Four employees were selected for the March 2015 recognition. They were honored at the March 24 school board meeting. Pictured from left to right are:

  • Mick Hoffman, executive director of operations, safety and security, athletics and activities and transportation
  • Carol Arden, Title I/LAP specialist, special services
  • Kathy Hardy, teacher, Gaiser Middle School
  • Teresa Vance, school psychologist, Ogden Elementary

The Excellence Award is given to two to four employees and/or small teams from October to May each school year. Nominations are open to staff, students, parents and community members. Nominees are selected for recognition by a committee of their peers.

Managing the details of Title I compliance is a daunting task, but with Carol’s guidance, the process becomes less intimidating. Her ability to work with a variety of schools and offices requires an enormous multi-tasking effort that could only be managed by someone as meticulous and positive as Carol. Always, her work is focused on ensuring that students ultimately receive the services they need. She also conducts site visits and provides professional development. Her knowledge is respected by the many staff members whom she encounters. Carol’s work ethic is unique and amazing to all who work with her.
Teaching math is only one facet of Kathy’s numerous contributions to Gaiser. As a member of the school’s math Professional Learning Community, she has helped dramatically improve student performance. She also is critical to Gaiser’s culture and climate team, which has reduced student discipline while increasing school-appropriate behaviors that allow students to demonstrate higher levels of learning. As a member of the Response to Intervention team, she helped launch a program to engage Tier 2 students. And Kathy is a driving force behind the school’s food, clothing and supplies closet. It is any wonder that she inspires everyone who encounters her?
Teresa maintains a tireless commitment to students, families and her co-workers. Says a colleague, “In meetings with parents, Teresa provides comprehensive summaries of student performance in parent-friendly language and always has the best interests of students in mind.” At the school, she’s also implemented a bullying-prevention program, developed Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports practices and procedures and devised protocols for Response to Intervention. Leading by example, she stays current on the latest research in both education and psychology and shares her knowledge with her Professional Learning Communities. She is a leader among the district’s school psychologists and the Ogden staff.
It’s not uncommon to find VPS employees wearing many hats, but few staff members wear more hats than Mick. Yet he leads and advances the work in his many areas of responsibility. Since taking over the district’s safety efforts, he has expanded the district resource officer team while improving the quality of safety in our schools. He also provides training and support for coaches and athletic directors while maintaining an unwavering focus on what’s best for all students. In addition, he oversees the district’s transportation department. Still, say his colleagues, Mick never settles for anything less than the best.

Congratulations to these staff members! They join the more than 250 VPS employees who have received Excellence Awards since 2007.