PSD staff accomplishments, collaborations and grant awards

PSD staff achieve and succeed! The latest outstanding accomplishments are below.


Grant awards

  • Katy Williams, Blevins Middle School teacher, was selected as a 2020 STEM Research Grant recipient by the Society for Science & the Public. She will receive individual STEM kits for her sixth graders to help foster student research both in the classroom and at home. 
  • Melanie Voegeli Morris, PSD mental health and prevention coordinator, received a grant from the Larimer County Department of Behavioral Health for $104,760 to hire a bilingual mental health outreach specialist. The specialist will help identify and assist students and families who have been adversely impacted by COVID-19 so that students can fully engage in learning.
  • PSD Student Services Department received two grants to help with counseling services for students, including: 
    • A CDE School Counselor Corps grant for PSD Global and Boltz Middle School in July for $530,000 over four years.  After an initial planning year, this grant will provide full-time school counselors at both sites.
    • A CDE School Health Professionals Grant for $813,243 over three years that will allow Fort Collins, Rocky Mountain and Poudre High Schools to hire licensed school counselor for prevention and intervention counseling and alternatives to students around substance abuse and mental health issues.


Collaborations and partnerships

  • Cassie Poncelow, Poudre High School counselor, is serving as the Region 7 representative for the Colorado School Counselor Association.
  • Jen Smela, Fossil Ridge High School counselor, is serving as the High School Vice President for the Colorado School Counselor Association.
  • Steven Ray Parker, Fort Collins High School teacher, will introduce acclaimed Young Adult literature writer David Levithan at the Assembly on Literature for Adolescents of NCTE (ALAN) Workshop in November. Parker will moderate the workshop between Levithan and NCTE members. Levithan is a well-known Young Adult writer, whose books represent the often-under-represented adolescent LGBTQ+ community.
  • Kurt Knierim, Rocky Mountain High School teacher, was named in January to the nine-member Landmark Preservation Commission for the City of Fort Collins. In February, he partnered with the Public Lands History Center, Department of History and the College of Liberal Arts at Colorado State University to coordinate the second annual Careers in History Day at CSU for U.S. History students.
    • He also partnered with Dan Rypma, Fossil Ridge High School teacher, and Dr. Tracy Brady, of the CSU Department of History, on the third installment of a professional development collaborative for middle and high school social studies teachers from PSD.
    • In August he participated with two of his students in the Parks as Portals to Learning Program through the Public Lands History Center at CSU, a program that allows high schoolers to work with undergraduate and graduate students on a topic related to Cultural Resource Management at Rocky Mountain National Park. In October, he presented on a panel at the national convention of the Western History Association about his collaboration with the Public Lands History Center.

Degrees, professional learning, honors and accomplishments

  • Kim Schutt, Fort Collins High School teacher, completed a Masters in Educational Leadership degree this past summer.
  • Rob Schutt, Fort Collins High School teacher, completed a Masters in Educational Leadership degree this past summer.
  • Gloria Carlson, Harris Bilingual Elementary School teacher, obtained an Associate Level with the Academy of Orton Gillingham Practitioners and Educators to help struggling readers. The process involved completing 70 hours of training (individual and classroom) and a supervised two-year practicum. 
  • Thomas Sweeney, Bennett Elementary teacher, recently finished his master’s degree program.
  • Olander Elementary School staff have been putting together weekly “Osprey News” episodes as a way to share joy within their community and help bring them together while they are apart. See one episode here. 
  • Tricia Kerns, Webber Middle School teacher, has been selected as a Colorado Department of Education 2021 Colorado Teacher of the Year finalist. Read a Q & A with her here. 
  • "Leading PSD Classified Leadership Program" 2020-2021 participants were selected by a committee of district leaders. The year-long program helps participants achieve their personal and professional goals by strengthening their skills in communication, leadership, conflict resolution, problem-solving and more. The program culminates with team presentations of a chosen capstone project to an audience of PSD leaders. These top 12 candidates selected: 
    • Joni Baker, ACE president                             
    • Carmen Cooley, Integrated Services paraprofessional (Eyestone Elementary)                    
    • Wendy Eades, technical support specialist 1                         
    • Britni Hobbs, secretary (Wellington Middle)                             
    • Cornelis Hope, SART Peers Program coordinator                         
    • Bryan Lamoreaux, Information Technology trainer                 
    • Janelyn Lilly, Professional Development tech 2                              
    • Natasha Michaud, application support analyst               
    • Lynette Seelmeyer, Integrated Services paraprofessional (Rocky Mountain High)                   
    • Mary Shull-Sarti, site tech support (Fort Collins High)                    
    • Karl Trujillo, head custodian (Webber Middle)
    • Nicole Vannoy, Information Technology administrative assistant    
  • Rocky Mountain High School Counseling Department was selected as a Recognized ASCA Model Rocky counselors stand with award annoucement.Program (RAMP) by the American School Counselor Association last spring. The RAMP designation recognizes schools that are committed to delivering an exemplary school counseling program. Honorees are awarded for aligning their program with the criteria in the ASCA National Model, a framework for a data-informed school counseling program. Research findings indicate fully implemented comprehensive school counseling programs are associated with a range of positive student educational and behavioral outcomes.
  • CLDE professional learning pathway completion: Last spring, teachers completed a Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Education (CLDE) professional learning pathway.  As a re-licensure requirement, teachers must complete 45 hours of professional development in CLDE  to learn how they can capitalize on students’ linguistic strengths and support academic learning with a variety of strategies. This means students will have educators that value diversity and recognize ways that they can form more meaningful connections with students. Teachers who completed this pathway: 
  • Amanda Manley, Rocky Mountain High School
  • Andrew Schauer, Rocky Mountain High School
  • Eric Harding, Rocky Mountain High School 
  • Sarah Dobo, Rocky Mountain High School
  • Dante Yacobucci, Preston Middle School
  • Steven Ray Parker, Fort Collins High School


Share positive PSD stories - submit "Mission Moments"

How you support "Educate ... Every Child ... Every Day"  is important to the PSD community, especially during this challenging time.  Share the positive stories of what's happening in PSD by sharing your "mission moments" here. The Communications Department may feature your stories in an upcoming  newsletter, on PSD’s website or on social media.