March 2023 Employee Excellence Awards

The following employees were selected to receive March 2023 Employee Excellence Awards and recognition at the March 14 school board meeting.

  • Jackie Bahena, secretary at Martin Luther King Elementary
  • Adam Erickson, custodial staff at Hudson’s Bay High School
  • Brandon Hurless, paraeducator at Discovery Middle School
  • Vanessa Kastner, special education paraeducator at the Jim Tangeman Center
  • Leslie Roth, special education teacher at Thomas Jefferson Middle School

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

JACKIE BAHENA, secretary
Martin Luther King Elementary

Jackie Bahena, secretary at Martin Luther King ElementaryJackie greets everyone with a smile on her face and she is happy to help everyone who calls or comes into the office at King Elementary. She is a steady, reliable force in the ever changing school environment, and her demeanor and calm approach help make everything easier for students and families. One nominator shares, “Jackie is such an incredible person!”



ADAM ERICKSON, custodial staff
Hudson’s Bay High School

Adam Erickson, custodial staff at Hudson's Bay High SchoolAdam is a consistent, reliable and flexible support person in our school, who handles  challenging demands with grace, ease and promptness. One nominator shares, “We can’t imagine our school without his help, support and follow through.” Teachers and students depend on Adam to keep spaces clean, safe and ready for learning and they also enjoy his pleasant attitude. Adam is excellent in his role and a true professional. Thank you, Adam!



BRANDON HURLESS, paraeducator
Discovery Middle School

Brandon Hurless, a paraeductor at Discovery Middle SchoolBrandon is always ready and willing to jump in and support the Discovery team, wherever he sees an opportunity to help out students and staff. He is flexible and supportive of coworkers and their work. A nominator shares, “Brandon is, by far, the most capable and engaged para I have ever worked with. We have been so lucky to have him with us at Discovery this year!




VANESSA KASTNER, special education paraeducator
Jim Tangeman Center

Vanessa Kastner, special education paraeducator at the Jim Tangemen CenterVanessa is a kind, caring, and empathetic person who is always willing to help out wherever needed. The same kindness, and caring she offers students is also offered to coworkers. A nominator offers, “Since Vanessa has joined our JTC family, she has given our building a new energy. You can see and hear her throughout the day filling other’s cups.” In addition to her kindness, the knowledge and experience Vanessa brings to JTC are invaluable.




LESLIE ROTH, special education teacher
Thomas Jefferson Middle School

Leslie Roth, special education teacher at Jefferson Middle SchoolLeslie is an inspiration and an incredible source of support for our students who have unique learning needs. She fine-tunes her instruction for her students who all have Individualized Education Plans and in her Success Skills class, she customizes specific lessons to the social and emotional learning needs of each unique group of students. In addition to serving students in her classroom, she takes the time to get to know students throughout the building. One nominator shares, “Leslie means so much to the TJ community! “