May 29 – RISE Nominations

Chelsea Raddatz, Legacy Elementary; teacher

Chelsea’s classroom is magical. She read Harry Potter to her students and then incorporated it into teaching. Their persuasive writing assignments have been to Hogwarts teachers. Math assignments are done in Houses. Owls deliver the assignments and dragon eggs for awards. And house points are counted for kindness and hard work. Chelsea works with her students that have anxiety and other concerns and helps them be successful. She greats each student every morning with a smile on her face. She is uplifting and happy with staff, and students, and is a true Hufflepuff.

Nominated by: Julie Pusey, district employee

Amanda Riley, Timberline Middle; teacher

Mrs. Riley is by far one of the best teachers at this school, according to me and many of my friends. She is fun and makes you laugh almost every day. She has the best sayings that make us have fun at school. (Just to prove that these sayings are the best, here is one that she has said a lot: “Who is the booger?”) *Note: she was talking about the people who held a note too long in Orchestra*. She has made me a better violinist, and everybody in my orchestra class is always excited to see her again.

Nominated by: Colton Nash, student

My nephew is taking Orchestra from Mrs. Riley and I have been able to attend several concerts this year. The last concert was AMAZING! I leaned over to my sister and said “They are in Jr high right?”. You can tell she truly loves her job and her students. You can see the determination she has to make sure every student succeeds, and excels in class. You see the students truly respect her as well. With each concert, the “concert etiquette” has gotten better and better from each of her classes. She is truly doing a remarkable job!”

Nominated by: Rob Oliverson, district employee

I attended my nephew’s most recent orchestra concert and was blown away by how much each group did NOT sound like a middle school orchestra. You can tell how much Mrs. Riley loves her students and is invested in them. I am very impressed with her teaching and in her being able to make each group sound so amazing! Truly a testament to her skills and talents.”

Nominated by: Klara Oliverson, district employee

Michael Bottita, Legacy Elementary; teacher

Michael can be found in the wonderful world of 3rd grade. He teaches amazing cursive lessons in silent, and all the spelling rules found in English. He enjoys reading out loud daily to his students and they learn to love books. He also teaches kids to be good citizens, respectful, kind, and polite to each other and adults. He is also one of the school’s first responders and helps comfort the kids while he determines what to do when they have injuries. His sense of humor and stories always calms them and brings a smile.

Nominated by: Julie Pusey, district employee

Loni Harvey, West Transportation; bus driver

A student lost a phone at the bus stop and was very upset. Loni told the student she would go back and look for it. Loni went back, found the phone, and brought it to the school so it could be returned to the student. We thought this was so kind! Thank you, Loni!

Nominated by: Amy Fugal, district employee

Haram Cobabe, Lehi Junior; teacher

Mr Cobabe is always making sure we are enjoying learning and he always makes an effort to make sure we succeed and do our best and for this reason I think Mr. Cobabe deserves the RISE award.

Nominated by: Bridget Jorgensen, student

Karla Ferrar, Cherry Hill Elementary; teacher

Karla Ferrer is the second grade Spanish teacher in the Cherry Hill Dual Immersion program. My son enjoys her class and always has something to tell me about class that day. My family has gone through some difficult situations this year and every time that I’ve reached out to Mrs. Ferrer, she has always responded with empathy and kindness. I can see why my son loves learning in her class. She is an amazing teacher and a fantastic person!

Nominated by: Nia Latu, parent

Christie McDonald, Silver Lake Elementary; secretary

Christie consistently contributes to uplifting teacher morale by discovering innovative and engaging activities. She willingly assists colleagues who may be unwell, readily substituting for them when necessary. When someone is having a bad day, Christie goes above and beyond, taking the initiative to acknowledge and support her peers. She extends her kindness to students, attentively listening to their concerns and emotions. Christie’s genuine care and positive interactions create an atmosphere where everyone feels joyful and appreciated after engaging with her.

Nominated by: district employee

Chengguo (Caleb) Lin, Black Ridge Elementary; sweeper

Caleb comes into work and makes sure the front of the school looks spotless. Every morning I walk into the school the entry way glass is perfect and so is the carpet. Caleb is a great man that always gets his work done and never complains. He has made my job easier and I never have to worry about the work not getting done.

Nominated by: Gavin Burch, district employee

Katie Fowers, Pleasant Grove High; teacher

Over this past year, I have been incredibly grateful for the kind of teacher my son has seen in his English teacher, Mrs. Fowers. She is patient and clear — thorough and kind. Her curriculum is both engaging and focused and he has learned so many tangible skills that I have been delighted to see in his writing and even his communication. Mrs. Fowers is an incredible English teacher. We are so lucky at PGHS to have her!

Nominated by: Eliza Anderson, parent

Becky Jackson, Pleasant Grove High; teacher

“Mrs. Jackson has been my daughter’s teacher this past year and my daughter has had a wonderful time learning English from her. I’m so proud that she can make beautiful scholarly paragraphs. Sometimes we read her reading homework together and I always enjoy the pieces Mrs. Jackson chooses. Her class shows how students can learn skills and enjoy themselves while doing it!

Nominated by: Xochitl Cereno, parent

Connor Spanos, Windsor Elementary; sweeper

“Connor is one of the best janitors around. He is a hard worker and loves his job. His dedication to Windsor is inspiring. I know that my room is always going to be clean because he is reliable. Connor also loves the kids. He is always saying hi to them and making them feel special. We joke around that he is Mr. Windsor because of the love he has for the building, the kids, the teachers, and staff. He is truly one in a million.

Nominated by: Melissa Burk, district employee

Nikki Peterson, Lehi High; counselor

“I met Nikki when I was a sub at Lehi. We quickly hit it off and even though she wasn’t my kids counselor, she told me if they ever needed anything to have them come and see her. She took my kids under her wings and cared for them as if they were her own. She guided, advised, and supported them throughout their time at Lehi High School. Nikki has a heart of gold and is one of the most helpful people we have met here in Lehi. She is a blessing to the school and to the community. Thank you Nikki for all you have done for our family!

Nominated by: Shelley, James, and Carrington Jones, district employee

My kids were not “assigned” to have Nikki as their counselor when they started at Lehi High School, but she quickly adopted them and cared for them as if they were her own. Nikki goes above and beyond what is expected of her as a school counselor because she dedicates herself to the betterment of her students. She sets them on a path for success and guides them along the way. She has been a blessing to my kids and to me in our time here in Lehi! Thank you, Nikki for being such an encourager and supporter to Carrington and James.”

Nominated by: Shelley Jones, district employee

Bradley Leavitt, Frontier Middle; teacher

“I nominate Mr. Leavitt because he is a really good teacher and he helps me learn class is always soooooooooooo fun.

Nominated by: Jenna Juber, student

I nominate Mr Leavitt because he is a really good teacher, he is so good to his students and always makes class super fun for us in his class. He is a really good person to talk to and will always be a hand if you need help with anything. He is really cairng for his students and works with us really well. I have loved him as my teacher, he is really good at being here for his students and is good at making sure we are all okay and will always as how he can make our day better.

Nominated by: Avery Bowen, student

Linda Rigby, Vineyard Elementary; teacher

“Linda Rigby has been an incredible teacher to my advanced learner. She is consistent, persistent and is very determined to make progress with each of her students, regardless of their academic level. She is devoted to deep rooted learning through phonics and phrases. Her students are proving to have a strong foundation of language and their writing shows it. My thanks to Ms. Rigby for not only meeting my expectation for my child to learn, but for making her classroom such a high priority. She is to me what a teacher should be!

Nominated by: Andrea Jones, parent

Maren Norris, Harbor Point Elementary; aide

“Maren has been a great team player and does a wonderful job working with students. Every day she brings joy to the classroom and the students love her. She is dedicated and a great addition to our team.”

Nominated by: Jessica Drake, district employee

Bree Toone, American Fork High; counselor

“Ms. Toone has gone out if her way to answer our questions everytime there is a concern. She is courteous, enthusiastic and always assists my daughter to reach her goals. I have appreciated all her thoughtful and quick responses every time a challenge arises. We love her and the influence she has on her students!!”

Nominated by: Alicia Long, parent

David Collier, American Fork High; teacher

“Mr. Colliier cares a lot about his students and will go to the ends of the earth to make sure you understand the material and get a good grade. He makes you feel very welcome and comfortable, even if you’re crying over a calculus problem. Fun, relatable, and caring, that’s David Collier!”

Nominated by: Jeanne Nguyen, student

Mr. Collier has been such a great teacher to learn Calculus from. I’ve loved every class period as he’s taught, and he’s helped me to understand each topic as I’ve not understood. He does truly care for each of his students. He’s also a really fun teacher and funny guy. He connects with his students well and can have fun while still getting stuff done. I’ve loved to have Mr. Collier as my BC Calculus teacher, and have loved his class.”

Nominated by: William Hancock, student

Mr. Collier told me to write what is in my heart. So I guess I’m writing about my aortas? Do I even have multiple of those? Though thats not something he taught me, he has taught me so much. He really has taught me to enjoy the process of learning and how to actually learn. And we have fun in Calculus! Collier is hilarious! And despite having electives, Calculus is my favorite class! Thank you, Collier!”

Nominated by: Casey Ingo, student

Mr. Collier is exceptional and has been the greatest teacher I have ever had. He maintains an effective, stimulating classroom where all of his students are able to learn and reach a high level of understanding. I have been thoroughly prepared for the upcoming AP test and appreciate so much his genuine care for both his students’ academia and their well-being. He will work with you until you understand, even if that means taking extra time out of his busy schedule after school. I look forward to his class each day and am so grateful for him and his impact as my teacher.”

Nominated by: Adri Sandburg, student

Mr. Collier is willing to work with students and helps everyone to improve in their skill and proficiency. He makes a fun learning environment in an especially difficult class.”

Nominated by: Coleman Roylance, student

Jessie Alger, Shelley Elementary; teacher

“Mrs. Alger has helped build confidence in her students and has helped raise their test scores. My daughter Lila has loved being in her class this year. She’s a great teacher!

Nominated by: Haley Searle, parent

Amy Reid, Shelley Elementary; teacher

“My family moved to American Fork August 1st, I was pregnant with my 4th, and subsequently had my 4th child this year. Mrs. Reid has been such a help, amongst the chaos in our life, in making my son feel welcomed, safe, and noticed. My son jumped in the car one random Tuesday and said “best day ever!” because Mrs. Reid sees the one and knows how to individually help them. It makes me so grateful to know that my son goes to school and is genuinely cared for, not just academically, but also as a person.

Nominated by: Courtney Hutchings, parent

Angeline Carson, West Transportation; bus driver

“During our field trip at the beginning of March, our team experienced a number of challenges. Angeline was extremely helpful and went out of her way to make sure everyone involved in the field trip felt loved, safe, important, heard, and needed. Driving the butterfly bus you can tell that Angeline loves her job and wants to make sure everyone that she serves feels her love and support. We so enjoyed having her drive on our field trip and even though our school isn’t one in her regular route, we hope that everyone can get the chance to experience how amazing of a bus driver she is.

Nominated by: Thunder Ridge 3rd grade team

Heidi Boden, American Fork High; teacher

“Ms. Boden is a wonderful teacher. She prepares you for college, and is also very understanding and easy to talk to. She enjoys her job, and cares about her students.

Nominated by: Anna Mohr, student

Brinley Stevens, American Fork High; teacher

“Mrs. Stevens is an amazing math teacher. She teaches really well. And she is easy to talk to. She always wants her students to succeed and understand. She is great at explaining lessons, and not overbearing her students with work.

Nominated by: Anna Mohr, student

Sonnet Udy, Shelley Elementary; teacher

“Ms. Udy is the most caring, supportive, loving teacher. She cares about her students and creating good humans out of them while also engaging them in academics. She has a skill for making her classroom a safe place to ask questions and learn and she encourages curiosity and engagement in learning. She has made my student who wasn’t a fan of school a big fan of school and I’m forever grateful. The world needs more teachers like Sonnet.

Nominated by: Amanda Lemmon, parent

Kathleen Contreras, Bonneville Elementary; translation and community liaison

“Kathleen started at Bonneville this school year. In that short time, she fit right in. I can’t imagine the office without her now. Kathleen greets EVERY person with a beautiful smile and her laugh is contagious. She is our interpreter as well as our parent liaison but she jumps at a chance to help anyone with anything. She is kind hearted and treats everyone, especially our incoming familes, with respect and compassion. We are a better school because of Kathleen. I am a better person for knowing her. Thank you, Kathleen. Thank you for helping everyone see the best in themselves.

Nominated by: Camie Howlett, district employee



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