School board honors schools, individuals

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Posted Thu, Mar 10, 2011

GOLDEN, Colo.- The Jefferson County Public Schools Board of Education honored several schools and individuals Thursday night, March 3.

Colorado Department of Education recognized school libraries and individuals for their important work in student achievements in their schools.

The board began the regular meeting with its customary preliminary schedule, before moving onto honors and recognition.

Matt Cormier, executive director of educational teaching services, began the ceremony acknowledging 47 Jefferson County school libraries which had been selected as “power libraries.” The “power library” program is operated by the Colorado Department of Education to recognize school libraries for important qualities they provide to student achievements in their school.

“Just three years ago we had 11 power libraries, today we have 47,” Cormier said. “That’s the most of any district in the state.”

The “power library” honorees included 36 elementary schools, six middle schools, and five high schools including the county’s career and technical high school, Warren Tech.

Next, board member Jane Barnes recognized Bear Creek High School instructional coach Kay Newcomer for her achievement as this year’s O’Rourke Award winner. The O’Rourke Award, Barnes explained, is awarded to an exemplary leader of professional learning and collaborator of practices, who has significantly impacted the learning of educators.

Newcomer was nominated for the award by Bear Creek High School principal Mary Lauer. “Kay’s professionalism, courage, determination and integrity have made her a role model for all educators,” Lauer said. “She inspires all of us to excel in our work together.”

After Newcomer’s award, the board wanted to recognize Green Mountain High School counselor Sandy Austin. Superintendant Cindy Stevenson said, “(Austin) was recognized as one of the top 10 counselors out of the more than 100,000 counselors nationwide.”

Austin was selected as such by the American School Counselors Association for her work in forming the “Believe it or not, I care” (BIONIC) team. The BIONIC team helps students who have been affected by illness, trauma, or death. Austin was also named Colorado High School Counselor of the Year in 2008 by ASCA.

To round out the honors portion of the meeting Dave Thomas, board president, welcomed Irene Griego, office of cultural diversity, to announce nearly 50 other individuals receiving the 2011 Wayne Carle Diversity Award.

Among the many recognized were Lakewood Mayor Bob Murphy and Jefferson County District Attorney Scott Storey. The Carle Award is given to those who have made outstanding contributions to diversity in the Jefferson County community. Murphy and Storey were selected for their efforts in establishing a Boys & Girls Club at O’Connell Middle School.

The program, the first of its kind in Jefferson County, helps provide affordable after school solutions for kids who would otherwise be latch key children.

Power Libraries by District

Jeffco- 47

Adams 12 -27

CSSD11- 11

Denver- 7

Academy- 6

Douglas County- 6

Boulder Valley- 3

Cherry Creek- 3

Eight Districts with 1 or 2

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