“Staff of the Year Awards”
North Platte Public Schools Foundation - Press release
NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (KNOP) - The North Platte Public Schools Foundation is pleased to announce their 2020-2021 “Staff of the Year Awards.”
These exemplary district employees were honored at the Backyard BBQ on Friday, August 27th.
Teacher of the Year for Pre-K through fifth grade went to Warren Lannon. Mr. Lannon is a 5th grade teacher at Jefferson. The Principal Jeff Ellsworth stated in his nomination that Mr. Lannon isa positive male role model. He always remains calm and offers a great perspective to his students. He also organizes and participates in after school activities with students that are not in Kids Klub where they play games on the playground after school on his own time. Mr. Lannon also had a perfect attendance for the 2020-2021 school year. He is outstanding. Warren is a NPHS 2011 graduate and was hired in January of 2016 as a substitute. He started with the district in August of 2016 as a 4th grade teacher and moved to 5th grade the following year.
Teacher of the Year for sixth through twelve grade went to Ms. Sasha Welch who teaches math at North Platte High School. One of her nominations included the following: Sasha Welch is one of those teachers that can 100% be counted on to go the extra mile for every student that walks into her room. Whether it was during covid and she was zooming kids while they were in the middle of a field to help them understand their assignment, to creating countless videos to help her students fully grasp the material. She goes above and beyond to make students feel like they have a home in her classroom. She loves each and every student that walks into her classroom, and they become family. To see the atmosphere she has built in her room is amazing. Not every student is a huge fan of math, but they will work hard to ensure they don’t disappoint her. Sasha always does her best to assure each student has a learning experience that they can take with them. It is often said that students may not always remember the content of the class, but they do remember the impact of the teacher, and I can say for certain that Sasha Welch is one of those teachers that students will never forget. As her colleague, I am grateful to have her as one of the people I can go to for support and a laugh when I need it. She is a light that I am forever grateful for. Sasha is a 2004 graduate of NPHS. She was hired in 2009 as a 10th-12th grade math teacher at NPHS. She is currently the High Ability Learner (HAL) coordinator and has been involved in Continuous Improvement Teams.
Support Staff Person of the Year went to Mr. Mark Vahle at North Platte High School. Mark filled a position this year that came with an exponential learning curve. He has taken the responsibility as the main office administrative assistant and did it with grit, humor, and hard work. In spite of all the unknowns,constantly changing health mandates, and everything that we threw at him, he managed to get us through it all. He and his support team deserve huge kudos this year. Karen Malmkar. Mark was hired in 2014 as a paraprofessional with Special Education at NPHS. He recently moved from attendance administrative assistant to assistant to the Principal Scoot Siegel.
Bulldog of Excellence is awarded to one of the nine monthly recipients that is done throughout the year at North Platte Public Schools District. Every recipient is honored by Prairie Friends and Flowers with a bouquet of flowers or a bouquet of jerky or candy bars. Then various local businesses and donors sponsor a basket filled with goodies that are presented in a surprise manner each month. This year Ms. Kelli Sheets, English Learner coordinator was selected. She serves all of the district’s K-5 EL students in an instructional and educational setting ensuring that our students are receiving individualized English Learner services. The district has over 100 students with 15+ languages. This is just a small portion of her responsibilities.
There were two recipients for “Administrator of the Year”. Ms. Harmoni Wagner, Principal at Washington Elementary school. One of her nominations was from Mariah Mayfield who stated She is so great with the students and staff. You’ll always see her in the hallways and the kids aren’t afraid to talk to her or ask questions. She is easy to ask for advice and even help with a student or issue. She also always goes above and beyond to make sure her staff feels appreciated. She had made my first year at Washington amazing. I couldn’t have asked for a better boss. Harmoni was hired in 2006. She started working for the district as a Special Education Teacher before becoming Principal of Washington Elementary in 2019.
The Foundation also recognized Ms. Vikki Carlson, Director of Secondary Teaching and Learning. Kelli Sheets nominated Vikki because she exemplifies what a good leader is. She is a team player and wants everyone to find success. She is an advocate for students and teachers, and works each day to make NPPSD the best. In EL, she is my go-to, and she goes above and beyond to help me problem solve, work through issues, celebrate successes, and is always there for support. She puts relationships first, and it shows. Our district would not be where it is without her guidance. I don’t think she knows how appreciated she is, and how much she does, not only for EL, but our entire district. Thanks for always being our biggest fan. Vikki graduated in 1987 from NPHS. She worked as a Teacher for the district from 1996-2002. When she was rehired in 2006 she was a Teacher, Assistant Principal at the High School; Teacher, Assistant Principal at Adams Middle school then in 2016 accepted the position of Director of Secondary Teaching and Learning for the District.
Nominations for these outstanding staff members were made by students, parents, community members and employees from the North Platte Public School District. These awards recognize and encourage superior professional effort to improve instruction and to cultivate the continuation of education excellence in our schools. Teacher and Staff Member Award Winners received a plaque and a $250 cash award. Administrators received a plaque and $500 extra budget their building/administrative area. Congratulations to all of the six recipients.
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