(The 1st Teamwork Award was presented in 2012-13.)
Recognizing that learning for all students will only be accomplished when teams of teachers, support staff and administrators take responsibility for all students, the Dr. Rick Doll Teamwork Award honors and reward outstanding accomplishments by successful school teams that foster cooperation, collaboration and open communication in order to raise the achievement of all students, while closing achievement gaps. LEAP partner, Truity Credit Union, presents $1,000 to the winning team to further school teamwork activities, as determined by the winning team in cooperation with the school principal/team supervisor. The Award was created by former Superintendent Dr. Rick Doll and named in his honor by Truity upon his retirement.
Superintendent Dr. Anthony Lewis honored Free State High School's SOAR Program. Ednice Metz, Ted Juneau, Keri Austin-Janousek, and Mike Colvin work with a small group of at-risk students and their teachers to help them overcome social and test anxieties and attendance and motivation concerns so they can learn the skills they need to graduate. Principal Myron Graber says he hears from parents every week about the positive impact of this school-within-a-school program on their students.
Superintendent Anthony Lewis surprised Kennedy Elementary staff after school as they gathered for their end-of-the-year celebration and barbecue. Dr. Lewis announced that the Kennedy Leadership Team won the district's 2019 Dr. Rick Doll Teamwork Award and $1,000 from Truity Credit Union. Principal Chalita Middleton describes the leadership team as honest, balanced, and passionate. She says that members push each other to always do what's best for kids. She says that the team brings her sanity, truth, hope, and "drop the mic" moments! She adds that her sons would say, "This Team IS FIRE!"
Dr. Lewis shared that Kennedy had the greatest increase in student performance on the Kansas State Math and ELA Assessments over the past year of any elementary school in the district. He credited the leadership team for its commitment to reinvent the school culture. Congratulations, Kennedy Leadership Team members: Principal Chalita Middleton, Meredith Holland, Lauren Mitchell, Sarah Speer, Stacie Jackson, Ann Lounsbury, Lisa Powell, Samantha Thibodeau, and Lauren Henry.
Interim Superintendent Anna Stubblefield surprised South Middle School's Mental Health Team - Rose Murray, Marc Conover, Kristen Kircher, Andrew Shinnerer, Sandra Dexter, Sandy Liechti, Assistant Principal Anita Carlson, and Principal Keith Jones, with the district's 2018 Rick Doll Teamwork Award. Lawrence Education Achievement Partner Truity Credit Union presented the team with $1,000 to further support their efforts.
Stubblefield noted that South's Mental Health Team has gone above and beyond in helping all kids with its food pantry partnership, porch visits to school families, and student seminars on anxiety, bullying, digital citizenship, sexual harassment, and more.
"I know that you consistently meet with each grade level to discuss plans for kids that are struggling in the classroom. You've also worked collaboratively with the BD, ED, and Autism programs," Stubblefield said. "At the heart of your success are the personal relationships you build with students, nurturing their strengths and preparing them for high school. For all of these reasons, we think the South Middle School Mental Health Team deserves this recognition."
Superintendent of Schools Kyle Hayden honored Liberty Memorial Central Middle School’s Seventh Grade Team with the district’s 2016-17 Rick Doll Teamwork Award today. Lawrence Education Achievement Partner Truity Credit Union presented the team with $1,000 to support future team activities. Team members are Jennifer Clarkson, Adrian McAfee, Kayla Nott, Victoria Schmidt, Carol Souders, Josh Spradlin, Jackie Stafford, Adrian Trujillo, Gregg Winchester and Brooke Zeyer.
“The seventh-grade team functions efficiently using team planning time to make student-centered decisions. Their collaborative nature benefits their instructional planning and support of all students,” said LMCMS Principal Jeff Harkin. “The team puts extra efforts into extending the classroom beyond our school walls.”
The team plans a walking tour of Lawrence, during which students visit important cultural and historic sites. They also work collaboratively with University of Kansas Professional Development School professors to support interns and schoolwide professional development.
“This team has a strong family bond. They’re always working to problem solve and meet the needs of all students. If you ever get a chance to be on the third floor during the day, you will see students interacting and sharing in the halls and classrooms. Sometimes it’s difficult to tell which class is which, because that’s how seamlessly they work together to meet students’ needs,” said Anna Stubblefield, assistant superintendent of educational support and equity and a former LMCMS principal.
“This group of teachers works together often to extend learning for students beyond what is in the books. I call them the ‘dream team.’ They challenge students to expand what they have learned into ‘real-world’ situations and to be excited about learning. The relationship these teachers have with their students is positive and personal. Middle School is such a critical time for students as they develop as individuals,” said Paige Buckingham, USD 497 special education facilitator and former LMCMS parent.
Superintendent of Schools Rick Doll honored Hillcrest Elementary fourth grade teachers and resource staff with the district’s 2015-16 Teamwork Award today. Lawrence Education Achievement Partner Truity Credit Union presented the team with $1,000 to support their team activities.
“Fourth-grade teachers Tyler Gill, Kara Parkhurst and Emily Seaman exemplify the meaning of teamwork. These dedicated teachers demonstrate all the principles of a strong professional learning community. Each day they take a shared approach to instructional planning which allows them to accomplish great things with our kids. They understand the importance of continuous improvement and constantly seek better ways to achieve grade level and school goals,” said Tammy Becker, principal.
“Our fourth-grade students have an incredible experience learning year because of their shared planning and the support they provide for each other. Tyler, Kara, and Emily also do an outstanding job of collaborating with resource staff by gathering and providing evidence of student learning. This evidence is used by the expanded team members of Tiffany Hopkins, Title Services, and Emma Sudbeck, ESL Services, to provide intervention supports. Special education staff members know they can count on our fourth-grade teachers to be an active team as they work to meet the needs of all students,” Becker added.
In addition to recognizing the team, Truity Credit Union, in collaboration with Lawrence USD 497, announced that the annual award will be renamed the Rick Doll Teamwork Award in honor of Doll’s service to the district. Doll created the Teamwork Award, in cooperation with Truity Credit Union, recognizing that only when teams of administrators, teachers and support staff take responsibility for all students will the district reach its Excellence, Equity, and Engagement goals.
Superintendent Rick Doll presented the Teamwork Award to the New York Elementary School staff. "Clearly this school year's bond projects have posed challenges for all of the schools undergoing major construction and remodeling. In particular, New York Elementary has successfully navigated change and adaptation. Teachers and staff have demonstrated patience, cooperation, flexibility, a positive attitude and a great sense of humor," said Doll. "New York's staff has even seized on the opportunity to turn working in a construction zone into a learning experience for students."
Lawrence USD 497 voters approved a $92.5 million school bond issue in 2013 to improve facilities, enhance technology and expand career and technical educational opportunities for students. The district budgeted $5,739,500 for New York Elementary School. In 2014-15, construction was completed on the school's main hallway, learning pockets, northeast classroom addition and kitchen/cafeteria areas. Interior work is ongoing on the classroom addition on the south side of the school. Remodeling of existing classrooms and site work is expected to be completed by August 2015.
Lawrence High special education team (Brad Page, Jeff Melcher, Le Tran, Cheryl Hughes, Jeanne Yantzie, Jennifer Wingert, Heidi Woods, Lindsay Buck, Christina Achten, Claudean McKellips, Mike Hymer, Mallory Hancock, Brandon Lytle, Liz Fahy, Mindy Dechant, Maren Santelli, Liz Crickard, Mistie Copas-Thomas, Janelle Whisler, Sylvia Trevino-Maack, Janette Michaels, Tom Birt, Lawrence High administrators Matt Brungardt, Margene Brohammer, Mark Preut and Mike Norris, and LHS special education paraeducators.)
West Middle School 7th grade teams (Katie Becker, Deena Burnett, Lucinda Crenshaw, Angela Dieker, Michelle Kirk, Lori Lamborn, Kevin Prather, Twyla Smith and Amy Yates)