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News from 2020-2021

Posted: October 23, 2020

October's Outstanding Employees

This month's honorees include an assessment manager, middle school counselor, middle school principal and the district's Senior Director of Nursing.

Congratulations to October's honorees:

  • Melissa Arellano, Assessment Manager
  • Linda Cage, Counselor at Grant Middle School 
  • Stacia Duarte, Principal at Ernie Pyle Middle School
  • Judith Edwards, Senior Director of Nursing 

The honorees are being featured on the APS electronic billboards around town and will be recognized by the APS Board of Education, receiving a lasting memento of the honor.

Learn More about October's Honorees

Melissa Arellano, Assessment Manager

Melissa is incredibly knowledgeable and is always able to help -- and to help quickly! She never makes people feel silly for asking questions, and she is kind, hard-working, and patient. 

"I must email her 30 plus times a year for help and support with various problems myself or our staff has encountered, and she always is able to fix the problem!" said Theresa Muxworthy, Transformational Coach at Hawthorne Elementary School.

Linda Cage, Counselor at Grant Middle School 

Linda is a positive force at Grant. She excels in her relationships with students, staff, and families. She has gone above and beyond by reaching out to students for one-on-one counseling, group counseling, schedule creations, and adjustments. She continually reaches out proactively and reactively to families. And Linda's rapport with staff is out of this world. She always makes time for everyone and greets all with a smile and warm welcome each and every day.

"Linda's work ethic is superb by putting in more than her scheduled hours," said Grant Clerk Lori Johnson. "One can always count on her to be working either online or in person. Her kind nature and huge heart are what makes her shine even brighter."

Stacia Duarte, Principal at Ernie Pyle MS

Stacia cares about all students, all teachers, and all staff as if they are her family. She works extremely hard, making sure to answer what seems like thousands of emails every day while still keeping up with meetings, people coming in and out of her office, and any other things she may have going on.

"I have no idea how Stacia has the time and energy to do everything she does every day, but she does and always has a smile on her face," said Kai Jin, a math teacher at Ernie Pyle. "She makes sure to remind us every day that we are not alone and that she is always there with her door open. Stacia does not just say she cares about the staff; she acts upon it too."

Judith Edwards, Senior Director of Nursing 

Judith has been the point of contact for all of us as we navigate the health
pandemic. Since March, she has been actively working with employees,
the Department of Health, and all agencies to make sure we are able to keep
our staff and students safe. She has been in charge of main communications and response for our District with any positive COVID cases and constantly works to update systems to be responsive and safe.

"Judith has maintained such calm and responsiveness during the
pandemic and gained a level of trust amongst the District to help us all
navigate the pandemic from a smart and safe health perspective.


How to Nominate an Employee

You can nominate an employee by filling out an online application. The nomination must be completed by someone other than the nominee (i.e., no self-nominations are eligible for consideration).

 Award recipients will be selected monthly by a Peer Praise Task Force.