From the Washoe County School District:
Applauding their outstanding contributions to the children and families of Washoe County, the Washoe County School District (WCSD) has named the Washoe County School District/Transforming Youth Recovery Principals of the Year, Teachers of the Year, and Education Support Professionals (ESPs) of the Year for 2017.
Principals of the Year are: Krissy Brown, Mt. Rose K-8 School of Languages; Stacey Ting, Sparks Middle School; and Tom Brown, Galena High School. Tom Brown was also recognized as the Principal of the Year for the entire District at a ceremony on Tuesday, May 2.
Teachers of the Year are: Cristy Fernandez, Lemmon Valley Elementary School; Mike Salgado, Shaw Middle School; and Janet Roberts, Procter Hug High School. Aaron Grossman, who teaches at Roy Gomm Elementary School, was selected as Teacher of the Year for the entire District.
Education Support Professionals of the Year are: Leta Medina, a strategies assistant at Lincoln Park Elementary School; Donald Judd, Print Shop supervisor; Randy Wales, custodian at Elmcrest Elementary School; and Joy Wilson, training coordinator in the Transportation Department.
Principals of the Year
Krissy Brown is a fourth-generation Nevadan who graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno with her bachelor’s and master’s degrees, and has finished all of her coursework for her educational doctorate at UNR. She came to WCSD in 1995 as a fifth-grade teacher at Sierra Vista Elementary School (now Dorothy Lemelson STEM Academy). She also taught at Mamie Towles Elementary School, and served as assistant principal at Spanish Springs, Sierra Vista, and Jessie Beck elementary schools. She implemented the first Dual Language Immersion program in WCSD at Beck, then implemented the District’s first K-8 Dual Language Immersion Program at Mt. Rose Elementary School, later renamed Mt. Rose K-8 School of Languages. Since 2012, she has served as commissioner for the Elementary Intramural Soccer League.
“Ms. Brown works tirelessly to make every student feel special at Mt. Rose,” said Richard Swanberg, the WCSD area superintendent who oversees the school. “She truly knows all her students by name and face.”
Stacey Ting is a fourth-generation Nevadan who graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno before earning her graduate degrees at universities in Washington State. She also served as a reading coach, curriculum specialist, and principal at schools there before returning to Reno as a principal at Libby Booth Elementary School. She was assigned to serve as principal at Sparks Middle School as the school family recovered from a tragic incident on campus in 2013.
“Stacey has worked with teachers, staff, and families to implement a vision at Sparks Middle School focused on improving student achievement and leveling the playing field for the entire student population through the implementation and support of core instructional practices, inclusive practices, strong Social Emotional Learning strategies and by placing students at the center of the school’s work,” said Dr. Roger Gonzalez, area superintendent for Sparks Middle School. “She actively involves staff members to improve systems, analyze school data, and set goals for increasing access to rigorous instruction for all students.”
Tom Brown earned recognition as the High School Principal of the Year and the Overall Principal of the Year for 2017. He has led Galena High School since 2006, and previously served as a math teacher and assistant principal at the school. He began working for WCSD in 1993.
“As principal of Galena High School, Tom Brown has established a welcoming, mutually respectful, and caring learning environment where students and adults are encouraged and inspired to bring their ‘A’ game each and every day,” said Dr. JoEtta Gonzales, area superintendent for Galena High School. “He has worked diligently to create conditions in which each student and staff member is valued and feels a sense of belonging. Tom’s dedication to the cultural and academic aspects of leadership are the primary deciding factors for his selection as the Washoe County School District High School Principal of the Year as well as our District’s Overall Principal of the Year.”
Teachers of the Year
Cristy Fernandez began her teaching career at Bailey Charter School in 2006, and came to Lemmon Valley Elementary School in 2008 as a fourth-grade teacher. Since 2009, she has taught fifth grade, and has pioneered the Social Emotional Learning (SEL) program at her school.
In nominating her for this award, Principal Erin Lane wrote, “… her teaching approach involves finding and using children’s unique strengths to help them overcome their struggles and develop a positive self-concept... Ms. Fernandez has inexhaustible energy, creativity, and is always student-centered and researched.”
Mike Salgado works in the Special Education Social Intervention Program at Shaw Middle School, and has worked in the special education realm since coming to WCSD in 2001. He has worked at Spanish Springs High School, Damonte Ranch High School, Sparks High School, and Cold Springs Middle School.
Shaw Middle School Teacher Assistant James Benthin nominated Salgado: “Mike’s class is not just a pleasure to be in, but also very much an honor… Mr. Salgado’s reputation and decorum with students and faculty is above reproach. Mike provides exceptional insights and assistance to all the staff at Shaw Middle School.”
Janet Roberts has taught social studies, U.S. history, and world history for WCSD since 2008 at Procter Hug High School. Currently, she serves as a classroom teacher and instructional coach.
“Janet Roberts is a phenomenal educator,” wrote Principal Lauren Ford. “That word may undersell her value to the students and staff at Hug High School. Her ability to connect to people, in a way that compels them to be better, is remarkable.”
Aaron Grossman began his career with WCSD in 2002, teaching elementary school and serving as a literacy coordinator and school improvement coordinator. He is currently teaching at Roy Gomm Elementary School.
“Aaron’s dedication and passion for teaching are infectious,” wrote his colleague Jennifer Noland, who nominated him for the recognition. “Aaron takes on each day with enthusiasm, a commitment to hard work, and the desire that his students will be career- and college ready.”
Education Support Professionals of the Year
Leta Medina has worked as teacher assistant and aide at several elementary schools since joining WCSD in 2004. Currently, she serves as a teacher aide at Lincoln Park Elementary School in Sparks.
“Having Leta as an aide in my classroom makes my job and the students’ lives abundantly better,” wrote Early Strategies teacher LaDawn Malone. “She is constantly coming up with new ideas and creative ways of helping our students succeed. She goes above and beyond for her classroom and co-workers on a consistent basis… I would be lost without her.”
Donald Judd supervises the WCSD Print Shop, and has worked for the District since 1989. He became supervisor in 2012.
The Office of Communications and Community Engagement nominated Judd: “He works early and late to ensure that we are able to do our jobs… He is professional and courteous, always willing to help whenever and wherever he’s asked. In a crisis situation, he is calm and reassuring to all of us, no matter what the situation or time of day… Because of Don, our team is able to be successful in providing communications backup for the District.”
Randy Wales began his career as a special needs bus driver for WCSD in 2011. He now serves as site facilities coordinator at Elmcrest Elementary School.
His colleague, Lani Xander, submitted his nomination: “His initiative in building relationships with staff and students these past two years should be recognized and commended, as each of them greet him daily and highly respect him… They absolutely admire him and are willing to assist whenever possible… He works with the community to collect items for our school’s Clothing Closet in case students need a change of clothes or need warmer ones.”
Joy Wilson has worked for the WCSD Transportation Department since 1997, first as a school bus driver and now as a training coordinator.
Her colleague, Andrew Gomes, nominated her: “[She has] excellent commitment to her position, tasks, and has embraced all of the changes we have made in the last few years. Joy volunteered to take on additional functions in the last year and has excelled with those additional job functions. She continues to display excellent passion towards her work, and continues to be innovative and looks for continuous ways to improve our training department.”
From the Washoe County School District