Golden Pride Award Winners
2014-2014 School Year
A hearty congratulation to our Golden Pride Award recipients who have been recognized by the American Falls School Board for "above and beyond" services to our district. They represent the professional and support staff that equal excellence for our students.
Patty Raya and Sheryle Cavener of Hillcrest Elementary were
honored at the regular board meeting on February 23, 2015 for the Golden Pride
Award, given each month to celebrate the “above and beyond” service by one
professional and one classified employee of the American Falls School District.
Patty Raya has been a first grade teacher at Hillcrest Elementary
for the last four years. Her nominator
wrote: From the day I first meet her,
Patty Raya has put a smile on my face. She is the best and brightest of the
profession’s young teachers. Her passion, skills, love of children and drive
are outstanding. Best of all, her
positive attitude and outlook on teaching and learning is infectious to those
around her. She simply is a joy to work with at Hillcrest.
Patty started her teaching career the fall of 2011 as an
excellent beginning teacher. Since that time she has grown and flourished as
great teachers do. It is evident Patty understands reflecting on her teaching
and seeking ways to continually improve is a critical part of becoming and remaining
an expert teacher. This year, her first grade team was asked to learn and
implement a new explicit phonics routine. Patty has nailed this practice and
continues to look for other ways to efficiently and effectively move all her
students along the learning continuum. It is exciting to be in her classroom
observing the many best practice techniques she uses in maintaining a highly
respectful and engaging environment of learning.
In addition to the classroom, Patty is a quiet and upcoming
leader at our school. She is currently working on her Educational
Administration degree and has helped with several projects and events as part
of her internship. This year, Patty has taken on the leadership role of a
Parent Involvement, Events and Publicity coordinator. She has helped organize,
coordinate, facilitate and publicize several important family events including
math and reading literacy nights and kindergarten orientation. Patty is
organized, has fun fresh ideas, reliable and very personable to all she meets.
Over the last few years, I have had several Hispanic high
schoolers ask me about Patty being a teacher. I always comment back “she is a
teacher and a really good one – why do you ask?” This has started conversations
about an interest in college and the teaching profession. Patty is definitely a
positive role model to many students and parents in our community. She is
always willing to give of her time and efforts to inspire and support others in
the best interest of children.
It is an absolute pleasure to nominate Patty Raya for the
Golden Pride Award. She is an outstanding educator and person!
Sheryl Cavener joined the cafeteria staff at Hillcrest
Elementary four years ago. Her nominator
wrote: Sheryle embodies the spirit of
the Golden Pride Award. She has served the students at Hillcrest, in the
cafeteria, for the past three years. She always has a smile on her face and is
a very comforting and welcoming presence in the cafeteria. Sheryle is also a
very dedicated hard working individual. She is always willing to go the extra
mile to ensure that the needs of the children, school, and the lunch program
are being met. She is a pleasure to work with! Her genuine love for the
children and people she serves is evidenced by her kindness and friendly smile.
Being relatively new to the school lunch program, Sheryle
accepted the challenge of becoming the manager of the Hillcrest kitchen. She
has been faced with the challenges of learning the ins and outs of an ever
changing program, as well as organizing and directing a whole new kitchen
staff. Sheryle has done an amazing job with both. Her hard work and willingness
to venture outside of her comfort zone is appreciated! She has created an
environment that is pleasant for both children and staff. She is an amazing
person, and is very deserving of the Golden Pride Award.
Sheryle is a great fit for Hillcrest. We thank her for all
she does for the people at Hillcrest!