We have amazing employees! We are honoring our talented employees with Employees of the Year Awards, nominated by their peers, for their outstanding work and helping others to think globally and offer limitless choices. Employee groups honored are: Admin Support, Custodian, Food Service Department, Secretary, and Teacher.
Theron Montgomery (Coach T.), Admin. Support Employee of the Year
Theron goes above and beyond to support all students and staff at Cunningham. To support positive behaviors, he rewards students with opportunities to do things outside of school. There have been countless times where Theron has taken students who have earned this reward to go get ice cream, to the Get Air trampoline park or simply just letting them hang out with him. He does this on his free time over the weekends, and the students really enjoy the special attention. Parents appreciate him going the extra mile to help their students succeed in school. He instills values and morals in them. He stayed late after work one day to give haircuts to a couple children. One of his two nominators writes, “Every school needs someone like Coach T, they just can’t have our Coach T!” In addition to all he does for students and staff at Cunningham, Theron is an active member in the community helping to lead students through the IMPACTT program. He is a true example of a someone that wants the best for his community. Congratulations to the Waterloo Schools Administrative Support Staff Member of the Year, Theron Montgomery!
Russ Dellinger, Custodian of the Year
Russ is described as an outstanding custodian. Whatever the need, Russ is there! When a call for him comes across the radio, he responds promptly and always with a smile.One of his five nominators writes, “Russ runs himself ragged to be able to keep up with all of our needs. He is always there when we need him even when it is a somewhat crazy request. I have a touch of OCD and could not stand when I had three non-matching file cabinets in my room. Within the hour, Russ had three matching ones in and the other ones removed!” Another co-worker shared, “I look forward to saying good morning to him every morning. He is a joy in our building!” Russ is always professional, polite and will help with any request regardless of how great or small. He comes to the rescue when staff need everything from a ladder to cover posters for testing to fixing a door. And he does it all with a sense of humor and a great attitude! Another nominator writes, “I have known many custodians in this district over 20 plus years and they have all been good, but Russ is head and shoulders above the rest.” Congratulations to the Waterloo Schools Custodian of the Year, Russ Dellinger!
Bob Berumez, Campus Safety Monitor Employee of the Year
Bob has been an amazing campus safety monitor at West this year. He gives up his time and comes in early, stays late and is often seen hustling around the building breaking a sweat making sure students are where they need to be. Thanks to his efforts, the hallways are clear and the building is running as smoothly as ever. One of his three nominators writes, “Bob utilizes the PBIS language and works in collaboration with teachers, coaches, students and administration. When students are not showing appropriate behaviors, Bob has teaching moments with them and discusses what could have been done differently to change the outcome.” Another nominator writes, “Bob is an amazing West High ambassador as he greets guests warmly and helps them get where they are needed. Bob works with the entire staff to pick up and deliver students to different locations as requested and will do just about anything to help students out.” Bob does all of this with a smile on his face. At times when he could be frustrated or overworked, he is instead kind and patient with students. Bob is an amazing employee and West is proud to have him as part of their team. Congratulations to the Waterloo Schools Campus Safety Monitor of the Year, Bob Berumez!
Cathy Snook, Secretary of the Year
Cathy is described as the most kind-hearted, down to earth person. She not only does her own job but goes above and beyond for everyone else. Cathy will go out of her way to help where and when it is needed and even when it’s not. She is always willing to lend a helping hand for staff and students. If she is not at her desk she is either running school errands, walking a lap with a student who needs a listening ear, talking to a parent or helping ANY staff member. She always lends a hand cheerfully! Her nominator writes, “I always see her with a smile on her face on the toughest of days and she gives amazing advice when asked. I’m not only glad to call her my co-worker but also a friend. Thanks for your hard work and dedication to our school district and students.” Congratulations to the Waterloo Schools Secretary of the Year, Cathy Snook!
Michelle Card, Food Service Employee of the Year
Michelle received a record seven nominations! She is described as a great manager who cares about her employees. One of her nominators writes, “Any time I have a question or concern, she goes above and beyond to make sure that I understand and my questions are answered.” She is called cool under pressure as she oversees three school cafeterias. Michelle is very hands-on, taking charge of equipment repair needs, special diets for students, orders for all the menus and employee schedules. Another nominator shared, “If we are short-staffed, Michelle doesn’t hesitate to jump in and help. She goes above and beyond for her team!” Michelle also is described as a great listener who is fair and understanding. Congratulations to the Waterloo Schools Food Service Department Staff Member of the Year, Michelle Card!
Jane Castings, Elementary Teacher of the Year
Jane is called an innovator. The number of new activities she has incorporated in the media center is immense! Just to name a few: shadow puppet theater, MakerSpace, Lego Wall, giant dinosaur to theme with “DiNovember” activities, book fair donations for students in need of books, miniature golf course themed around authors . . . and the list goes on and on! Jane is truly in tune with what our young readers want to read and she goes beyond her school budget to buy what she knows our kids will enjoy. Ask any student and they will tell you when she gets a new book she thinks they will like, she recommends it. Jane is tireless and perseveres to get kids excited to read. She fills days with smiles, all the while knowing she goes home to a house and yard that have flooded four times in this school year. Congratulations to the Waterloo Schools Elementary Teacher of the Year, Jane Castings!
Shawn Langan, Para-Educator of the Year
Shawn works with third through fifth grade students in the behavior focus classroom. At times his job is very challenging, but Shawn comes to work every day with a smile on his face! There is no doubt he is making a difference in the lives of the children he works with. Since he has been working at Becker, the growth in some of the students can been directly associated with his influence. Shawn does not hesitate to jump right in to help other staff when they need support with students not in his classroom. His nominator writes, “He helps everyone, every day!” Congratulations to the Waterloo Schools Classroom Support Staff Member of the Year, Shawn Langan!
Ashley Chase, Teacher, Secondary Teacher of the Year
Ashley is described as someone who constantly shows that students are a priority. Her colorful room is a safe place for them, and her personality makes her a safe person for at-risk students. She has been an advocate for celebrating student identities and differences regarding race and gender identity. She raises money to purchase materials and is always trying innovative and creative lessons to engage the students at Central. Ashley has implemented escape rooms which are not only engaging and fun, but are also thought provoking and promote critical thinking. She has raised money to purchase headphones, dictionaries and culturally-relevant books. Her most recent project is raising money for a class microphone that is shaped like a ball, so every student feels like they have a voice in her class. She even took students on two field trips. One to the African American Children and Families Conference to promote diversity and celebration of diversity, and another trip to the Iowa Safe Schools Conference to give students tools and resources to promote tolerance and understanding of LGBTQ groups. Congratulations to the Waterloo Schools Secondary Teacher of the Year, Ashley Chase!
Click here to nominate a deserving employee.
Click here to see past Employees of the Year winners.