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Summit Education Celebration honors staff

KEYSTONE – The fourth annual Summit Education Celebration Saturday recognized Summit School District and Colorado Mountain College staff members for their work in education. Nine education staff were also recognized for outstanding contributions to the education and well-being of Summit students:

– Rebecca Wilson, Breckenridge Elementary: outstanding principal



Nominated by parents, students and teachers, this second-year principal demonstrates Breckenridge Elementary’s values of being safe, caring, respectful and inclusive. One student wrote, “She is safe by convincing us to be nice on the playground and in our classrooms. She is caring because when someone has a need, she listens. She is respectful because she respects our thoughts. She is inclusive because she sees that everybody can learn and play.” Many students nominated Wilson for her smile and for reading to a different class or grade every day.

Staff members wrote:



“When the bell rings to dismiss students, Rebecca stands by the front door saying good-bye and hugging students as they leave the building. She knows all 174 students by name.” – no name

“As a staff member, I know I can count on Rebecca’s support both in and out of the classroom. She bends over backwards to help us with anything needed to enable us to do our very best for our kids in the classroom.” – no name

Parents noted her leadership in steering the school toward excellence. One parent writes, “Kids know they can learn in a safe and comfortable environment. S It is through Mrs. Wilson’s positive values that our children are empowered to be the best they can be.”

n Dotti Augustine,

Dillon Valley Elementary: outstanding teacher

This learning resource teacher was nominated for her success in increasing reading and math skills in students, motivating students over the summer (exchanging postcards with her students if they write her letters) and going above and beyond outside the classroom (visiting homes to deliver work and materials).

One parents writes, “She has worked with my son for the past three years and continues to be the driving force behind the success of his learning. My son was reading at a preschool level and barely writing a full sentence in first grade. Now in third grade, he is reading at the middle of a second grade level and writing two paragraphs with ease.”

A fellow peer writes, “Ms. Augustine is an advocate for all of our students. She provides numerous positive experiences through the variety of learning strategies she uses. Recently I observed a group of her fifth-graders in a drama presentation, which is being made into an iMovie. The learning is obvious, the enthusiasm is contagious, and the outcome is exciting.”

– Kathy Swanson, Summit High School: outstanding teacher

Not only is this honoree a French teacher, but according to her nominators, Kathy “is the entire French department at Summit High School.” Her dedication stands out, and she has served as a role model for other foreign language teachers.

“I have been inspired by her passion for teaching high school students the nuances of the French culture and language, her boundless creativity with teaching and organizing extracurricular activities that teach cultural awareness, her eagerness to advance her learning, her acceptance of new ideas and change and her willingness to give 110 percent to her students and colleagues,” one teacher said. Another peer said, “Kathy brings the world into her classroom.”

Just recently, five French high school students attended Summit High School for two weeks, and next year, Kathy will take her students to France for an exchange.

– Faith Allis, Silverthorne Elementary: outstanding support staff

Nominated for her extraordinary people and organizational skills, this elementary school secretary knows the names of all 206 students and “who takes the bus home and who can go play at a friend’s house after school.” One parent volunteer wrote, “She quietly assumes her role as organizer, messenger, disciplinarian, school historian, copy person, gofer and greeter with great pride and has done so for 23 years.” Nominators noted Allis’ rapport with students and wealth of information. One nominator reported, “I honestly believe that Faith has an infinite number of file cabinets stored in her brain. She remembers (in great detail) events from years ago.”

– Karen Woodward,

Dillon Valley Elementary: outstanding support staff

Students, parents and fellow staff write about Woodward’s commitment to Dillon Valley Elementary School and its students, staff and parents. “Karen is a secretary who not only takes care of all the responsibilities associated with her position, but she also cares for each and everyone individually,” said a fellow staff member. One student wrote, “She takes care of loose teeth and phone calls. Mrs. Karen is a great Asset Builder because she always tries her best.” A parent said, “It means a lot to me that Karen goes above and beyond her job responsibilities to make the school a better place for my children.”

Karen has taken on responsibilities such as fundraising and ordering, processing and accounting for all new furniture and fixtures for the renovation – and all of this on top of her daily tasks. Said another peer, “I feel proud that Karen Woodrow is the first person visitors meet when they come to Dillon Valley Elementary. She exemplifies everything our school stands for.”

– Sarah Akerson,

Breckenridge Elementary: rookie of the year

Akerson is a new Kindergarten teacher at Breckenridge Elementary, and fellow peers and parents rave about her. “Ms. Akerson has completely changed my perception of the public school system in Colorado,” one parent wrote. “As a parent, it is such an overwhelming comfort to know that (my son) is receiving the help he needs and is enjoying the experience at the same time. (My son) has attended different schools, both private and public, and has never received the attention or help that he has at Breckenridge Elementary.”

One peer wrote, “As a teammate, I could never ask for a finer teacher. Sarah brings new ideas to our planning. She is creative and organized. Making decisions for the “best interest’ of the child is certainly Sarah’s motto.”

She creates a fun and caring learning environment while meeting the needs of kids too. “She has artistically and thoughtfully designed her classroom to function as a social and instructional area for the students. She has collaborated and sought assistance from special education, GT, literacy resource, other teachers and administration to meet the specific needs of her students.”

– Marie May, CMC: outstanding CMC employee

Administrative aide for CMC’s Dillon site, May has “been a pillar in the CMC organization for many years, providing top-notch service despite tremendous challenges.” With the remodel of the Dillon CMC site and three moves of the administrative offices, May has kept a sense of humor and strong work ethic, staff members say: “Marie’s leadership and pleasant, professional demeanor have kept the site functional and progressive. Marie has led the Dillon site to a new level of performance.”

She also goes above and beyond her duties. Lately, she has taken on accounting and technology work. When the accounts manager had to leave suddenly because family medial issues, “Marie stepped up to fulfill these duties without complaint. Marie demonstrated achievement through learning the duties of this new, additional role and demonstrated responsibility by performing both her job and the accounts manager job during this extended period.”

– John and Carol Krakauer, CMC: friend of education

Over the past six years, the Krakauers have made outstanding contributions to education financially through Colorado Mountain College’s developmental studies program. When they discovered a need for more advanced learning technology, the Krakauers donated PLATO and English Discoveries computer software. One teacher wrote, “Students loved learning on the computer. When asked why they liked using the software donated by Carol and John, one student responded, “I always feel like I’m making progress. It makes me feel successful!'”

Carol and John both visit Colorado Mountain College to see how their donations are affecting students’ education. “The Krakauers’ commitment and dedication goes beyond just writing a check to CMC and walking away. Their desire to see the students succeed is clear by their involvement in the program.”

The computers, software and technical assistance the Krakauers have provided for Colorado Mountain College and its students have paid off. “The students’ increased motivation and ability to learn quicker was clear. As a result, the success rate of students completing the program and completing their goals has increased.”

– Debbie Nelson,

Silverthorne Elementary: friend of education

An extraordinary parent, Debbie Nelson volunteers in the kindergarten classroom, serves on committees including the Design Advisory Committee for the new school, mobilizes other parents to attend town council meetings in support of the Cottonwood Park school site and organizes school events, including the Winter Carnival. “Debbie is a tireless supporter of our school. Her deep commitment to the well-being of our students and teachers is evident throughout Silverthorne Elementary,” one nominator wrote. Another wrote, “At Silverthorne Elementary, when something needs to get done, people turn to Debbie. Last year, our PTA president resigned on short notice, and Debbie agreed to take over.” Another wrote, “We can always count on Debbie to encourage the Silverthorne faculty when we need it most.”

The Summit Education Celebration is a community-sponsored event of the Business Education Alliance and Summit Prevention Alliance that recognizes all Summit School District and Colorado Mountain College employees by inviting them to a special evening that includes a banquet, awards ceremony, school showcase video and entertainment. The event not only honors current employees, but also pays tribute to retiring staff as well.

The Summit Prevention Alliance is a community-based nonprofit that promotes healthy lifestyles and behaviors through education and prevention services in Summit County. For more information about SPA or to make a donation, please call (970) 668-2077, or e-mail Spajeanie@cs.com.


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