2019-20 Employees of the Year

Updated on Thu, 03/11/2021 - 10:44am
2020 Employees of the Year

Though we are not together this spring, we still have incredible employees to celebrate! We continue to ELEVATE student success, in school or at home, by recognizing the great work all our employees do each day for our students. Adams 12 Five Star Schools, in partnership with the District Twelve Educators Association (DTEA) and the Classified School Employees' Association (CSEA), announce the employees of the year for the Five Star District! We are proud of every employee in our community and excited to announce those who colleagues have designated as going above and beyond for student success - in the classroom or from a distance.

From teachers to custodians, principals to counselors, the many different roles and responsibilities of Five Star employees ELEVATE student success in every classroom, every day


All district employees were invited to nominate colleagues at will. Nominations involved answering questions regarding how the nominee fulfills our mission and vision, and goes above and beyond to ELEVATE student success. To determine winners, each award category had a separate committee made up of staff from various roles to decide on the finalists and winners. Winners receive recognition online and a future in-person date (depending on COVID-19 restrictions).  

  • Classified: Operational staff such as office staff, custodians, nutritional services, etc.
  • Certified: Staff who are licensed in their field such as teachers and counselors, etc. 
  • Administration: School and district leadership such as principals and district staff, etc. 
  • Substitutes: Classified and Certified substitutes (guest teachers) across the district
  • Diversity and Equity Award: A staff members who provides exceptional leadership and outstanding commitment to the advancement of excellence through diversity, equity and inclusion efforts. Read more here.
  • Strengths in Action Award: Employees, family or community members who exemplify one of our ELEVATE strengths in an extraordinary way: care, collaboration, empower, engage or focus on students. 
  • Volunteers of the Year: A volunteer at the school or district level.


Classified Employees
Week of April 27 - May 1
Employee of the Year:
Casey Sauer, Century Registration Specialist
>>>Read why Casey won and watch the video of her surprise video chat.
Raelene Crump, Stukey Office Manager
Lavern Davis, Bus Driver
Cole Lunders, Horizon Custodian
Kristie Macosko, Tarver Media Tech
Sheri Porquis, Northglenn High Secretary
Casey Sauer, Century Registration Specialist
All Nominees: 
Robert Buster, Westview Head Custodian
Scott Campbell, Century Custodian
Marissa Ceballos, North Star Media Tech/Student Monitor
Nerma Ceric, Glacier Peak Paraeducator
Michiel CDeBaca, District Warehouse
Geri Clark, Mountain Range Office Clerk
Raelene Crump, Stukey Office Manager
Lavern Davis, Bus Driver
Cindy Douma, Human Resources Sr. Executive Assistant
Apryl Delclos, Mountain View Para Educator/Student Monitor
Lena Fraley, Legacy Registration Specialist
Linda Garlinghouse, Cherry Drive Early Childhood Teaching Assistant
Erika Guerrero, District Translator/Interpreter
Kathy Hoy, Thornton High Secretary
Rick Jorstad, Skyview Head Custodian
Dwayne Kajfosz, Thornton Elementary Head Custodian
Renee Kodey, Malley Drive Early Childhood Teaching Assistant
Al Landree, Stargate School
Linda Lee, District Nutrition Services Specialists
Cole Lunders, Horizon Custodian
Kristie Macosko, Tarver Media Tech
Cathy Martinelli, Thunder Vista Office Manager
Kayla Martinez, Coronado Hills Nutrition Services Specialist
Tennille May, Skyview Paraeducator
Shane Medina, Bollman Head Custodian
Michelle Middleton, Mountain View Paraeducator
Donalee Ortega, Coronado Hills Custodian
Sheri Porquis, Northglenn High Secretary
Trophy Ramirez, Northglenn High Paraeducator
Suzanne Rice, Leroy Drive Paraeducator/Media Tech
Camilla "Cami" Rodriguez, Mountain View Base Program Site Director
Aeryana Ross, ESC Conference Center Operator
Jerry Rutherford, Transportation Lead Mechanic
Casey Sauer, Century Registration Specialist
Suzanne Vega Bradley, STEM Launch Office Manager
Kim Wilson, Legacy Attendance Clerk
Certified Employees
Week of May 4-8
Employee of the Year:
Teresa Biller, School Counselor at Northglenn Middle   
>>> Read why Teresa won and watch the video of her surprise video chat.  
Teresa Biller, School Counselor at Northglenn Middle 
Kathy Cochran, School Counselor at Westlake
Chad Olson, 5th Grade Teacher at Meridian
Michael Stelling, School Counselor at Northglenn High
Shannon Walker, District Audiologist   
All Nominees:
Stacie Albi, Silver Hills Social-Emotional Learning Specialist
Teresa Biller, Northglenn Middle School Counselor
Michael Cabibbo, STEM Launch Social Studies Teacher
Caitlin Caligiuri, Coronado Hills Instructional Coach
Kathy Cochran, Westlake School Counselor
Sabrina Davis, Coronado Hills 5th Grade Teacher
Valerie Duggan, Stukey Century Community Learning Center Program Site Director
John Gordon, Legacy Science Teacher
Karen Greening, Northglenn High Mild-Moderate Needs Teacher
Tiffani Gussman, Vantage Point Campus Dean
Kirsten Johnson, STEM Lab Science Teacher
Annie Lewis, Thunder Vista PE/Health Teacher
Janette Loest, Mountain Range Severe Cognitive Needs Teacher
Rebecca MacVaugh, Thornton High English Language Development Teacher
Myndee Malone, Coronado Hills Mild-Moderate Needs Teacher
Chad Olson, Meridian 5th Grade Teacher
Melissa Perrine, District Social Worker
Amanda Praska, Northglenn Middle Math Teacher
Jon Riley, Meridian 5th Grade Teacher
Angela Shields, Horizon Counselor
Lora Shima, Student Engagement Initiatives
Alyssa Stanley, Cherry Drive, Early Childhood Special Education Teacher
Michael Stelling, Northglenn High School Counselor
Krystina Swisher, Northglenn High Math Teacher
Kim Walker, Tarver Speech Language Pathologist
Shannon Walker, District Audiologist
Kimberly Ward, Legacy Mild-Moderate Needs Teacher


Administrative Employees
Week of May 11-15
Employee of the Year:
Lisa Salazar-Hart, Nutrition & BASE Resource Manager  

>>> Read why Lisa won and watch the video of her surprise video chat.   

Justina Carney, McElwain Principal
Julie Enger, Mountain Range Principal
Tina Hepp, Cherry Drive Principal
Lisa Salazar-Hart, Nutrition & BASE Resource Manager 
All Nominees:
Justina Carney, McElwain Principal
Julie Enger, Mountain Range Principal
Katrina Fernandez, Director of Multi-Tiered System Support
Erika Fiorenza, North Mor Principal
Tina Hepp, Cherry Drive Principal
Quixie Jenkins-Smith, Independence Academy Director
Troy Lohmeyer, Mountain Range Dean
Darren Oliver, Silver Creek Elementary Principal
Geneanne Payne, Centennial Elementary Assistant Principal
Meredith Pogonyi, Early Childhood Special Education Coordinator
Lisa Salazar-Hart, Nutrition & BASE Resource Manager
Myla Shepherd, Chief Human Resource Officer


Substitutes/Guest Teacher
Week of May 18
Employee of the Year:
Nathanial Lygrisse, Thornton High
Theresa Coon, Skyview
Beth Jacobson, McElwain
Nathanial Lygrisse, Thornton High
Volunteer of the Year (Parent or Community Member)
Week of May 18
Employee of the Year:
Ana Karina Guzman Reyes, STEM Launch
Nominees (Parents or Community Members):
Heather Bell, Coyote Ridge Elementary
Debi Bennett and Zander Bernard, Cotton Creek
Al Bender, Eagleview
Jim Braun, Mountain Range
Courtney Camero, Tarver
Lilia Cruz, Hillcrest
Ana Karina Guzman Reyes, STEM Launch
Sheldon Jacobs, Shadow Ridge
Deborah Koerlin, Centennial
Peggy Layton, Cotton Creek
Yaqueline Medina, Hillcrest
Leah Nelson, Centennial
Christine "Chelle" Pfeifer, Horizon
Anne Schlais, Prairie Hills
Dee Urdahl, Eagleview
Diversity & Equity
Week of May 18
Employee of the Year:
Susana Cabrera, McElwain Fifth Grade Teacher
Nina Amabile, Centennial English Language Development Teacher
Susana Cabrera, McElwain Fifth Grade Teacher
Sam Dennard and Malia Toyama, Meridian Teachers
Dan Doehler, Horizon Girls Basketball Coach
Manuel Gonzalez, Intervention Services Case Manager
Stephanie Hansen, PEAK Program
Adria Padilla-Chavez, Coronado Hills Kindergarten Teacher
Kristi Rast, District English Language Learner Coordinator
Sydney Street, Mountain Range Math Teacher
Veretta Thoms, Northglenn High Cook-Cashier
Strengths in Action Award
Week of May 18
The “Strengths in Action” award recognizes a Five Star employee, family or community member who exemplifies one of our ELEVATE strengths in an extraordinary way: care, collaboration, empower, engage or focus on students.

Read why each awardee won!


Kathy Blackmon, Bollman
Karla Bustamante, North Star Elementary
Susi Davis, Bollman
Brandon Duskey, Shadow Ridge
Alice Efendic, Transportation
Christopher Fee, Stargate School
Julia Franklin, McElwain
Traci Haake, Federal Heights
Tiffany Hansen, Mountain Range
Independence Academy Staff
Allie Jorgenson, Prairie Hills
K-3 & Special Education Teams, Coronado Hills
Chad Kessler, Information Technology
Learning Services
Troy Lohmeyer, Mountain Range
Dana Lott, Digital Literacy

Ashley Martin, Mountain Range
Marie McKenzie, Meridian
Lori Meadows, Northglenn High
Shawn Montoya, Malley Drive
Darren Oliver, Silver Creek
Shannon Oliver, Energy & Sustainability Manager
Donalee Ortega, Coronado Hills Elementary
Bill Ryszkowski, Stellar
Mark Sass, Legacy High School
Ian Simpson, Mountain Range
Megan Small, Guest Teacher
Michael Stelling, Northglenn High
STEM Lab Kitchen Staff
Transportation Services
Jane Wagner, Prairie Hills
Cathy Zensen, Stellar


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