The Eanes Independent School District has announced its 2018 EANESpiration winners for Valley View Elementary School, with honors including the Educational Impact Awards, Heroes Awards, and the Good Samaritan Award.
The Educational Impact Awards were given to those who displayed leadership and commitment by making a positive and significant impact. Ann Manikham is one of the first to arrive at the school to greet students and has a “can-do attitude” with “not an area in the school where she doesn’t shine.” She has been integral in developing and supporting systems with the lead kindergarten teachers and “is universally loved by our students, parents, and staff.” Erin Finch has brought “a delightful air and compassionate presence to the kindergarten hall, and you can see it in the face of each child she teaches.” With an understanding of where the students are academically and emotionally, she has helped with the popular and positive Word Family curriculum. Nicki Kennington is a Licensed Specialist in School Psychology who “goes above and beyond, patiently dedicating her time to help our students succeed academically, socially, behaviorally, and emotionally.” A great listener, she approaches others’ problems as her own and “shares her knowledge and wisdom generously with staff in planning for our students’ needs.” Jennifer Wolff, often one of the first to arrive on campus and one of the last to leave, “is always eager to implement new ideas and systems in order for our students to be successful. Whether she is placing encouraging notes (and sweets) in teachers’ boxes, helping students with writing, or assisting in district professional development, Ms. Wolff does it all with a calm spirit and encouraging heart!”
The Heroes Award was given to those who go above and beyond or perform an outstanding achievement. Brooke Anderson and Jacci Grossman jointly received the award as a “super duo” who organized career day, established a parent’s book club, led classroom guidance lessons, conducted small group session, provided individual counseling sessions, organized Student Support Team meetings, and even created care packages for staff around the holidays to encourage self-care. “Their care and concern for others is evident in all that they do, and we are incredibly thankful they joined our team this year.” Lauren Cobb was honored for jumping in without hesitation when the school needed her for a challenging situation. Her child-focused approach has resulted in “incredible strides in students she supports.” Cobb is “always smiling, always positive, and always remaining focused and calm, even when being challenged to the max.” Jennifer White, often the first face children see each morning, “greets every single one of them with a ‘whoop whoop’, a kind smile, and often a fist bump!” White inspires the students by example to be their best selves. “She is a true leader, yet is willing to play the supporting role, and we marvel at her ability to not only inspire the students, but the adults around her as well.” Quen White-Ramos transitioned from a long-term substitute position to a first grade teacher mid-year and has done so with grace. “The parents all feel extremely blessed and trusting of their children’s education in her hands, because of her strong rapport at VVE with students, staff, and community!”
The Good Samaritan Award was given to Dr. Genevieve Shepherd Ali for displaying compassion and selflessness. Ali “has opened her heart” to the students at Valley View and treats them “like the amazing children they are,” showing them unconditional support and care. “Dr. Ali does this all without fanfare and most people would not realize she has been doing this for so many children.”
Photo courtesy Eanes Independent School District. Pictured, from left to right. Top Row: Jennifer White, Jacci Grossman, Brooke Anderson, Jennifer Wolff, Ann Manikham, Superintendent Dr. Tom Leonard. Bottom Row: Quen White-Ramos, Lauren Cobb, Nicki Kennington, Erin Finch, Dr. Genevieve Shepherd Ali, Principal Jennifer Dusek