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News from 2021-2022

Posted: March 9, 2022

March's Outstanding Employees

This month's honorees include a speech and language liaison, CSA, head custodian, and media center manager.

Four APS employees are recognized each month during the school year through the Employee Recognition Program. Anyone can nominate an outstanding employee. A committee made up of people from different employee groups reviews nominations, looking for those employees who go above and beyond to make a difference in their role. 

Congratulations to March's honorees:

  • Bobby Juarez – Head Custodian at Lowell Elementary School 
  • Carla Collins – Speech & Language Liaison
  • Kathy Telles – Media Center Manager at Rio Grande High School 
  • Michael Delay – Campus Security Aide at Jefferson Middle 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 March's Honorees

Carla Collins – Speech & Language Liaison

Carla is described as kind and strong. She always maintains professionalism, respect, kindness, and connection when presenting information, tackling tough conversations, offering support, and problem-solving.

As an SLP Liaison, Carla has to juggle the needs, questions, and concerns of about 160 SLPs. She also maintains a caseload, working with deaf or hard-of-hearing students.

"She steps into hard meetings when needed, offers help to work through difficult problems, and provides resources to get additional information when she doesn't have it," said Kathryn Walters, a contract SLP teletherapist. "She does this all with kindness and calm, which sets her apart from other candidates. She listens and acts without judgment and offers support without conditions."

Michael Delay – Campus Security Aide at Jefferson Middle School 

Michael (Mikey) comes to work every single day with a smile on his face and is ready to step in and assist in any way possible. He is the best teammate anyone could have. Always the first to offer a helping hand, first to share really bad (I mean really bad) jokes just to make people smile, and the first to offer words of encouragement.

Mikey knows all of the students by name, and he goes above and beyond to get to know them and make them feel welcome and special. Everything he does, he does quietly and without being asked. Mikey has stepped in repeatedly to help keep this school clean during COVID and staffing shortages and has done it all with a smile on his face. He assists at the Mobile Food Pantry every month, come rain or shine, and the clients have come to know and love him.

"We are so grateful to have Mikey at Jefferson to laugh with and to be reminded of what it means to be a truly good and kind human being," said Family Liaison Mary Slota. "We have a saying at Jefferson; Always be JetKind. Mikey exemplifies what it means to be JetKind."

Bobby Juarez – Head Custodian at Lowell Elementary School 

Bobby Juarez goes above and beyond his job description every day, and he does so with kindness and a great sense of humor. He is reliable, supportive, and extremely positive with the students at Lowell. 

Bobby never says no when asked to help. When the school didn't have night custodians, he volunteered to stay to make sure the school would be ready for the next day. The caliber of his professionalism is well above standard.

"I have had multiple head custodians over the past 15 years at several locations, and he is by far the best I have ever worked with," said Carlos Trujillo, assistant principal at Lowell. "We would not be the same school without Mr. Juarez to keep our school clean and to be available, no matter the task."

Kathy Telles – Media Center Manager at Rio Grande High School 

Kathy Telles is a consummate professional in all of her administrative duties and goes above and beyond our expectations to support our team, students, and mission. One of Kathy's key accomplishments recently has been to manage the school's on-campus media center. This center serves over 80 teachers and almost 100 students. She is there to plan and coordinate the media requests of all team members. She ensures the technology is working and manages the timely completion of her workload with exceptionally accurate results. In addition to this, she always greets everyone with a smile and a kind word. She never overpromises. She only over-delivers!

"One area in which Kathy Telles excels is communication. I can confidently state that there has never been a single incident where I reached out to her and that she did not immediately respond," said Stephen Griego, an agriculture instructor and FFA and eSports coach at Rio Grande. "I'm not implying that Kathy has an immediate solution for every problem. More accurately, she has always communicated her knowledge of my requests, researched multiple solutions, offered sound advice, and finally, she has always delivered said solution in a timely manner." 

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.