Annick Cooper, third from right, was named Teacher of the Year and teaches at the Rick Marcotte Central School. She is shown here with, from left, RMCS Principal Brent Coon, Cooper’s family and friends, and far right, Superintendent David Young.

“The work you do matters, each and every day” School district teachers, staff honored at annual convocation

Home » Education » “The work you do matters, each and every day” School district teachers, staff honored at annual convocation

Thursday August 30, 2018

The excitement and enthusiasm of South Burlington School District faculty and staff was palpable as hundreds gathered for the annual district convocation at the high school on Aug. 24. 

The din of conversation and catching up filled the lobby of the school as teachers greeted each other over coffee after a long summer break.

The crowd then moved into the auditorium for the convocation, where the new Director of Educational Learning Mike Martin led off by introducing a long list of new hires in the district.

Then it was on to the recognition of years served, including presentation of awards for 10 years of service, 20-years, 30 years, 35 years, and finally, 45 years of service. Teachers Annick Cooper of the Rick Marcotte Central School and Debra Gurwicz of Orchard School, and custodian Jeffrey Hendee of The Chamberlin School each had 30 years with the district. Orchard School English teacher Janet Hayden was recognized for 35 years of service, and high school physical education teacher Sheila Burleigh was honored for her 45 years of service to the district.

Cooper had a big day, also winning the UVM Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award, along with Frederick H. Tuttle Middle School’s Michael Hoffman.

Chamberlin School Paraeducator Cathryn Blanchard won the Dominic Marabella Support Staff Award.

The Theodore Manazir School Board Award went to Rick Marcotte English teacher Carol Blakely. The award is named for longtime South Burlington School Board Chair and Clerk Theodore Manazir, who passed away in 2013.

Once the award presentations were completed, Superintendent David Young addressed the educators and staff assembled.

“I am proud of all of you,” Young said. “The work you do matters, each and every day.”

In describing the unified vision of the school district, Young said the starting place is inspiring ALL learners to make a difference in the world. He listed the number of programs the district has in place to address the different types of students and the ways they learn, including Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, mentoring, Personalized Learning Plans, and others.

He went on to say that he is concerned that faculty and staff members may “shut down” if they feel they must understand, embrace, and apply the lessons of those programs quickly, and offered some words of advice.

“This is where we’re on familiar ground,” he said. “We already know how important it is to build caring, trust-filled relationships with one another. We’ve been working on that since our district was founded almost 50 years ago, and we continue to work on it as we welcome new staff, new students, and new families.”

So how did Young propose that his staff and faculty move toward learning new skills and programs?

“Our trust in one another allows us to be in growth mindset rather than a fixed mindset,” he said. “We can find the courage to ask the questions. We believe we have the ability to learn. It’s work over time. It requires remaining curious.”

This was Young’s formula for dealing with hate in school, inequities in education, and bridging the divide between disparate groups, likening the school staff to gears working together: Reach out to one another.

“For our schools to continue to be wonderful places for our students and staff to learn and grow,” the superintendent said, “and for us to address the most pressing challenges in our world today, — safety, equity, racial and social justice, mental health and well-being, to name a few, our gears must work together. The result when this happens is nothing short of magnificent.”


SOURCE: Lee Kahrs, The Other Paper

Convocation • Aug. 24, 2018

Administrators, teachers, and support staff who have completed 10 years of service

Dega Anak, Custodian, RM Central School
Erin Bahrenburg, Elementary Teacher, Orchard School
Aili Beeli, Guidance Counselor, Orchard School
Deborah Bennett, Consulting Teacher, High School
Kellee Carman, Data Manager District
Benjamin Clark, Consulting Teacher, FHT Middle School
Matthew Dransfield, Science Teacher, High School
Kerry Farrell Nurse Chamberlin School
Katelyn Floyd, Language Arts Teacher, FHT Middle School
Sarah Gladstone, Paraeducator, Orchard School
Julie Herr, School Psychologist District
Jiri Hladik, Transportation Services District
Heidi Hopper, Paraeducator, RM Central School
Ann Knox, Reading Teacher, Orchard School
Jason Lorentz, Language Arts Teacher, High School
Bart Miceli, Director of Facilities District
Susan Neill-Coolidge, Nutritional Services, High School
Lobsang Norbu, Head Custodian, Orchard School
Charles Quavelin, Consulting Teacher, Orchard School
Laura Racine, Consulting Teacher, Orchard School
Kaitlyn Walcott, Elementary Teacher, Orchard School
Allyson Yandow, Administrative Assistant, Orchard School

Administrators, teachers, and support staffwho have completed 20 years of service

Edith Ainsley, Language Arts Teacher, FHT Middle School
Denise Alosa, Athletic Trainer, High School
Jennifer Boudreau, Elementary Teacher, RM Central School
Caliope Flickinger, Library/Media Specialist, Chamberlin School
Stephanie Hockenbury, Elementary Teacher, RM Central School
Michael Hoffman, Consulting Teacher, FHT Middle School
Nancy Hunter Rogers, Elementary Teacher, Chamberlin School
Sarah Meisenzahl, Social Studies Teacher, FHT Middle School
Erin Morse, Intensive Special Needs Teacher, RM Central School
Joanna Pecor, Elementary Teacher, Orchard School
Anjie Soucy, PE Teacher, FHT Middle School
Christine Tompkins, Building Custodian, High School
Sarah Vachereau, Elementary Teacher, Orchard School
Joannie Wales, Art Teacher, Chamberlin School
Heidi Western, ELL Teacher, High School

Administrators, teachers, and support staff who have completed 30 years of service

Annick Cooper, Elementary Teacher, RM Central School
Debra Gurwicz, Elementary Teacher, Orchard School
Jeffrey Hendee, Building Custodian, Chamberlin School

Administrators, teachers, and support staff who have completed 35 years of service

Janet Hayden, English Language Teacher, Orchard School

Administrators, teachers, and support staff who have completed 45 years of service

Sheila Burleigh, Physical Education Teacher, High School

SBSD Outstanding Teacher Recognition

Annick Cooper, Elementary Teacher, RM Central School
Michael Hoffman, Consulting Teacher, FHT Middle School

Dominick Marabella Support Staff Award

Cathryn Blanchard, Paraeducator, Chamberlin School

The Theodore Manazir South Burlington School Board Award

Carol Blakely, English Language Teacher, RM Central School