June 26 – RISE Nominations

Heather Woffinden, Vista Heights Middle; teacher

I was Mrs.Woffinden’s student for all three years of middle school and she supported me and others in so many amazing ways!! She is so deserving of the RISE Award after dedicating so much time and attention into all of her students!”

Nominated by: Rayley Newcomer, student

Laura Paxman, Vista Heights Middle; teacher

Mrs. Paxman is the realest of real. She is honest and encouraging and drives her students to follow their passions and makes note of them. She’s awesome.

Nominated by: Dania Laguna, student

Natalie Thomson, Vista Heights Middle; teacher

Ms. Thomson always made sure the classroom was upbeat and fun to be in. She made learning English fun and always made sure to fully listen to a student when in a discussion or conversing.

Nominated by: Brilynn Attebery, student

Rebekah Akporere, Springside Elementary; teacher

Ms. Akapore was my third grade teacher and my favorite teacher I’ve ever had! She would always remember me when I went back to visit years later. She found ways to teach her students using fun methods like multiplication songs to nursery rhyme tunes.”

Nominated by: Abigail Borneman, student

Kailee Kartchner, Lake Mountain Middle; teacher

Mrs. Kartchner wasn’t my assigned counselor but she always tried to make sure I was ok. I was at a very low point in my life in 8th grade and Mrs. Kartchner made sure I got through it. She continues to help me today and is the greatest person I’ve ever met.

Nominated by: Matthew Ostermiller, student

Jeff Groseclose, Riverview Elementary; teacher

I know he not only impacted my life, but Mr. Groseclose has impacted hundreds of children’s lives. He makes each student feel seen and loved. He made school fun and he made sure that we all knew he cared about each of us personally. Even with COVID, he still made class enjoyable. I personally wish he taught high school math because he is just an incredible teacher and person.

Nominated by: Mackenzie Flowers, student

Jennifer Jenkins, Vista Heights Middle; teacher

Mrs. Jenkins is a wonderful teacher and person. She made history class fun and engaging. I’ve never had a teacher who I felt like cared about me and my future and learning as much as she did. You can tell that she cares about each and every student. I loved history class because of her every year of middle school!

Nominated by: Claire Daniels, student

Jeremy Megginson, Westlake High; teacher

Mr. Megginson has a good personality that draws people to him, his classroom is a place where you can escape the high demands of school. He is very understanding, and willing to work with people. He has taught me so much and he deserves to be recognized for his hard work, even when he’s is going through hard things himself.

Nominated by: Carter Blair, student

Megginson has been such an integral part of me finding what I love to do and has made every moment in his class amazing. He has helped me and everyone who enters his class to be excited and ready to improve and that is what makes him a great teacher.”

Nominated by: Mason Ruzicka, student

Mr. Megginson has never failed to change someone’s life. The knowledge he has about percussion is truly unmatched. He continuously improves his students’ skills and makes them not only better players, but better people. Megginson teaches percussion throughout the school year, and is also over the percussion section in marching band. The time and effort he dedicates to both never goes unnoticed, and is highly valued. He is an amazing instructor and makes all the hard work worth it, while making any experience truly enjoyable. Everyone that knows Megginson loves him, and its not hard to tell why.”

Nominated by: Fiorella Casalaspro, student

Whitney Billman, Westlake High; teacher

Ms. Billman teacher deserves a RISE award because she comes in and out every day and does a perfect job helping us through our math. Not only does she teach the lesson in person, but if you don’t quite understand the lesson, she makes videos on how to learn it, and even further, she provides links to more videos teaching the subject. She is the most fair and even teacher I have ever had, and provides you with the best course of math you will ever take.

Nominated by: Cason Dahlquist, student

Don Bastian, Westlake High; teacher

Don Bastian deserves a RISE award because he makes learning fun. Even though the class is hard, I’m always excited to go to it because Mr. Bastian makes the learning entertaining and easy.

Nominated by: Caleb Elliott, student

Sallee Kauwe, Vista Heights Middle; teacher

Ms. Kauwae is the main one that got me into writing a book, and where I was introduced to Teen Author Boot Camp. Because of Kauwe my life has changed so much into trying out new things and learning how to do those new things.”

Nominated by: Joseph Coburn, student

Elizabeth Stone, Westlake High; teacher

Mrs. Stone is the best math teacher I have ever had. She is so good at teaching and really cares for her students. She makes sure to give students individual help, during work time and is never bothered by it. She is an extremely fair and kind teacher, and I am so sad she doesn’t teach juniors and seniors.

Nominated by: Alivia Griffiths, student

Casey Rosenhan, Westlake High; teacher

Ms. Rosenhan always makes her class such an amazing and fun environment. I’m always looking forward to her class and seeing her because she it just the sweetest and makes me so happy all the time.

Nominated by: Melody Wells, student

Ms. Rosenhan is the best teacher ever! She’s so fun and funny and super nice. She makes her class fun and keeps us entertained. She’s everyones favorite teacher.”

Nominated by: Sienna Nehren, student

Amy Morrey, Westlake High; teacher

Morrey is a strong and capable director and teacher. She constantly makes an effort to make her learning environments fun and safe. She is a wonderful director and has been training and helping me all year long to be a better stage technician and a better person. I couldn’t be where I want to be without her. Thank you, Morrey.”

Nominated by: Kevin Parker, student

Christine Holt, Westlake High; teacher

Ms. Holt is one of the best teachers I have ever had. She makes sure that every lesson is fun and entertaining with fun powerpoints or slide shows. Her classroom is a very positive and safe environment for many students. She really tries to get to know her students on a personal level and makes us excited to come back.

Nominated by: Alivia Griffiths, student

Justin Meek, Westlake High; teacher

Mr. Meek is a great teacher. He always helps me with understanding Chemistry. He’s a funny person but he still knows how to get his job done. But most importantly, I feel like I have a personal connection with him. I don’t feel a good personal connection with a lot of teachers so that just shows how great he is! Thanks!

Nominated by: Gabe Marriott, student

Madelyn Gee, Westlake High; teacher

I believe Miss Maddy is very worthy of this award because of how hard she has worked this last school year. At the beginning of the year, she struggled with the side effects of a medical issue, and she suffered a lot to come to school for us. She cared so much for us and wanted to be with us so much that she would go out of her way to be with us, even when she was in pain. She is incredibly kind and selfless and spends lots of time helping her students, no matter the struggles they have.

Nominated by: Michaela Hatch, student

Kylee Wixom, Westlake High; teacher

Ms. Wixom is an amazing AP teacher that has created a fun safe environment. Her lessons and powerpoints are insightful and fun. She doesn’t just hand us the homework like other AP teachers. She actually teaches us the concepts and makes sure we understand it.

Nominated by: Alivia Griffiths, student



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