Excellence Award recipients

The following employees were selected for the March 2019 Excellence Award recognition. They were honored at the March 26 school board meeting. Pictured from left:

  • Traicy Brent, secretary, Ogden Elementary
  • Sharon LaCroix, paraeducator, Hough Elementary
  • Becky Davis, mental health specialist, Fir Grove/Vista
  • Douglas Varenas, occupational therapist, Fir Grove/Vista
  • Not pictured but also an award recipient: Shannon Murphy, teacher, Sacajawea Elementary

The Excellence Award is given to five 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.

Parents say that Traicy demonstrates a tremendous amount of care and compassion for all Ogden students and families. She’s the first person many students turn to at school when they’re sick or tired or just need a snack. Said one parent, “I feel confident and safe in having my children at Ogden knowing she’s on staff.” Traicy also works hard to maintain a high level of professionalism and efficiency in the Ogden office. Her co-workers say she’s a rock star!
Becky helps students navigate tough challenges by teaching them social skills, anger management and compassion for others. Her knowledge and compassion allow her to build positive relationships with students that lead to their social-emotional growth. Becky also assists parents in navigating the complexities of adolescent mental health. Her tension-reducing sense of humor has endeared her to the Fir Grove/Vista staff. They say that the school is a better place with her there!
According to her co-workers, Sharon makes every day better. Not only is she knowledgeable about autism in general and Hough students specifically, she also possesses genuine optimism and empathy. As a result, she approaches every interaction with an attitude of patience and love that has earned her the admiration and respect of her co-workers. They appreciate Sharon’s willingness to help out whenever she is needed, even in difficult situations. She truly is a friend to everyone she meets.
Loved by students and staff alike, Shannon is known as a caring teacher who works hard to accommodate different learning styles and cultivate a joy for learning. Not only do her students flourish academically in her special education classroom, they also grow personally thanks for her lessons about caring for themselves and interacting with others in a positive way. Shannon’s co-workers also praise her contributions and collaborative approach to providing a well-rounded education. She is an integral member of the Sacajawea staff.
In addition to supporting students who need specialized occupational therapy, Doug goes out of his way to find opportunities for students to succeed. He created a sensory routine in the gym for all students to experience. He’s worked with classes on building and tending to Fir Grove’s garden. Doug helped elementary students practice their handwriting and also arranged for high school students to learn skills at real job sites. He inspires his students and co-workers every day.

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