We have amazing staff who are working hard for our students! Manny Scott told us Your attitude determines your altitude. We want to know how a staff member “flies high” and does wonderful things for our students! Click here to nominate a staff member!
Ami Merkle-Liebsch: Manny Scott said “Your attitude determines your altitude.” Congratulations to Ami Merkle-Liebsch for flying high in our district! Ami is described as a true leader at Expo. She serves on several different committees and is always willing to step in and help out. Ami builds strong positive relationships with ALL of her students. She helps students build the confidence they need to be successful. They often come back to visit her and check in. She builds such strong relationships that students request to go back to her classroom. Thank you, Ami, for being a high flier in Waterloo Schools!
Korie Frazier: Manny Scott said “Your attitude determines your altitude.” Congratulations to Korie Frazier for flying high in our district! Mrs. Frazier is described as someone who keeps high spirits, holds her students to high expectations and is a true example of a Cunningham Team Player. At the beginning of the year, Mrs. Frazier was asked to move to a fourth grade classroom she had not been originally assigned to teach. She agreed instantly. The students in her class love her and truly try their hardest each and every day. Mrs. Frazier demonstrates pride and excellence and does what is best for her students and the building. She is a great example of someone “flying high” to make sure students have a successful year!
Keith Galloway: Manny Scott said “Your attitude determines your altitude.” Congratulations to Keith Galloway for flying high in our district! Keith is described as someone who routinely sets an exemplary example for his students by his actions and expectations. He not only teaches his students, Keith also shows them how the things they are learning are put to work and that all students are part of the Becker community. Keith sets a positive example for his students and demonstrates it in the classroom on a daily basis. As the saying goes, actions speak louder than words! Thank you, Keith, for being a high flier in Waterloo Schools!
Britney Faust: Manny Scott said “Your attitude determines your altitude.” Congratulations to Britney Faust for flying high in our district! Britney is described as someone who gets to know the students and makes an extra effort to encourage them several times daily. Her nominator writes, “She smiles in spite of the difficult tasks she faces and she accepts challenges head on. She is organized, keeping track of data, and she is pleasant when collaborating with staff and families. She is deserving of this award and so much more.” Thank you, Britney, for being a high flier in Waterloo Schools!
Meko Pearson: Manny Scott said “Your attitude determines your altitude.” Congratulations to Meko Pearson for flying high in our district! Miss Pearson is described as highly dedicated to her career. Her nominator writes, “She joined our staff a few years ago, and she has helped countless students grow academically and socially. I am impressed by her go above and beyond mentality that she possesses every single day. Not only does Meko motivate students to come to school, she also drives to a student’s home to help prepare her to come to school! You will notice that Meko takes initiative in all aspects. She will even grab a shovel and help clear sidewalks in the morning at the drop of a hat. We are extremely proud to have one of the best human beings on our staff at Poyner. We love Meko!”
Jessica Lieb: Manny Scott said “Your attitude determines your altitude.” Congratulations to Jessica Lieb for flying high in our district! Ms. Lieb is described as someone who loves the students in her classes and goes over and above in helping them achieve higher goals in choir. The parent who nominated her writes, “Ms.Lieb has helped my daughter discover more of her singing abilities at Bunger. She encouraged her to audition for the OPUS Honor Choir this year and because of that she was picked to join the choir. She also has been willing to meet with my daughter before and after school to practice the music for the concert. Not many teachers are so willing to give up their personal time for a student. In my book, she ” Flies High.”
Linda Armstrong: Manny Scott said “Your attitude determines your altitude.” Congratulations to Linda Armstrong for flying high in our district! Linda goes above and beyond her duties by actively seeking ways to contribute to her department. She learned to utilize software to create graphics and is now contributing to nearly all of the district’s print handouts and advertising. Recently, she took on extra work to help with Lowell’s transition to the old AEA building. Her extra efforts were instrumental in making the transition go smoothly. Another nominator writes, “Linda is always so positive and willing to help. She jumps in with assistance no matter what and even learns new software to help out her department and save the district design fees for print projects. When the Lowell disaster hit, she went above and beyond making signs, answering phones and even going to buy tubs for donated school supplies on top of her normal busy workload…and did all of this with a smile and no complaints. She is always in a good mood and a welcoming smile to start each day! Everyone needs a Linda in their department! She is definitely a high flier!”
Mary Peterson: Manny Scott said “Your attitude determines your altitude.” Congratulations to Mary Peterson for flying high in our district! Mary is described as someone who is ALWAYS thinking and implementing new ways to promote literacy at Orange. Her nominator writes, “Mary implemented the “Tiger Bookmobile” over the past several summers and is looking to expand the program. Kids & parents in our neighborhood and several others look forward to getting free books every month in the summer.” She also is responsible for the “Little Free Library” at the Orange playground that gets lots of use by families that come to play at the school. Mary is also behind an excellent “Reading Buddy” partnership with many community members. She stops by to make sure the partnerships are working well and that volunteers know they are appreciated. Thanks to Mary Peterson for being a high flier!
Abigal Regenold: Manny Scott said “Your attitude determines your altitude.” Congratulations to Abby Regenold for flying high in our district! Abby is described as helpful and understanding. She was nominated by a parent who said her daughter has Mrs. Regenold for 5th grade this year and she understands what her daughter needs to work on at school and at home and always helps out when she can. Thanks, Abby, for being a high flier for Waterloo Schools!
Alek Davis: Manny Scott said “Your attitude determines your altitude.” Congratulations to Alek Davis for flying high in our district! Mr. Davis is described as a true team player who goes above and beyond the duties of his position. He does an awesome job creating relationships with students and staff. Mr. Davis is usually one of the first people at work and one of the last to leave. His nominator writes, “I’ve watched him over the years interact with students, and it’s obvious to me that his commitment is 100%. He’s always fair, ethical, honest and does things the right way. The qualities and characteristics of a true professional. It’s great being able to work with him, and to be able to pick his brain, because he is a tremendous resource of content knowledge.” Thanks, Mr. Davis, for being a high flier in our district!
Carrie Heinzerling, Adam Ahrendsen and Annette Duncan: Manny Scott said “Your attitude determines your altitude.” Congratulations to Carrie Heinzerling, Adam Ahrendsen and Annette Duncan for flying high in our district! The staff member who nominated them writes, “These three people were our rock during our move to our new location. They provided us with amazing support. They took all the logistical requirements and time it took to enable our teachers to focus on our rooms and our students. They carried the burdens of organizing all the “little” details that go unnoticed, yet a crucial part of our days. I never heard one of them say one negative thing. Their actions and their words were both positive and inspiring. The message each and every day was, “We got this!” They are true professionals and this showed with interactions with staff, parents, volunteers and students. They truly exemplified our logo #LoveLeadsLowell! This is an amazing building and it starts at the top. They remember what it is like to be in a classroom and the concerns and responsibilities we as teachers have. We are blessed to have them at Lowell and they are truly High Fliers!”
Sharon Porter: Manny Scott said “Your attitude determines your altitude.” Congratulations to Sharon Porter for flying high in our district! A staff member writes, “Senora Porter greets everyone with a friendly smile and consistently offers encouragement for others. She is a bubbly personality that brightens many people’s moods. Each morning before school starts she greets students in the hall, praising behaviors. She has brought food and frequently distributes water bottles on hot days to nourish the students and her co-workers just like her positive attitude nourishes others.” Another nominator, this one a student, shares, “Mrs. Porter supports and pushes her students to be their best inside and outside the classroom. She always provides extra help to students when they need assistance. She displays great school spirit and shows interest in their activities. She makes Spanish learning fun and expands the class to discuss not only language but also the culture of Spanish speaking communities. She also influences me and all of her student to be WEST inside and outside of the school.” Thanks to Sharon Porter for being a high flier in our district!
Carrie Sauer: Manny Scott said “Your attitude determines your altitude.” Congratulations to Carrie Sauer for flying high in our district! Carrie is described as solution-based when it comes to solving problems. She listens intently to students and staff and is creative when coming up with ideas. Carrie goes above and beyond to do little acts of kindness. Her nominator writes, “Last year my literacy team was really struggling to accomplish all of our tasks. Carrie listened and offered to give us collaborative work time by taking all of our skills students. She gave us her room to work in and brought each person their favorite snack and soda. It was such a relief to have some focused work time, and we really enjoyed the treats.” Thank you, Carrie, for being a high flier!
Jerry Chase: Manny Scott said “Your attitude determines your altitude.” Congratulations to Jerry Chase for flying high in our district! No matter what the day brings, Mr. Chase is ready to go with high standards and engaging lessons. He works and strives to make connections with kids, staff and parents. He takes the time to know each of his students and what they strive to be successful at. He dresses to the nines, holding himself to a high standard which allows him to hold his students to the same high standard. His nominator writes, “Students often struggle with math concepts. Mr. Chase is quick to find a real world connection, especially a connection that ties to the student struggling. It might be done through music, sports or even by reading the novel a student is.” Thanks to Jerry Chase for being a high flier!
Jenny Roster: Manny Scott said “Your attitude determines your altitude.” Congratulations to Jenny Roster for flying high in our district! Mrs. Roster is described as someone who consistently goes above and beyond as a Teacher Librarian. She has a great relationship with her students and demands excellence from them by setting high expectations and challenging their thinking. Mrs. Roster’s commitment to Highland is evident by her presence on several committees, including PTO. She commits many hours, outside what is required of her position, in order to ensure the Highland PTO can reach its goal of purchasing outdoor seating for the school. She also recently attended trainings to bring new ideas and resources to Highland like Ramps & Pathways and Maker Space. Her nominator says it is an honor to have Mrs. Roster at Highland!
Jennifer Peters: Manny Scott said “Your attitude determines your altitude.” Congratulations to Jennifer Peters for flying high in our district! She is a selfless team member when it comes to helping others. Described as always willing to support in any way she can, Jennifer is called a great teacher and leader. Her nominator writes, “When I had an unexpected death in my family, I asked Jen if she would be willing to fill in for me to do Parent-Led conferences since she’s in my classroom for most of the day anyway. She didn’t hesitate to say “Yes, I can do that. I feel privileged to be able to work with her. ” Thanks to Jennifer Peters for being a high flier!
Pam Carter: Manny Scott said “Your attitude determines your altitude.” Congratulations to Pam Carter for flying high in our district! Pam is described as someone who knows her job and does it well and always with a positive attitude. Her nominator writes, “You can go to her with a problem or a question and if she doesn’t have the answer she will go the extra mile to find out for you.” She is one of the first faces students, staff and visitors see in the office, and her pleasant demeanor is very welcoming to all. Thanks to Pam Carter for being a high flier!
Jarrid Talbert: Manny Scott said “Your attitude determines your altitude.” Congratulations to Jarrid Talbert for flying high in our district! Jarrid is described as quick to help at any moment, and as someone who always has a positive attitude when working with co-workers and students. He does not hesitate to offer his help outside of his expected duties and does everything with a smile on his face! His nominator writes, “We love him at Irving, and appreciate all that he does to support our kids! I have a student who needs some additional support and encouragement throughout his days and Mr. Talbert will always check in and also be there to help when things are not going well.” Thanks to Jarrid Talbert for being a high flier!
Sara Strawhacker: Manny Scott said “Your attitude determines your altitude.” Congratulations to Sara Strawhacker for flying high in our district! Sara genuinely loves and cares for the students and meets them where they are. She not only makes the kids feel encouraged and uplifted, Sara also does the same for her co-workers. Her nominator writes, “I just started my role this week and she has put a smile on my face everyday. Whether it be her dancing and singing along to ‘Just Dance’ during the kids’ brain breaks or the way she loves the kids, it truly inspires me to come fly high with her. She has an energy that I strive to match so that our team can be the best for our kids.” Thanks, Sara, for being a high flier for Waterloo Schools!
Stephanie Giachino: Manny Scott said “Your attitude determines your altitude.” Congratulations to Stephanie Giachino for flying high in our district! Stephanie puts in many hours beyond the school day to do what’s best for kids. She digs deep into her background and looks for new ideas to use in her teaching. Stephanie is described as someone who puts student learning as a priority, along with building relationships with students. Her nominator writes, “She definitely flys high in her position. She runs the Lego League for Poyner, is on the writing committee and is very knowledgeable in all areas of academics. She had over 80% of her students proficient in math on the Iowa Assessments last year. That’s dedication!!” Thank you, Stephanie, for being a high flier for Waterloo Schools!
Gina Weekley: Manny Scott said “Your attitude determines your altitude.” Congratulations to Gina Weekley for flying high in our district! Her attitude is so positive and she is willing to help out whenever needed. She shows passion and pride with the work she does which inspires people to do the same. Her nominator writes, “These are the people we need in Waterloo Schools to help promote a healthy learning environment. She and I are working together to bring Irving and Lincoln extramural sports programs closer by having fun competition and cooperation between the two schools.” Her work is showing our students that they can do so much more if they are united and working toward a common goal. Thank you, Gina, for being a high flier!
Heather McKinley: Manny Scott said “Your attitude determines your altitude.” Congratulations to Heather McKinley for flying high in our district! She is described as always positive, and someone who makes every single staff member feel comfortable, especially the new teachers. She rearranges her schedule to find time to help support, whether that be in a classroom assisting teachers or at one of her three schools. Even on a bad day Heather chooses to find the positive in a situation and helps boost you up when you are down! Another nominator writes, she is very caring and goes above and beyond to help anyone who needs it getting kids ready to learn. Thank you, Heather, for being a high flier!
Alexis Higgins: Manny Scott said “Your attitude determines your altitude.” Congratulations to Alexis Higgins for being a high flier! Alexis is described as someone who embraces every challenge with a positive outlook. Her nominator writes, “With every student she works with, she is able to connect with them and find their positives and interests in order to better support their areas in need whether academic or behavior.” Thank you, Alexis, for coming to work with a good attitude and commitment to caring. We appreciate you flying high for Waterloo Schools!
Evan Deuth: Manny Scott said “Your attitude determines your altitude.” Congratulations to Evan Deuth who always has an encouraging word for any staff member or student that is having a bad day. No matter what is happening, Evan keeps a smile on his face and finds the positive side of all situations. His nominator writes, “I have seen him embrace new opportunities to better serve our students from his position change this last year to finding new and innovative ways to engage students in the classroom. He takes the time to get to know students on a personal level and work through issues with them. Evan is the most positive and caring individual I have had the honor of knowing. He does good for kids every single day with a smile on his face.” Thank you, Evan, for showing respect, kindness and love to our students!
Dennis Foulk: Manny Scott said “Your attitude determines your altitude.” Congratulations to Dennis Foulk for flying high with a record eight nominations from his co-workers! Dennis is described as always helpful and in a cheerful mood. Among his many nominations are these descriptions of him: “Dennis does a thankless job yet does it joyfully every day. He has been helping to cover a shortage of custodians in our building. Many days he works two shifts to help make sure our building is taken care of and clean for students and staff. Here’s a man that takes pride in his job, making things look as nice as possible for everyone who walks in the doors! Dennis is the kindest man you could ever meet. He always greets everyone with a smile. Dennis is the epitome of a true gentleman and we are blessed to have him with us. He is always a smiling example of the people that make schools a special and wonderful place to work.” Thank you Dennis, for being a high flier!
Stephanie Peters: Manny Scott said “Your attitude determines your altitude.” Congratulations to Stephanie Peters for being a high flier! Stephanie is described as a huge asset to Lowell. She has written several grants to get technology for the library, a water bottle filler station, and items to use in our Makerspace (which she also runs). Stephanie works with our students to ensure she is teaching them the technology they need to be successful in the classroom. She is positive everyday and has been a check in, check out person for several students in the building. She joined the Lighthouse Team this year and also agreed to be the co-coach for PBIS. She is an amazing teacher to our students and a great colleague to the rest of our staff! Her nominator adds, “Stephanie has a positive attitude everyday. She always has a smile and greets everyone in the hallway. She is a great role model for everyone at Lowell!”
Megan Lumetta: Manny Scott said “Your attitude determines your altitude.” Congratulations to Megan Lumetta for being a high flier! Her nominator writes, “When you see Megan first thing in the morning you know you’re going to have a great day. Her positive attitude toward life carries over to all students and staff.” She makes everyone feel they are valuable and an important part of our Bunger team. With a smile on her face, she kindly guides the Behavior Program with compassion and leadership. She is always aware of where the students she is supporting are coming from and helping them find a positive path to success. Her ability to support the student’s behavior needs is done in a manner of firmness but fair. She spends a lot of her time conferencing with students about behavior and working with the students to come up with strategies to find a path to be successful in school and life. Thanks, Megan, for flying high!
Kellie Knight: Manny Scott said “Your attitude determines your altitude.” Ms. Knight is always engaged with her students in a positive manner with a smile on her face, dedicated to her students. Her nominator writes, “I was in her classroom and the students were doing group activities. She is always pleasant with her students and she always reminds her students to be courteous/respectful of others, I love that about her. These are morals/values that will last a lifetime. Ms. Knight cares!” Congratulations to Kellie Knight for being a high flier!
Stephanie Moeller: Manny Scott said “Your attitude determines your altitude.” Congratulations to Stephanie Moeller who is described as super positive and always willing to jump in and offer coaching and a helping hand! Her guidance and leadership are not only well accepted but always appreciated. In addition, she is such a team player and focused on her students first. Stephanie is always willing to jump in with both feet on new projects or programs to support our kids. A second nominator writes, “Mrs. Moeller is always positive no matter the circumstances and is constantly encouraging others to not only be their best at school, but in their personal lives as well. She has such a balanced approach to everything she does and mentors others to find a way to do the same. She took time out of her busy schedule to get a group of teachers together to exercise every week after school to sharpen our saws and strengthen our team.”
Teanna Smart: Manny Scott said “Your attitude determines your altitude.” Thanks to Teanna Smart for coming to work everyday with a positive attitude! Her nominator writes, in an instant Teanna may have to take someone home because their parents have no car. She goes out of her way to support families with uniforms or if they need medicine picked up for their children. If she sees the interventionist overwhelmed with students, she will volunteer to take them on a walk or try to help them de-escalate. Teanna always helps the secretary at the end of the day and steps in when families need extra support. Recently a child was upset and Teanna said give me a hug and sat with the young lady until she calmed down. Congratulations on being a high flier!
Sarah Westhoff: Manny Scott said “Your attitude determines your altitude.” Congratulations to Sarah Westhoff for radiating positivity! She teaches 4-year-old, self-contained students and is friendly with everyone in the building. Sarah always pushes for what’s best for her students! Her nominator writes, “Last year, when I had a very challenging general education student, Sarah helped me problem solve and create strategies. She loaned me some social-emotional books and was able to provide some specific ideas for how to help my student. Having Sarah in the building is a benefit to all of us!”
Claudia Lucas: Manny Scott said “Your attitude determines your altitude.” Congratulations to Claudia Lucas who is a true team player! She jumped into her position as a dual language teacher this year and has been awesome with her new assignment. Claudia always puts a smile on her face and works to build relationships with her students and co-workers. She is doing a great job teaching and speaking Spanish to children who do not speak the language. Thank you, Claudia, for being a high flier!
Gregory Sykes: Manny Scott said “Your attitude determines your altitude.” Congratulations to Greg Sykes for being someone whose positive attitude is uplifting. His nominator writes, “I was having an episode of negativity and Mr. Sykes first asked if I was okay. I told him how I was feeling. He then said with his friendly smile, look for the good and pull them aside and talk— get to know them. I needed that reminder today.” Thank you Greg for lifting up students, staff and families. You are truly a high flier for Waterloo Schools!
Vanessa Nolan: Manny Scott said “Your attitude determines your altitude.” Congratulations to Hoover’s Vanessa Nolan for being someone whose positive attitude makes her a recipient of the High Flier Award! Vanessa has a big heart. She goes out of her way for any child. You can always count on her, as she puts her kids’ needs first. Her nominator writes, “They all love her and look up to her for everything. She spends countless hours always making sure they are happy and is always there for all of her students. If she knows there is something any child needs and they can’t get it, she will take her own money and time to make sure they have it when they need it.” Another nominator says she always has a positive behavior response to any challenge a student might present. Thank you, Vanessa, for flying high!
Ryan Black: Manny Scott said “Your attitude determines your altitude.” Congratulations to Central’s Ryan Black for being a recipient of the High Flier Award! Ryan always puts forth a welcoming and upbeat attitude. He genuinely cares about each student and makes it a point to make them feel valued. He goes out of his way to make positive contacts with students. One of his nominators writes, “Ryan went outside to the sidewalk on Friday to give each student a fist bump, greet them with a smile, and share kind words to send each student off on a high note for the weekend. His smile was contagious! Students left school obviously feeling good about themselves and school.” Another nominator says, “Mr. Black goes above and beyond every day for his students and team. He created a 7th grade PBIS incentive cart (known as the Charger Cart) to reward all 7th grade students twice a week in their Skills classes for positive behavior. He monitors and oversees the student leaders who help out with rewards and prizes, encourages teachers to participate by giving out Charger Cash for exceptional behavior, and provides an overall sunny demeanor to our building every day!” Thank you, Ryan, for being a High Flier!
Jamie Harrings: Manny Scott said “Your attitude determines your altitude.” Congratulations to Carver’s Jamie Harrings for being someone whose positive attitude makes her the district’s first recipient of the High Flier Award! She is a teacher described as always upbeat. As a band instructor, she keeps a positive tone in her voice and is a champion to not only our students but the staff and our district as well. She goes out of her way to support the systems we have put into place this year at Carver and leads by example. Jamie had a rough beginning of the year as her family had suffered a major fire of her childhood home. She did not let that tragedy keep her from being an upbeat leader taking care of business at home as well as business at work. She showed by example that tragic events don’t have to keep you down or keep you from doing what needs to be done EVERY DAY with a smile. Jamie is the first one to offer help to others when they are dealing with difficulties both in and outside of the work day. Thank you, Jamie, for helping us all fly high!
Jami Nott: Manny Scott said “Your attitude determines your altitude.” Congratulations to Poyner’s Jamie Nott for being someone whose positive attitude makes her a recipient of the High Flier Award! Her nominator and former Highland co-worker writes, “I admire her ambition and dedication to Waterloo Schools in an instructional coaching position. Her impact at Highland still remains.” Jami pushes herself to grow professionally and that dedication helped her land her current role as a literacy coach at Poyner. Thank you, Jami, for elevating all of our work in the district to a higher level. Congratulations on being a high flier!
Ashley Reimer: Manny Scott said “Your attitude determines your altitude.” Congratulations to West High’s Ashley Reimer for being a recipient of the High Flier Award! Ashley is a Performance Based Diploma Academy or PBDA Coordinator at West. It is a job which requires her to balance many things throughout the day. She is constantly on the move, engaged with students in and out of class and helping keep the academy running smoothly. She is quick to assist those in need, listens to concerns with an open mind and willingly seeks ways to improve herself and the climate of West. For example, in just one morning, Ashley helped subs in three PBDA classrooms, worked with a 5th year student on graduation options, monitored the halls to encourage students to be on task, helped engage some students who were losing focus and answered PBDA support staff questions and concerns. Ashley takes on so much, yet always stays upbeat and positive!
Krista Platte: Manny Scott said “Your attitude determines your altitude.” Congratulations to East High’s Krista Platte for being a recipient of the High Flier Award! Krista works to help every student in ways that go above and beyond a teacher’s job description. She forges relationships that positively impact our students beyond classwork. Her nominator writes, “I have seen very few, if any, colleagues who work so continuously to make our students’ world better and to set them up for their future.” Krista has truly stepped in as a “second mother” for many students. Her influence is clear in the fact that she had students ask her to walk out with them on Senior Night at basketball. Thank you, Krista, for flying high in Waterloo Schools!
Click here for past My WHY Recipients.