students– even on the challenging days. Mrs. McPherson deserves this award because of her unwavering commitment to the belief that every student has a bright future ahead of them.

Character Traits Observed: Compassion – Creativity – Dependability – Determination – Discretion-Enthusiasm – Flexibility, adapting to change in a positive way -Generosity of time/resources-Gentleness – Initiative-Joyfulness/Morale Booster – Patience – Resourcefulness – Sincerity – Wisdom

Matthew Meader, ELA Teacher Hamburg High School
Nominated by: Rachel Kent (photo not available)

Matt has been a teacher in the English Language Arts department for Hamburg High School since 2005. Since his first year at Hamburg, Matt’s enthusiasm for helping students to become better thinkers and writers was apparent. Matt is the High School’s Creative Writing and Advanced Placement English Language and Composition teacher.  Matt has been the advisor for the Hamburg High School Writer’s Guild– a creative writing club where students come to share their writing and work on producing the High School’s literary magazine– for over a decade. Matt is also the advisor for the High School’s student-lead newspaper. On top of that, Matt can be found working with the school’s Drama Club productions, helping to build sets and working behind the scenes in the Hamburg Teachers Association as a Building Representative. Matt’s dedication to the Hamburg School District and the betterment of its students deserves high praise.

Character Traits Observed: Availability/Mentorship – Compassion – Dependability – Enthusiasm-Flexibility, adapting to change in a positive way – Generosity of time/resources-Sincerity – Wisdom

Kim Zawadzki- Special Education Teacher Hamburg High School
Nominated by: Rachel Kent (photo not available)

Kim Zawadzki has been a Special Education teacher in the Hamburg High School Math department for many years. Kim is a model of professionalism and putting students first. Kim is always eager to help students improve their Math skills– even when it means spending time with students to help them reach a better understanding of the content during her lunch or planning period. In her non-instructional duties as a Special Education teacher, Kim maintains positive relationships with parents and students. Kim is always willing to try new strategies for working with parents, and is eager to share her successes with her fellow colleagues. Kim is deserving of this award not only for her interaction with parents and students, but for her willingness to take a leadership role within the Special Education department as the Special Education Department Leader for the 2016-2017 school year.

Character Traits Observed: Availability/Mentorship – Compassion – Dependability – Discretion-Enthusiasm – Flexibility, adapting to change in a positive way -Generosity of time/resources-Gentleness – Patience-Resourcefulness -Sincerity – Wisdom

October  2016

Elaine Turner-Art Teacher Big Tree Elementary 
Nominated by: Julia Bermingham

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I am thrilled to have the opportunity to nominate Mrs. Elaine Turner, art teacher at Big Tree, for the Golden Apple Award.  Mrs. Turner’s creativity and vision created our new Blue Ribbon Showcase, cozy calming area, and our Children’s art gallery.  Every creation comes from her heart and soul!

In addition to this, she is guiding our building  through new and exciting STEAM initiatives!  Mrs. Turner truly is our innovative and amazing “golden apple”.

Character Traits Observed: Creativity, Enthusiasm, Generosity of time, resources etc, Initiative

September 2016

Jenna Shea-Special Education Teacher, Frontier Middle School

Nominated by: Julia Bermingham
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I Nominate Jenna Shea for a “Golden Apple”!  She is a 6th grade special education teacher at Frontier Middle School who services students in math and social studies.  Jenna is a 1st year teacher who always shows patience, kindness, and enthusiasm when she works with her students.  She is  that teacher who always gives up her time to make sure all her students are comfortable and confident in anything they do.  She loves her students and motivates them to be their very best.

Character Traits Observed: Compassion, Enthusiasm, Patience

 

 

 

JUNE 2015

Lisa Sutton- 1st Grade Teacher, Big Tree Elementary School
Nominated by STC

STC recognizes Lisa Sutton, 1st Grade Teacher at Big Tree Elementary School for her enthusiasm for the Teacher Center’s professional resources.  Her book recommendations have helped us to strengthen our lending library.  Thank  you Lisa for your support of STC!
Character Traits Observed: Enthusiasm, Initiative, Joyfulness-Morale Booster and Generosity.

 

Gina Koteras-Teacher, K/1 Multi-age at Blasdell Elementary
Nominated by: Heidi Dvornski

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Gina Koteras with STC Director, Marianne Chiumento and three of her students.

Mrs. Koteras, a K/1 Multi-Age teacher at Blasdell Elementary is a wonderful asset to the Frontier Community.  Her gentle, kind demeanor is perfect for the young children she spends time with each day.  She is creative, thoughtful and each of her students always know how much they mean to her. 

She went above and beyond this year with a student who had a food allergy in her classroom.  Over the summer, she researched and purchased a book to help her students understand the allergy, which created the perfect environment for empathy and kindness.  She very easily could have casually mentioned the allergy and moved on hoping the children would take care of their friend.  Instead, she created a safe and  loving atmosphere where very young children learned what it meant to take care of each other.

She is most deserving of the Golden Apple Award.  Thank you for your consideration!

Character Traits Observed:  Compassion, Creativity, Enthusiasm, Gentleness, Joyfulness-Morale Booster, Patience, Sincerity, Wisdom

 

Jessica Rehac-Teacher Pre-K at EduKids (Hamburg)
Nominated by: Heidi Dvornski

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Jessica and student Luke, whose Mom nominated her for the award.

Ms. Jess is one of the most patient and kind teachers out there!  She takes each child’s unique personality into consideration when teaching and planning her day.  This is evident through the many individualized plans and lessons she produces each day.  She is never too busy to discuss a concern with a parent and goes out of her way to make them feel comfortable.  Most of all, Ms. Jess is compassionate, even with her most challenging students and makes each and every child in her classroom feel loved and comfortable.  She is a true gem in the field of education and her students are lucky to enter her classroom each day!

Character Traits Observed: Availability/Mentorship, Compassion, Determination/Overcome challenge, Enthusiasm ,Flexibility-Adapting to changes in a positive way, Generosity: of Resources, Time etc., Gentleness, Joyfulness-Morale Booster, Patience, Resourcefulness, Sincerity

 

 

 

 

 


Jolene Blood-English Teacher Frontier High School

Jeff Sortisio, Principal of FHS and Jolene Blood.
Jeff Sortisio, Principal of FHS and Jolene Blood.

Jolene Blood is an incredible English teacher at Frontier High School.  She inspires her students and they learn to appreciate literature.  She is approachable and has given her time during planning periods and after school to provide support for any student who asks.  Jolene has integrated new technology that make her lessons fun and engaging.

Character Traits Observed: Availability/Mentorship, Compassion, Creativity, Determination/Over challenges, Discretion, Enthusiasm, Flexibility-Adapting to changes in a positive way, Generosity of Time, Resources, etc., Gentleness, Initiative, Joyfulness-Morale Booster, Patience, Resourcefulness, Sincerity, Wisdom

 

 

 

 


Sara Pelonero- 2nd Grade Teacher, Blasdell Elementary School

Nominated by: Susan Maronski

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Sara accepting her award from STC Liaison Parker Reed.

Last year I was displaced from a grade level that I had taught at for 24 years and in order to stay in the building I love I had to accept a position in a grade level that was out of my comfort zone. I was devastated and began to question my confidence as a teacher for the first time in 20 years! Mrs. Pelonero went well above and beyond any colleague should have to in order for me to have a successful year.  She guided me daily, reassured me, shared her immeasurable wisdom, she was always patient and simply there to support me.  Sara treats her entire team this way, she shares everything and is an extremely talented teacher who deserves recognition. Sara goes above and beyond for her students each and everyday, she is extremely compassionate and her teaching ability is evident and obvious when you meet her students. I could go on and on, when I heard of this award she was the first person that came to my mind, she leaves a lasting impression. Teachers, students and the entire Frontier community are very fortunate to have her. I know I am, and I owe her a big thank you for making a difficult transition enjoyable, fulfilling and successful- thanks Sara!
Character Traits Observed: Availability/Mentorship, Compassion, Flexibility-Adapting to changes in a positive way, Generosity of Time, Resources, etc., Gentleness, Patience, Sincerity, Wisdom

 

 

Marilyn Radder-2nd Grade Teacher, Blasdell Elementary School
Nominated by: Amber Chandler

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Marilyn with student Oliver, whose Mom nominated Radder for the award.
Mrs. Marilyn Radder is a teacher for all the right reasons. In a test-obsessed culture, Mrs. Radder meets every educational challenge with great success but doesn’t let that get in the way of what true teaching means. She’s enthusiastic, compassionate, and patient in ways that the best teachers are. However, she’s more than that. Being able to encourage others to be their best selves–as individuals, not numbers–is where Mrs. Radder truly shines. Every student feels special, loved, protected, and smart. As a parent, I feel blessed. As a fellow teacher, I feel inspired to teach children, not a subject.

Character Traits Observed: Compassion, Creativity, Enthusiasm, Gentleness, Joyfulness-Morale Booster, Patience 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Robin Bartoo – Consultant Teacher, Boston Valley Elementary School

Nominated by: Erin Holstein

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Robin working with her students
Robin has been in this school for 25 years.  She is always a source of calm, caring, and cooperation.  We at BVS often refer to Robin as ‘Australia’ because when we are having a “horrible, no good, very bad day” we go to her and see the good in the day.  Robin deserves this Golden Apple Award because she is much of  the gold that shines in the valley!

Character Traits Observed: Availability/Mentorship, Compassion, Discretion, Flexibility-Adapting to changes in a positive way, Generosity of time, resources, ect., Gentleness, Joyfulness-Morale Booster, Patience, Sincerity, Wisdom

 

 

Mary Ann Dates – Science, Hamburg Middle School
Nominated by: Kaci Nowadly

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Mary Ann Dates with some of her students
All the work Mary Ann does to help people within our district, as well as other districts, receive there National Board Certification is commendable.   Mary Ann gives freely of her time and advice for this. She is also just a very kind and supportive person to both staff  and students.

Character Traits Observed: Enthusiasm, Generosity of time, resources, etc., Resourcefulness

 

 

Justine Springborn – Social Studies , Hamburg Middle School
Nominated by: Gigi Rush

Gigi Rush, nominator, with award recipient Justine Springborn.
Gigi Rush, nominator with Justine.

There is nobody quite like Justine Springborn! She is a seventh and eighth grade Social Studies teacher at Hamburg Middle School and has a laugh that is world famous. This is an educator that goes above and beyond for her students by her engaging lessons, passion for learning, and kindness to all.
On a daily basis you can hear Justine welcoming students and staff in the hallways. Her presence is felt throughout the school, as Justine is the running chair of our Sunshine & Hospitality committee and works her magic so that the entire school feels connected, supported, and celebrated throughout the rollercoaster of life we share together. She responds to life tragedies and celebrations with cards, chocolates, and flowers or balloons, emails or just checks in. Somehow she always knows the perfect gift in the moment.  As I write this, a coworker has just returned back to work from medical leave and emailed the staff to say thank you for her welcome back gift of flowers and a card. She wrote, “We all have a great advocate in Justine Springborn.  She represents us so well in always remembering to make each and every one of us feel special.” My thoughts exactly.
Justine also spearheads numerous field trips, chaperones extra-curricular activities, guides student teachers, and sits on multiple committees. Notably, she helps lead the Family Reading Night committee that, because of its popularity at the Middle School over the years, is now a district wide literacy celebration!
The Golden Apple Award was made for this extraordinary individual. She also serves as a mentor to at-risk students in the building, fostering meaningful and positive relationships.
There is no doubt that the entire Hamburg Middle School staff would support Justine for this nomination. We would love for her quiet efforts to be recognized for how important they are to each and every one of us. Thank you, Justine!
Character Traits Observed: Availability/Mentorship, Compassion, Creativity, Determination/Overcome challenges, Discretion, Enthusiasm, Flexibility-Adapting to changes on a positive way, Generosity of time, resources, etc., Gentleness, Initiative, Joyfulness-Morale Booster, Patience, Resourcefulness, Sincerity, Wisdom. 

Kathy Battin – Counselor, Hamburg High School (photo not available)
Nominated by Kaci Nowadly

Wow, the effort she puts forth to help provide Thanksgiving meals for Hamburg Families in need every year.  She gives of her time and I am sure her own money with out question.  Families are not turned down instead they get an incredible feast!  I don’t know how many hours she puts into this but this year when four meals were not picked up I know she personally drove the meals to the families that requested them.  She does great things with our students and the character club.
Character Traits Observed: Compassion, Enthusiasm, Generosity: Time, Resources, etc., Gentleness, Joyfulness-Morale Booster, Resourcefulness, Sincerity. 

Lori Raybold –  English Teacher, Hamburg High School (photo not available)
nominated by-Nicole Lesinski

Lori Raybold is both a model citizen and educator. She is loved by both staff and students at HHS. Her gentle, kind personality can be seen in her everyday actions; from keeping a “food stash” under her desk for hungry teenagers in her classes to boosting morale by coordinating our annual holiday party. She not only devotes great time and effort to her students, but she also takes an active role in the “remembrance committee” by collecting money and sending gifts to staff members who are ill.

Additionally, Lori has NEVER forgotten an English Department member’s birthday. Each year she buys cards for every English teacher and passes them around to be signed by all of the department members on that person’s birthday!Lori, does all of this, an so much more, all while taking care of her ailing mother in Pittsburg and recently grieving the passing of her father. She does all of this quietly and modestly; humble by nature and never, ever complaining. She is a model of strength, courage, caring and compassion, and is definitely deserving of this recognition.

Character Traits Observed: Availability/Mentorship, Compassion, Determination/Overcome challenge, Discretion, Generosity: of Time, Resources, etc., Gentleness, Initiative, Joyfulness-Morale Booster, Patience, Sincerity

 

Laurie Rettig – Classroom Teacher Aide, Armor Elementary
Nominated by: Antionette Montagna

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Mrs. Rettig with her students

Laurie Rettig is a classroom aide at Armor Elementary School, but that only begins to describe the value that she brings to everyone she works with at our school and in our community.  Laurie’s creativity is unmatched!  She shares this talent with others in a multitude of ways. Her artistic ability and influence can be seen throughout the hallways and classrooms at Armor school.  She uses it to reinforce concepts or to create engaging opportunities for student learning.  Laurie even created a school song, that is often played on the announcements that reflects the community spirit and pride that embody Armor School.  Laurie is an observer.  She is always looking for ways to help others, especially the students she works with.  Maybe it’s her mother’s intuition, perhaps it is her attention to detail, or even her compassionate nature that allow her to be so in tune with student needs.  She gives every bit of herself each day to ensure that each child she works with gets what they need academically, socially and emotionally.  Laurie takes pride in what she does because she sees the value in helping children achieve their highest potential.  The students in my class love when they get to work in a group with Mrs. Rettig, because even as fourth graders, they know the compassion and dedication they get when working with her.    Laurie can be seen attending board of education meetings in Hamburg regularly because she cares about her community and wants the best for her students! She goes above and beyond her job description every single day! Mrs. Rettig not only serves as a role model for students, but she’s the type of person that adults look up to as a mentor in character, creativity, dedication and passion for education. Armor School is very blessed to have Mrs. Rettig.  Please consider acknowledging her dedication by awarding her with the Golden Apple.

Character Traits Observed: Availability/Mentorship, Compassion, Creativity, Determination/Overcome challenges, Discretion, Enthusiasm, Flexibility-Adapting to changes on a positive way, Generosity of time, resources, etc., Gentleness, Initiative, Joyfulness-Morale Booster, Patience, Resourcefulness, Sincerity, Wisdom. 

Anna Love – School Nurse, Blasdell Elementary School
Nominated by: Amber Chandler

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Anna Love is an absolute God-send. She treats students who come to her with serious illnesses, and those who just might need an encouraging word with the same dignity and respect. School can be difficult. School when you are not feeling well is overwhelming. She is always patient, and sweet to the kids, even when the waiting room is full.

In addition, Anna has helped me with her wisdom. As a parent, you don’t always know what to do with the sniffles or bellyaches, but it was Anna who told me when my child needed more medical attention, and it really impacted our life. Anna embodies all that is good about nurses–compassionate, problem-solver, patient, and gentle. It is with sincere appreciation that I nominate Anna Love.

Character Traits Observed: Compassions, Gentleness, Patience, Wisdom
Patricia Antonick – Microcomputer Repair Technician, Hamburg Central School District
Nominated by BethAnn Walters
I am nominating Patricia Antonik, Hamburg Central Schools’ Microcomputer Repair Technician, for the Golden Apple Award.  In 2016, all educators have realized the value and importance of implementing technology into our curriculum.  We use it everyday to plan, communicate, and to motivate our students!  Technology is great until something goes wrong, and then we are all stuck in a world where the best plans come to a screeching halt!

Patricia is always an email or phone call away whenever there is a staff or student need.  She shows compassion and patience as she listens to the issue and trouble shoots what could be the cause and the solution.  Do you need a new app installed on an iPad?  Did your laptop stop working?  Are you in need of a protective case?  Is your screen on your chromebook showing, “funny things?”  When you contact Patricia you are trustworthy hands.  If she can’t solve your problem immediately, she gives you a timeline of when she can meet you.  She travels without complaint between schools to provide personal assistance.   She welcomes all questions with enthusiasm and professionalism.

Patricia Antonik is deserving of this nomination because of her wisdom, patience, and professionalism with staff and students to manage the challenges of technology.

Character Traits Observed: Availability/Mentorship, Enthusiasm, Flexibility, Generosity, Initiative, Patience, Resourcefulness, Wisdom