excellence award, river, fort, ITS, safety

Four employees were selected for the October 2016 Excellence Award recognition. They were honored at the Oct. 25 school board meeting. Pictured from left to right are:

  • Ryan Rasmussen, paraeducator, Columbia River High School
  • Albert Alcantar, director of athletics and safety, safety office
  • Geoffrey Schofield, teacher, Fort Vancouver High School
  • Trey Hollibaugh, network specialist, ITS department

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.

Since stepping into his current position, Albert has accomplished some amazing things, say those with whom he works. He has become a visible, active leader who is dedicated to enhancing district resource officer trainings, improving the safety office and holding himself and others accountable. Just as importantly, he’s quick to greet and thank his supervisees for their work. “The positive energy that he brings makes everyone want to give it their best. He makes everyone around him better,” said his nominator. “Sometimes you hit a home run when you bring on a new director. Mr. Alcantar is a grand slam.”

Multiple nominations for Trey demonstrated his professionalism and flexibility, as well as just how much his colleagues respect him. Trey never shies from a complex or long-term project, such as installing Wi-Fi networks on buses, and will alter his work hours, collaborate with multiple vendors and departments and persistently troubleshoot issues. But no matter how technical the issue, he is adept at translating information in a way that is both respectful and helpful for others. Those who’ve worked closely with him call him a wicked-smart class act. According to them, Trey is someone takes his job seriously and emanates kindness.

As a one-one-one paraeducator, Rasmussen is integral to the education of a student with special needs. Ryan uses technology to make subjects like video production accessible for someone with limited motor and verbal skills. Wrote teacher Janine Blackwell, “Ryan started right away creating ‘buttons’ and commands on the student’s iPad that would function as verbal commands for shot composition, camera movement and placement and the basic editing commands. The student was able to create all of his own videos—making all the creative decisions—and his voice came through loud and clear. It was amazing to watch!”

As an educator and head of Fort’s English department, Geoff is committed to improving his own practice and that of his colleagues through professional development and student-teacher mentoring. Boosting morale also is important to Geoff, who initiated a student- and staff-recognition program called Super Trappers. On a daily basis, he makes it his job to greet students, help them get to class on time and collaborate with the entire Fort staff. Wrote one nominator, “Geoff is amazing with his own students, but he is also a ‘teacher’s teacher,’ professionalizing the field of education and always reminding us that we are lifelong learners.”

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