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Sunday, 11/29/2015

Fall 2015 Staff Appreciation



Genevieve Gelle – Crothers Teacher  
Nominated by Jacklyn Smith

So many people start off these types of written expressions with, “If I could use one word to describe _____ it would be _______.”  However, in this nomination, I cannot find only ONE word to describe Genevieve Gelle. With so many words to describe her, I will limit it to four: passionate, caring, motivated and determined. I utilize these words in this nomination for Staff Appreciation because they are the adjectives to describe her actions while researching and planning programs/events to bring to Crothers Elementary.  Genevieve embraces change, new concepts and ideas & has been driven to help incorporate more positive character development lessons and school wide unity. 

After being given the idea from a colleague, it was Genevieve’s passionate, caring, motivated and determined personality that played a major role in organizing Crothers Elementary with an amazing “One School, One Book, One Goal” – March is Reading Month 2015 unified plan.

It was Genevieve who brought an outstanding March 2015 assembly to our school so our students could hear character trait literature and interact with a children’s book author regarding positive actions in leadership.

It was Genevieve who collaborated with teachers at Peck and Roose in order to create and launch something similar to “Habit Huddle” and “Roose Rockets” - - creatively calling ours “Panda PALs” (which began in the spring 2015 and still continues today as it became a monthly “mix it up” where students from all grade levels can interact and learn more about the given character trait for the month).

It was Genevieve who created a 2015 “Heros of Crothers Elementary” display board to show information and pictures of family members who have served our country. Beautifully put together in a United States flag design. It is Genevieve whom this year continued this honor with letter writing to men/women who have served (which we presented at Memorial Park on Veteran’s Day during the Warren community ceremony).

Genevieve’s mind is ALWAYS thinking about ways to create unity, consistency and leadership with Crothers staff & students. I wanted her to know that her hard work has paid off…… she is inspiring. She is a leader…... I, for one, am one of the many following her lead.

Ellen Livingston – Crothers Teacher
Nominated by Julia Carlesso, Tonya Templin, Elizabeth Perlaki

Ellen is always offering support with all of our students. In addition to that she goes above and beyond helping her fellow teachers. She is always available to assist and offer advice on a variety of topics, not just reading support. She has a calm presence which helps in stressful situations. This year she created teacher progress monitoring folders which contains everything needed to progress monitor students in reading. Ellen is a great asset to our staff!


Dori Babcock – Roose Teacher

Nominated by Mary Binge

Dori has a calm and caring manner with students and staff.  She encourages students who are struggling with their self-control to make good choices.  She is supportive to teachers by creating behavior plans and finding help when a student is having difficulty in class.  She has been a great addition to our Roose family.

Amanda Waite – Roose Teacher
Nominated by Amber LaPerriere, Dori Babcock, and a student

Ms. Waite is not only a great friend but she is a great teacher. Not only does she create lifelong learners, she also builds strong confident students every day. Instead of me continuing to talk about how great she is I want to share a story and some words from one of her students.

During the first month of school a former student of Ms. Waite's was asked to do the morning announcements. He was very hesitate at first but later decided to do it. On his first day he started by thanking Ms. Waite for giving him the confidence to do it. He later talked to me about why Ms. Waite deserves recognition for being a great teacher. He told me that "Ms. Waite is great because she always gives you a chance. Even when you make a mistake she does not yell at you but instead helps you. She is nice and has giving me the confidence to always do my best!"

Thank you to Ms. Waite for helping create lifelong learners on the inside and out. The students are lucky to have her.

Amanda cares deeply about the students at Roose and goes out of her way to foster relationships with both her students and the students from other classrooms.  Her classroom is a school family that is full of warmth, compassion and love.  Amanda has a meaningful impact on her students and truly helps to shape their lives for the better.


Christel Cook, CLHS Science Teacher / Community Outreach Club sponsor
Nominated by Ben Gurk, CLHS Principal

Description of honoree: Mrs. Cook works diligently and tirelessly to build positive relationships between CLHS and the community. For example, in October her Community Service Class and Community Outreach Club helped advertise the CLPS coat drive at the high school which increased the amount of donations this year; two of her students also volunteered to work at the clothing drive.

Mrs. Cook's Community Service Class also held a toiletries drive at the high school for a local homeless shelter. They collected 14 shampoos and conditioners, 7 toothpaste tubes, 3 toothbrushes, 6 dental floss rolls, 22 bars of soap, 10 deodorants, and 3 lotions. Mrs. Cook and her students then delivered the goods as well.

Recently, Mrs. Cook coordinated with our JROTC and had four CLHS cadets mentor the Boy Scout troop she leads. The CLHS cadets interacted with Cub Scout troop 1708 Wolf Cubs and taught them proper flag etiquette and procedures.

Mrs. Cook’s initiatives exemplify CLHS service to the community and she is deserving of commendation.

Jeff Sharrow, CLHS Math Teacher / Department Chair
Ben Gurk, CLHS Principal

Last winter Mr. Sharrow attended a conference wherein he observed a presentation on the flipped classroom model. He spoke with the presenter at length, returned home and researched the possibilities. He then wrote a proposal, presented at a Moms’ and Dads’ Club meeting and obtained funding for a classroom set of Chromebooks, an essential component for the flipped classroom model. He then spent the summer creating 8-12 minute instructional videos that he posts online. This fall, he implemented the flipped model in his Algebra II classes. This model allows students to watch the daily instructional videos anytime from their computer or mobile device, wherein they may pause, rewind, and take notes at their own pace. During actual class time, the students then have the opportunity to work in cooperative learning groups and individually, while Mr. Sharrow monitors their progress and avails himself for questions. Mr. Sharrow’s flipped classroom initiative has also shared this experience and inspired another math teacher, Mrs. Steinberg, to implement the flipped model as well.

Mr. Sharrow’s initiative exemplifies Center Line High School’s innovative use of technology and forward thinking instructional models that individualize learning for students within a 21st century learning environment.

Troy Thomas and Tim Conaton
Casey Conaton

I had placed a work order to put up banners and boards in the Freshman Academy hallway. Troy and Tim from maintenance, came to me and asked what my vision was for the design. When I explained what I was envisioning, they both came back with a creative design plan for our banners. When I questioned them with "That seems like a lot of work for you guys?" Troy said "If it's going to make the building look nice it's worth it".  It is obvious both Troy and Tim feel pride in their work and for the Center Line Community. The work they put into making the Freshman Academy hallway positive and inviting, was above and beyond my expectations and I am thankful for their work. 

Marc Byrn, Bret Davis, Carolyn Finazzo, Lesley Harris, Eric Heinz, Rich Ohngren, Ben Seligson, Jessica Yeakel, Alicia Mushro
Casey Conaton

The Freshman Academy staff has gone above and beyond in regards to building relationships with students. I am overwhelmed with the communication that takes place among our small learning community in regards to student behavior, academics, and attendance. All of the teachers in the Academy discuss and share techniques and strategies to reach students they may struggle with. The positive climate the teachers and students experience is a direct result of the teachers' commitment to making sure every student is successful. I am proud to say I work with these individuals every day and appreciate their commitment the students of the Freshman Academy. 


Theresa Elya – Food Service Director
Nominated by Judy Young

We would like to nominate Theresa Elya, our food service director for staff Appreciation for Innovation.

She is tireless in keeping our children fed.  Not only does she provide our children with wonderful nutritious breakfasts and lunches according to the new food guide lines, which isn't always easy, but she helps our community. She started blessings in a backpack, which provides food for our children to take home for the week ends.

Once a month, rain, sleet, snow, hot, or cold, she is out at Miller passing out food for Gleaners, with a happy heart.

She keeps all of us women in the kitchen in line.  Helping us to get the ONLY perfect audit in Macomb County.

Corrine Birko - Administration Building, Assistant to Superintendent
Nominated by Sharon Maszal
Relationships (Could be Innovation also - she does it all)

I have had the pleasure of working with Corrine for many years. I have seen her talk to parents that were so upset or angry for one reason or another and by the time she was done they were calm and arranging a meeting with Ms. Kaltz.

She handles all the Board of Education items - scheduling conferences for members, board packets, making sure that they have the latest and greatest information and always having the Board meetings ready for them only to mention a few things.

She has always had the role of a leader at the administration building and helps in assuring that it runs very smoothly.  Eve and Corrine have worked together these past years, but have been friends for many years.  You can tell that this friendship has helped their work relationship because of the smoothness that these two generate from the Superintendent's Office.  She always is arranging different functions between the staff, then in the district, and for Ms. Kaltz.  Corrine is also part of the Education Foundation (and by the way tickets are on sale for the 2016 year – just thought I would give it a plug) and has done many duties associated with this organization.  She always hosts Ms. Kaltz's birthday luncheon at her home luckily the last couple of years the sun was shining and we were able to enjoy her wonderful backyard garden which is a beautiful site for anyone that has seen it.

At the District level when an emergency arises it will hit her desk and from there she handles it without flaw; getting the news out to Ms. Kaltz, and individuals that are involved.  Corrine is the first line of communication between the community and the district.  She has made many acquaintances and contacts through her years of service that have done nothing but benefit the district.   

Whenever I need anything from the Superintendent's Office, she is willing and able to help.  She has helped me locate consortium letters, state letters, and general information that I had no idea where to start.

She is our cornerstone of the district and with her retirement approaching soon she will be missed more than she can possible know.  It has been a pleasure to work with Corrine and I am truly grateful for her friendship.