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News from 2020-2021

Posted: October 1, 2020

September's Outstanding Employees

The latest group of employees honored by the APS Employee Recognition Program includes a payroll specialist, principal, dean of students and counselor.

Congratulations to September's honorees:

  • Rosemary Bien - Specialist, APS Payroll Department
  • Erika Montano – Special Education Principal, West Mesa High
  • Yvonne Salazar –Dean of Students, Jefferson Middle School
  • John Suazo – School Counselor, Inez Elementary School

The honorees are being featured on the APS electronic billboards around town, had an opportunity to lunch with Interim Supt. Elder, and will be recognized by the APS Board of Education, receiving a lasting memento of the honor.

Learn More about September's Honorees

Rosemary Bien - Specialist, APS Payroll Department

Rosemary was nominated by Linda Pasternacki after the school nurse went to payroll to take care of some paperwork. Here's what Linda wrote: 

"When I arrived at the Payroll Office, the door was open, but there was a sign stating that office hours were 8 a.m-4:30 p.m. Of course, I had arrived shortly after 4:30 p.m. However, I heard voices coming from an open office door. I explained my reason for being there and was politely directed to Rosemary. I apologized for arriving after hours, but Rosemary greeted me warmly, invited me into her office, and promptly addressed my concern...Rosemary went above and beyond to assist me with my request, and she was friendly, inviting, and efficiently dealt with my needs."

Erika Montano – Special Education Principal, West Mesa High

Erika is described as a person who does whatever is needed to support students and staff. She works with compassion and sensitivity for some of the district's most vulnerable and needy students. 

"I have worked for over 30 years in APS and I am proud to work with such a supportive and dedicated administrator who truly understands the needs of children and gives so much of herself and her time to help others," said Erika Novich who works in the West Mesa Special Education Department.  

Yvonne Salazar – Dean of Students, Jefferson Middle School

Jefferson parent Tammarra Lee nominated Yvonne because she puts others first and goes above and beyond by being available to address concerns not only during the school day but also evenings and weekends. Her strong work ethic is exemplified by her fair approach to solving a problem. Yvonne enthusiastically supports the mission of APS by always going by protocol and taking the time to explain the reasoning of the outcome.

"Ms. Salazar shows innovative leadership and passion for her work by taking parents' concerns seriously and immediately taking action as well as following up with communication," said Tammarra. "These traits that Ms. Salazar exercise elevate the image of public education."

John Suazo – School Counselor, Inez Elementary School

John goes above and beyond in every aspect of his job! He builds relationships with families and students when no one else can. He is compassionate, kind, thoughtful, and motivated to support families and students.

"He can work with any student, any family, any staff member, and always have a positive outcome," said Inez Principal Casey A Kadlec. "He is a true advocate for wellness." 

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.