Congratulations, Outstanding Staff Award Recipients
At the August 21, 2023, Staff Opening Day, we announced the 2023-2024 Outstanding Staff Awardees. We are thrilled to announce the recipients! These dedicated individuals have consistently demonstrated exceptional service, commitment, creativity, and leadership, setting a remarkable standard for our organization. Join us in congratulating them for their outstanding contributions and dedication to our mission.
Outstanding Educator - Elementary Level: Jessica Henning
Jessica Henning, Grade 5 Instructor at the Intermediate School, has been selected as the Outstanding Educator at the elementary level for 2023-2024.
She holds a degree in elementary education from Penn State University. As the previous Math Committee Leader, Mrs. Henning used her expertise to develop lessons and an engaging curriculum and share them with her team. She planned and implemented meetings for grades K-6 and spent countless hours creating standards-aligned projects in math, science, and social studies.
With updated technology resources, Mrs. Henning moves her curriculum into new platforms and willingly volunteers to teach and create instructional videos to complement traditional lessons. Mrs. Henning is diligent about developing and maintaining a positive relationship with parents through face-to-face meetings and weekly email communications.
She promotes a positive climate for all students by recognizing a star student of the week. During PSSAs, Mrs. Henning creates daily inspirational sayings and provides a small treat to each student for added encouragement. Mrs. Henning is an active member of the Project TEAM Committee, meeting regularly to plan rewards for students and help organize events.
She plans and implements the 5th grade field day event each year and attends student events on weekends to support her students outside school.
Outstanding Educator - Secondary Level: Melissa Grim
Melissa Grim, Mathematics/Gifted/AP Instructor at the High School, has been selected as the Outstanding Educator at the secondary level for 2023-2024. Mrs. Grim holds a Master of Science degree from Western Maryland College, majoring in Curriculum and Instruction. Her professional teaching certificate is in Mathematics.
Mrs. Grim is a standout educator dedicated to providing her students with the best experience and education. She creates new lesson plans every year tailored around their needs. Evidence indicates that her AP scores are the best in the school and the top in the nation.
She serves as the academic lighthouse leader, a gifted seminar teacher, the mathematics department chair, and an advisor to the academic team. She is a Mini-THON liaison and advisor to the math competition team. She serves on the Spring Grove Area Scholarship Fund Board.
Mrs. Grim develops positive relationships with her students and their families. She attends student functions after school hours and travels to watch students participating in sports. She deeply cares about and connects with other staff and is trusted by the administration.
Outstanding Support Staff - District Level: Adrienne Arnold
Adrienne Arnold, Administrative Assistant to the Assistant Superintendent at the ESC, has been selected as a districtwide Outstanding Support Staff Member for 2023-2024.
In a word, Mrs. Arnold is a constant. She maintains an easy-going, steady attitude of grace, compassion, and understanding. She is warm and welcoming to everyone: co-workers, parents, visitors, and administrators.
Mrs. Arnold’s work is top-notch and always complete; her responses to inquiries are always thorough and efficient. She is a problem-solver. If she doesn't know an answer, she doesn't rest until she finds it. Her follow-through is swift and meticulous.
She pays attention to detail and assesses projects so that a full resolution can be experienced. She follows up with the requestor to verify full satisfaction. Mrs. Arnold is open to learning new equipment, technology, and strategies. She will tackle any obstacle head-on - - with poise - - and demonstrate a willingness to ask for - and receive - help.
She is a good listener, an excellent communicator, and a terrific friend. She can make anyone feel welcome and respected. She is an encourager and always willing to lend support. She is never too busy and will stop what she is doing to give her full attention.
Mrs. Arnold is described as the "real deal." She has a natural authenticity and doesn't have room for negativity. Her positive attitude and friendly demeanor make being in the work environment a true blessing.
Outstanding Support Staff - Elementary Level: Dody Tome-Kern
Dody Tome-Kern, Kindergarten Classroom Aide at Spring Grove Elementary, has been selected as the Outstanding Support Staff Member at the elementary level for 2023-2024.
Mrs. Tome-Kern works with English learner students in the classroom and goes above and beyond to meet the needs of many students. She provides check-ins with individual students who have experienced trauma. She is a champion for kids.
Mrs. Tome-Kern always has a positive attitude, takes the initiative to help, and notices when staff or students need a hug or positive note. She always finds a solution. She is willing to do whatever it takes to make the situation right. She has worked with migrant families to make them feel loved and welcomed.
Mrs. Tome-Kern advocates for kids. She has built supportive relationships with staff and students. She has an exceptional work ethic and fantastic communication skills.
She arrives early and stays late, covers for teachers without hesitation, and gives time outside of the required hours. Mrs. Tome-Kern is an exceptional member of our school community.
Outstanding Support Staff - Secondary Level: Angie Leese
Angie Leese, Emotional Support Classroom Paraprofessional at the High School, has been selected as the Outstanding Support Staff Member at the secondary level for 2023-2024.
Mrs. Leese goes above and beyond. In the classroom, she keeps documents and assignments organized for all students, not just the ones on her caseload. She has a very positive attitude and keeps it real with the students. She works diligently with seniors at risk to help them earn credit recovery, makeup work, or help them with their study skills.
Ms. Leese comes up with ideas for make-up projects and finds a way to coordinate times to meet varying student schedules. She has worked with 12th grade at-risk and special education students, supporting their completion of Act 158 and class requirements, helping with college applications, and obtaining industry-recognized credentials. A great number throughout the years owe their graduation to her dedication to helping them succeed.
Ms. Leese is the definition of a team player; she is in constant communication and collaboration mode with the team and works with all teachers to ensure they are kept in the loop about students. She has loyalty to the district, students, and teachers. She is honest, trustworthy, and sticks up for students.
Ms. Leese’s ability to create positive relationships with students (even the most difficult ones) is unmatched. She jumps in where help is needed - always with a smile - and lifts the spirits of those around her (staff and students alike). She can bring a smile to anyone’s face.