Educators and Employees of the Year

Educators and Employees of the Year
Posted on 04/25/2018
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Joanna Kaiser, 3rd grade teacher at Bordewich Bray Elementary School, was honored last night as the Carson City School District’s Educator of the Year. Additionally, Franceska Quintana, para professional IV at Carson Middle School, was recognized as the Classified Employee of the Year for the district.

During the school board meeting and annual event, the Carson City School District also introduced two new awards. Gail Carothers, school nurse – Registered Nurse (RN) at Bordewich Bray Elementary School was honored as Health Professional of the Year, and Michele Lewis, vice principal – CTE at Carson High School was named Administrator of the Year.

Kaiser and Quintana were selected from 25 site winners including 11 teachers and 14 classified employees who were selected from peers and administrators from various sites and schools within the district. Health Professionals and Administrators of the year were selected from 4 nominations from 11 health professionals and 4 nominations from 26 school administrators. Each candidate endured a series of strenuous interview questions from a panel of comprehensive judges. Upon conclusion of those interviews, the panel then made the difficult decision of selecting “one” classified employee of the year, “one” educator of the year, “one health professional of the year and “one” administrator of the year.

Other Classified Employees and Educators of the Year winners recognized by their site and honored last night include Aracely Mejia Alverez, para professional ESL at Eagle Valley Middle School; Shannon Archer, distance education assistant at Pioneer High School; Magdalena “Janet” Ayala, para professional ESL – Pre-K at Empire Elementary School; Brandon Berry, senior groundskeeper for Operations; Michele “Shelly” Conger, kindergarten teacher at Empire Elementary School; Grace Greener, senior office specialists II at Carson High School; Jacqueline Gavuzzi, office manager at Fremont Elementary School; Andrew Hagen, 6th grade science teacher at Eagle Valley Middle School; Denise Hettrick, office manager at Seeliger Elementary School; Gina Hoppe, 5th grade teacher at Fritsch Elementary School; Alyssa Jensen, 3rd grade teacher at Mark Twain Elementary School; Cary Jordan, counselor at Pioneer High School; Kirstin Lloyd, analyst for Human Resources; David Lowe, CLS/special education teacher at Seeliger Elementary School; John Martin, ceramics teacher at Carson High School; Lori McDonald, para professional IV for Student Support Services; Hilary Mendeguia, 8th grade English teacher at Carson Middle School; Amie Oden, 1st grade teacher at Fremont Elementary School; Fabricia Quirarte, para professional ESL at Mark Twain Elementary School; Maria Rangel, office manager at Bordewich Bray Elementary School; Eva Reynolds, bus driver for disable students for Transportation; Natalie Tadjiveva, psychologist for Student Support Services; and Vera Trout, para professional IV (1:1) at Fritsch Elementary School.

Ms. Kaiser earned a Bachelor’s in Elementary Education from Oregon State University and began her teaching career in Douglas County from 1990-2002. She later earned a Master’s in Literacy Studies from the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) and began working for the Carson City School District in 2012 where she taught one year at Mark Twain Elementary before transferring to Bordewich Bray Elementary. She received an endorsement in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) in 2013 and later her Cognitive Coaching Training in 2016. Ms. Kaiser currently teaches a third grade GATE immersion class and is the GATE coordinator at Bordewich Bray Elementary. She is also pursuing her National Board Certification, which will be completed later this year.

Ms. Kaiser has received several awards throughout her teaching career. She recently won the Rotary “Teacher of the Month” award this past October, 2017, and the Ormsby County Education Association (OCEA) has recognized her on two separate occasions: the “Friend of Education” award in 2012 as well as the “Light of Education” award in 2015. In addition to last night’s award, as the District Educator of the Year, Ms. Kaiser will have the opportunity to compete statewide for Nevada Teacher of the Year.

For more than 5 years, Ms. Quintana has worked as a para professional IV at Carson Middle School. She is a product of the Carson City School District graduating from Carson High School in 2000. She earned a Bachelor’s in Educational Counseling from UNR in 2004. Before accepting her position at Carson City School District, she worked primarily with at-risk youth and elderly in lockdown facilities including the Jan Evans Juvenile Detention Center, West Hills and Willow Springs in Reno and the Carson City Juvenile Center and Carson Tahoe Hospital Medical Center geriatric unit. Ms. Quintana works to support some of the most challenging students so they are able to stay organized, focused and successful in their academic classes at Carson Middle School.

Ms. Lewis earned a Bachelor’s in Agriculture and Industrial Mechanics (Agriculture Education) from UNR in 1982 and taught agriculture science from 1983-1990 at Eureka County High School in Eureka, Nev. She worked as the tech prep coordinator for Western Nevada College from 1991-1996 as well as the executive director for Nevada’s FFA Association Foundation from 1996-2000. She later earned her Master’s in Educational Leadership from UNR in 2001 and went on to serve as the Workforce Development Manager from 2001-2002 at Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo, Calif. Later, she became the lead administrator for the Regional Technical Institute in the Washoe County School District from 2002-2005 before she came to work for Carson High School as the dean of students and administrator on special assignment for CTE programs from 2005 to present.

Heavily involved in community and civic activities, Ms. Lewis is the former president of the Nevada Association for Career and Technical Education, 2015-2016, and served as a member of the Douglas County School District’s Board of Trustees from 1996-2001. She was also previously awarded the “Award of Service for Outstanding Achievement and Dedication to Nevada CTE Programs” in 2013, the “Bill Trabert Memorial Award for Excellence in Occupational Education in Nevada” in 1997 and was recognized as Nevada’s “Outstanding Vocational Educator” in 1993.

Joining the Bordewich Bray Elementary School family in 2012, Ms. Carothers, RN, has more than 27 years of experience in the field of healthcare. She earned her nursing degree from Evergreen Valley College in San Jose, Calif. in 2003 and worked there in San Jose for Kaiser Permanente where she collaborated with physicians to plan and implement patient care. She also supervised 7-10 nurses while performing Charge Nurse duties on a busy telemetry unit. For the past 2 years, Ms. Carothers has worked at multiple school sites including Bordewich Bray Elementary, Empire Elementary and the Early Childhood Center at the School-Based Health Center.