District recognizes teacher, support staff award nominees

Some of Oxford Schools’ best and brightest staff were announced by district principals for the 2015-16 Teacher and Support Person of the Year Awards at a school board meeting held last Wednesday.

Nominated as Leonard Elementary’s Teacher of the Year was Shannon Kage, a first-grade teacher.

“When you get to sit down in Shannon’s class, you can expect to be entertained,” said Leonard Principal Paul McDevitt. “That’s a very important quality to have as a first-grade teacher, that you can deliver content in a way that’s entertaining to the kids.”

Nominated for the Support Person of the Year award at Leonard was Diane Cooper, who works in food services.

“She just does a wonderful job of doing what makes Leonard special,” McDevitt said.

At Daniel Axford Elementary (DA), speech pathologist Sarah Harris was the Teacher of the Year nominee.

“She comes to pick up her students (at the front of the building) and it starts right there all the way down the hallway . . . The students are always learning new things with Sarah,” said DA Principal Chadwick Boyd.

Sandra Frisch, who works in food services, was nominated for Support Person of the Year at DA.

“Sandy always has a smile on her face and the students love her,” Boyd said.

The nomination for Teacher of the Year at Clear Lake Elementary went to second-grade teacher Kris Boyd.

“She’s passionate about her kids, learning and building relationships with (her students),” said Clear Lake Principal Bradley Bigelow.

The nomination for Clear Lake’s Support Person of the Year went to Amy Watson, a secretary.

“She’s proactive in helping solve problems, is supportive, organized and always very positive,” Bigelow said.

Teacher of the Year nominee at Oxford Elementary School (OES) was physical education/health teacher Tim Collins.

“With Tim, the routine is down. (The students) know what to do and they have a blast doing it,” said OES Principal Jeff Brown.

The Support Staff of the Year nomination went to Maureen Kiplinger.

“She brings so much enthusiasm and excitement into work every single day,” Brown said.

Lakeville Elementary gave its Teacher of the Year nomination to third-grade teacher Laurie Wittbold.

“She was a social worker before she was a teacher and bringing that component to teaching is really powerful,” Lakeville Principal Kristy Gibson-Marshall said.

Support Staff of the Year nominee was Gerry Campbell, who works in transportation.

“We felt as though what he does for our kids is invaluable,” Gibson-Marshall said.

At Oxford Middle School (OMS), sixth-grade math teacher James Sterba received the Teacher of the Year nomination.

“He’s a leader in the math department. Students have said he makes math fun, which can be difficult to do,” said OMS Principal Dacia Beazley.

Counseling Secretary Kathy Papsdorf, who has been with the district for 16 years, was nominated as OMS Support Person of the Year.

“She is the heart of our office and in the couple of years she’s been with our school, she’s just made such a difference,” Beazley said.

Two staff-members at Oxford High School (OHS) were also nominated.

OHS math teacher Joe Swoyer was one.

“Joe is a champion for teachers in general. Not just in Oxford, but everywhere,” said OHS Principal Todd Dunckley.

For the Support Staff of the Year award, Kathy Absher, an administrative assistant in counseling, was nominated.

“She is brilliant, crossing every ‘T’… dotting every ‘I’ when it comes to reports. Anything you want done right, you look (to) Kathy,” Dunckley said.

Tracey Hurford, a K-4 mentor teacher, was the Oxford Virtual Academy Teacher of the Year nominee. “It’s a tough thing to virtually homeschool K-5 children. She’s just been such a light to our community,” said Academic Supervisor Janet Schell.

Nominated for Oxford Crossroads Day School Teacher of the Year was Christine Mcpherson, who was not present.


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