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News from 2021-2022

Posted: January 20, 2022

January Outstanding Employees

This month's honorees include an educational assistant, family liaison, registrar, and elementary school principal.

Congratulations to January's honorees:

  • Doris Baldwin, Kindergarten Educational Assistant at San Antonito STEM Magnet Elementary School 
  • Valerie Hazelbaker, Family Liaison at Chaparral Elementary School
  • Helena Livingston, Registrar eCademy High School
  • Leith Page, Principal at Monte Vista Elementary School 

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 January's Honorees

Doris Baldwin, Kindergarten Educational Assistant at San Antonito STEM Magnet Elementary School 

Doris has worked for 36 years at San Antonito, where she also went to school. She goes above and beyond by greeting each child by name in the mornings, regardless of their grade level; by decorating staff doors for their national recognition day (i.e., custodians' and principal's days); by learning the grade-level curriculum so she can better reinforce the content; and by facilitating Morning Meeting, adding Spanish lessons each day (She is fluent in Spanish). "I can't think of anything she hasn't done for the school and its students," said co-worker Diana Pandolfo. 

Doris is active in the community, where she often sees the students and their families. They are delighted to see her, and Doris continues to build relationships with them. She keeps connected with former families and students and is invited to their high school and college graduations and other celebrations. This year she is teaching the grandchildren of some of her former students.

Valerie Hazelbaker, Family Liaison at Chaparral Elementary School 

Val is an outstanding ray of light and one of the kindest people on campus. She is always positive and goes above and beyond to serve our families and our campus as a whole. Val has raised over $10,000 to benefit the Chaparral community. This has allowed her t  serve over 40 families weekly with food, clothes, and other basic household needs. Not only is she the Family Liaison, but she's also the Kids Cook Chef. She is professionally trained as a chef and shares her love for cooking with students. Through Kids Cook, she helps students explore new foods, teaches them basic cooking skills, and provides families with the opportunity to prepare meals together.

Val is also a member of our Attendance Team, Theme Team, Sunshine Committee, and PTA. She has consistently s  stepped up to help with duty and any other tasks needed.

"Val goes out of her way to make each person, big and small, she encounters feel heard, seen, and special," said Chaparral Assistant Principal Michelle Tudor. "As front office staff, we recognize all of her hard work and the intricacies of her job, but we want EVERYONE in the city to know just how amazing she is. We call her our unicorn because she is just THAT great!"

Helena Livingston, Registrar eCademy High School 

eCademy accepted more than 400 new students this year, largely due to COVID, and many of these students came from outside APS. Helena worked tirelessly and diligently o request these new students' records and input their transcripts into Synergy. Because many of these new students were seniors, it was imperative that records are accurate, entered correctly, and in a timely manner so students can be placed appropriately into the correct and needed classes. 

During last year's summer school, eCademy saw enrollment numbers higher than 15,000, and Helena was critical to helping students from all over APS and beyond.

Helena has been working at eCademy longer than almost any other employee at the school. She has dedicated her career to the school and has been an important part of its mission to help students get on track to graduate. Often a more at-risk and transient population of students, there is an enormous amount of record-keeping and data entry. During the pandemic, eCademy's enrollment numbers were higher than ever.

"I can only imagine how many students have graduated from high school who otherwise may not have, because of Helena's commitment to track down records, research course completion and descriptions, and input documentation," said counselor Lynn Ramsey. "She is a quiet hero who never complains and always strives to  e ethical and for what is in the best interest of students."

Leith Page, Principal at Monte Vista Elementary School 

Leith goes above and beyond for our school. The school doesn't have a custodian, so she cleans the school — sweeping the cafeteria and emptying trash cans after lunch, among many other things. She also does many recess duties because there is no one else to do them.

"This amazing person works so hard and stays late every day to make sure everything is done," said teacher Lisa Troxel. "She stands out because she puts the school before her own health and safety. She doesn't ask for help because she believes teachers are  already overburdened."

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  ( .e., no self-nominations are eligible for consideration).

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