Outstanding staff achievements - Mayor's awards, degrees, certifications, presentations and more!

Congratulations to PSD staff who continue to strive and achieve!


Individual Achievements, Degrees, Certifications and Presentations

  • Scott Wheeler, Kinard choir teacher, recently sang  with Music Celebrations International at the Rome Choral Festival on June 24, 2018.  He performed as both a chorister and a soloist at the Vatican for a Sunday mass (The Feast of St. John the Baptist), as well as a concert at Santa Maria Sopra Minerva.  I served as the 'cantor,' which leads the choir of 194 in solo Gregorian Chants for the mass under the baton of Dr. Z. Randall Stroope.
  • Mary Beth Johnson and Adrienne Brandenburg, PHS Spanish teachers, presented at the IFLT International Forum on Language teaching in Cincinnati over the summer. They also submitted a proposal to present at the nation ACTFL American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Language conference in New Orleans Nov. 16 – 18, usually about 5000 attendees from around the world!
  • Andrew Mibauer, Poudre High School teacher, presented at Advanced Placement workshops for the College Board in San Diego, Fort Worth, St. Johnsbury Academy in Vermont and for Mass Insight last summer. He also served as a reader for the AP Environment Science exam in Cincinnati in June.
  • Devon Bjubrey, Integrated Services occupational therapist, was accepted into the Colorado Association of School Executives LEAD program, an educational leadership development program. 
  • Jen Roper, RMHS German teacher, was recently elected AATG (American Association of Teachers of German)  regional Northwest Representative. 
  • Liz Bromstrup, FRHS Spanish teacher, received a grant to purchase CI readers for her classroom.
  • Jasmine Faulker, Polaris Expeditionary Learning School music teacher, became endorsed to teacher K-12 drama. She and her student songwriters presented at the Modern Band Summit Conference during the summer and will present again at the Colorado Music Educator's Association Conference in January.
  • Erin Austin, PHS French teacher, was awarded a $2000 Student Achievement Grant from the National Education to purchase books for her and her French 4/5 district colleagues to create book units of study.   
  • Rebecca Browning-Floyd, Colorado Preschool Program Coordinator for PSD, completed a graduate degree in Administrative Leadership and Policy Studies with an option in Early Childhood Education from the University of Colorado Denver. 
  • Kelly Shedd, O'Dea Elementary teacher, earned a Master's degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Northern Colorado. She finished her degree in July and will graduate in December.
  • Robert Breshears, Poudre High School teacher attended the Computer Science Teacher of America Conference during the summer, taking five Microsoft Technology Associate tests and receiving certification as a Microsoft Technology Associate for "Intro to Programming using HTML and CSS." 
  • Julie Thompson, Spanish teacher at Lesher, worked this summer with Señor Wooly to write PAN! Nuggets (3 different proficiency levels- Novice Mid, Novice High, Intermediate Low) ,  25 hours of writing- and a 180 page Google Doc!  She also reworked some of the nuggets for Billy la bufanda, No lo tengo, Es una ganga, Amnesia, ¿Adónde vas?, Qué asco, and Sé chévere, another 25 hours to revise and populate the pop-up translations. 
  • A group of PSD staff participated in the CU BUENO Cohort, supported by the PSD Language, Culture and Equity Department. Participants received their endorsement and/or Master's degree in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Education in May 2018.  PSD staff who participated: Mark Bartlett; Zachary Berger; Dominic Buttice; Christy Collum; Butterscotch Culhane; Kit Garofalo; Wini Hunt;        Rebecca Hunter; Leslie Johnson; Kylie Jones; Jennifer Mills; Erin Peterson; Brooks Ramsey;  MJ Raisley; Colleen Ryan; Holly Schlagel; Jane Serafin; Adrienne Stienle;and Avery Vorster
  • PSD Language, Culture and Equity Family Liaisons were recognized for their "promising practices" by the Colorado Department of Education's Office of Family-School Partnerships. Family liaisons and their promising practice:

     Alessandra Vassaux – Improving Latino Parent Involvement through Home Visits
     Veronica Carrillo - Noche de CienciasKarina Autenrieth - Newcomer Celebration
     Alejandra Orozco - Club House
     Marcela Santamaria & Eric Schmitz - Beating the Summer Slide Package
     Laura Dusbabek & Aloha Arceo - Visiting our Families
     Amany Elkahwagy - Parenting Partners
     Araceli Lopez - Math and Literacy Game Night
     Aracelli Green - Middle School Transition Informational Meeting
     Manal Hafiz - Financial Aid and FAFSA Night and Dunn ELL Parent Engagement Night (ELD information/access CMAC night)


City of Fort Collins Commission on Disabilities Mayor's Awards

Several PSD staff were honored by being selected for a Mayor's award by the City of Fort Collins Commission on Disabilities. It is considered a great honor to be nominated or selected as a recipient for these awards. An awards ceremony was held at Colorado State University recently to celebrate the awardees. 

Olander staff accept the Spirit of Fort Collins award

Olander Elementary staff received the Spirit of Fort Collins award. Elizabeth Crawford (OT), David Arnoff (AP) and Blythe Johnson (Special Ed Teacher) pictured. 


Tara Gross and Michelle Wright, Rocky Mountain High School

Tara Gross, Rocky Mountain High School special education teacher, was named Educator of the Year (nominated by Michelle Wright - on the left).


Gayna Jobe, Cooper Home program specialist, received the Service Provider of the Year on behalf of Cooper Home.

Gayna Jobe, Cooper Home program specialist, received the Service Provider of the Year on behalf of Cooper Home. 


April Tauer, Bennett Elementary teacher, received the Employee of the Year award.

April Tauer, Bennett Elementary teacher, received the Employee of the Year award.


Pam Scroggins, Jonette Dixon and Heather Howe, Lesher Middle School staff

Nominees for Educator of the Year: Pam Scroggins, Lesher Middle School special education teacher; Jonette Dixon, Lesher Middle School teacher; Heather Howe, Lesher Middle School special education paraprofessional 



  • Josh Weissman, Poudre High School teacher, was selected as the "Outstanding Volunteer Public Partner," by the NoCo Manufacturing Partnership.
  • Jill Simpson, Preston MS German teacher, was selected for Preston Middle School’s 2018 Education in Excellence award.
  • Rosa Galindo, PHS Spanish teacher, received an early career educator award from CCFLT (Colorado Congress of Foreign Language Teachers) at their fall conference.  


Kelly Webb, Bennett Elementary school counselor



Kelly Webb, Bennett Elementary school psychologist, was selected as the runner-up for the 2018 CSSP School Psychologist of the Year award. She will be honored at an awards ceremony in November.







Alissa Poduska, 2018 Rookie Principal of the Year




Alissa Poduska, Shepardson Elementary principal, was selected for the Colorado Association of School Executives 2018 Reba Ferguson Memorial Rookie of the Year award, which recognizes outstanding principals with three  years or less service.






Tom Dodd, Lesher Middle School principal


Tom Dodd, Lesher Middle School principal, was selected as 2018 Administrator of the Year by SHAPE Colorado (Society of Health and Physical Educators). The honor is awarded to an administrator who is dedicated to excellence and the development of strong, innovative programs in physical education. Mr. Dodd was recognized at the SHAPE convention in October.




2017-18 Rotary Teachers of the Year

Brenda Hernández, Irish Elementary teacher; Jennifer Martinez, Bacon Elementary teacher;  and Gabby Wymore, Blevins Middle School teacher, were selected for the prestigious 2017-18 Rotary Teachers of the Year award. They were honored at a recent ceremony in October 2018. This marks the 25th year of the award.