The Silver Falls School District has a dedicated team of people in many different areas who make sure our schools run smoothly and efficiently. In recognition of classified employees week, March 7 – 11, the school board recently adopted a resolution to honor our committed SFSD employees who work in a variety of support roles. To view the resolution, please visit the Silver Falls School District website. We asked a few of our principals to tell us about a classified staff member or team at their school who consistently go above and beyond the call of duty.
“Debbie Wiesner started in the Eugene Field library 23 years ago and now ‘runs the place’ as our office manager,” said Principal Jennifer Hannan. “With over 300 families and 60 employees at EF, there is inevitably some issue that needs to be addressed immediately. Debbie is great at listening, calming and solving. Whether we don’t have a substitute coming, a child forgot to get off the bus and is riding on to places unknown, or there is no paper to make copies for class right now . . . Debbie can handle it. She takes great care of all of our kids, families and staff and does it lovingly, patiently, and in a way that makes everyone feel like part of the team.
Principals Bob and Heidi Ostrom want to recognize all Evergreen School classified staff. “As a group, they are exceptional,” the principals said. “As a whole they work very effectively together. They voluntarily fill in for one another on a moment’s notice. They are flexible and responsive to needs as they arise. They bring outside resources from home to support student understanding and learning. They are able to offer constructive and creative suggestions. They openly ask teachers how they might improve their performance. They attend evening events to support teachers and students and they willingly take on extra responsibilities when needed. In short, our classified folks allow our teachers to teach in multiple-grade classrooms and they keep our school running smoothly.”
Silverton High School
According to Principal Mark Hannan, 25-year-employee Monica Hanson is in charge of the schools migrant students, students in transitional living situations and assists with the ELD program. She’s instrumental in assuring these students receive services and ultimately graduate from high school.
“Monica is personally responsible for helping many of our migrant ED and ELD students graduate from high school,” said Hannan. “She’s been here a long time and I’ve had the pleasure of working with her for the past 15 years. She’s just so valuable to our culture of success. She’s been doing this long enough that she’s impacted multiple generations of kids. When I think of SHS and success over the years I think of Monica. She is such a valuable part of this and it sometimes goes unnoticed because she’s so humble. She brings humility to the profession.”
“Sometimes it’s hard to measure the impact of incredible educators like Monica, but our 2015 graduation rates are a true testimate to her work,” said Superintendent Andy Bellando. “Our graduation rates for limited English students last year were more than 93%. This is higher than the state average and the highest yet for our district. Monica will give the students credit, but I giver her credit as well for her excellent work and dedication to our kids. She also helps students organize diversity celebrations and activities and get involved in community service projects.”
“We have a great classified team at Butte Creek, all around,” said Principal Kevin Palmer. “Our office staff (Susan Egbert and Sheila Zeis) probably don’t get the recognition they deserve, but of course really hold things together in just about every aspect of the school. They are the first people visitors see, and they manage so many different things … attendance, finances, nurse, keeping me on schedule, assisting everyone who walks in the office … the list just goes on and on.
“Marian Austin, a long time special needs assistant (SNA), works with such a wide range of students to help them succeed. She is well trained and very experienced; I’ve heard her referred to by a couple of teachers as “The Miracle Worker.” She has particular expertise in working with students with Autism.
“And then, Juanita Almada, our long time interpreter/translator, who works with students in classrooms, but also is our point person when it comes to communicating with our Spanish speaking families. She not only interprets what is said, but is also very, very adept at knowing what’s going on with certain students, so she can talk straight with a parent and really help them to understand what’s what. In fact, she is trusted to make calls and meet with parents on her own, and always does an excellent job getting our message across, which improves the home-school dynamic so much.”
“Robert Frost’s office team is amazing,” said Principal Leslie Roache. “Lynn Sprauer is being honored this year as a classified employee of the year. Pat Bauer has been honored in years past. Jennifer Wollersheim joined the team this year. These ladies offer a smile to every student and parent that walks into our building. They go out of their way to provide customer service for our Robert Frost community. One afternoon a bus broke down, and they stayed late to call every single family to make sure they knew their kids would be late. Their dedication to our students’ safety demonstrates our district’s culture of integrity, respect and services. Pat and Lynn show how much they care for our students and parents every single day, whether it is through attendance safety calling, helping students when they hurt themselves during recess, or even making sure they all get the correct afternoon notes so that each child gets home safely. Students and parents know that their students are safe at Robert Frost – which always helps increase attendance.”