Creekside Middle School Principal Shawn Posey nominated teacher Rich Kelly for the award and said Kelly demonstrated “professionalism at its finest.” Posey praised Kelly for his work as half of the teaching team “Rich and Rich,” with fellow eighth-grade science teacher Rich Dambrosio, who was honored in November. Posey noted that the latest California Standardized Testing and Reporting scores showed a 27 percent growth in advanced and proficient science ratings among eighth-graders.
Kelly also helps local students with the Greater Downtown Creekside Garden, which is a garden plot on the school grounds.
Janie Castillo, a member of the Patterson Unified nursing department, excels at taking care of the children at each school site, according to Debbie Azevedo, a colleague who nominated Castillo for the award.
Castillo has helped train new health clerks in the school system and is professional in her work with parents and her co-workers, Azevedo stated in the nomination application.
Dave Hodge, director of special education in the district, presented the award to Castillo at April 2 meeting and offered high praise for the nursing staff.
“They do it all — from bloody noses to headaches to handing out toothbrushes,” Hodge said. “They keep our kids healthy — sometimes to the expense of their time.”
Tracy Manzoni, a program specialist in the special education department, joined the local school district three years ago.
Hodge, who nominated Manzoni, said she had “incredible creative energy, a refreshing idealism, and a commitment to students with disabilities.”
Manzoni has helped operate a full-time resource inclusion model at the high school, contributed to opening a local adult transition program and supervised the district’s special-education interns, Hodge added.
“I’ve come to rely upon her good judgment to help create district policy,” Hodge said. “Tracy has excelled at everything the district has asked her to do.”
Each of the three employees received a gift certificate and keychain.