PLCS Staff is #PLCSGreat

  • We will be featuring staff members that are being recognized by colleagues, parents, students and community members.  These staff members are #PLCSGreat!

 Jackie Torczon

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Jackie Torczon

Jackie Torczon is nominated for recognition because of her way of going the extra mile for not only every student in her classroom, but those outside her classroom, and for parents/staff. Her nominator described Torczon's energy level and skill set as the same level of a "super hero". She is described as being a teacher who always encourages her students to learn more and work hard. The nominator went on to say, "If something is getting in the way of their learning, she will do everything she can to provide what is missing. This looks like eating lunch with students every day, providing transportation to and from clubs, buying books for students at the book fair, and even purchasing clothes for some. Her heart is evident in her service to others."

She is #PLCSGreat!

Spotlight a staff member here: bit.ly/2m1ZHJJ

 Allyson Judson

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Allyson Judson

Allyson Judson is nominated for recognition because as the PLSHS Special Education Deptartment Chair, she exemplifies what a true leader is, someone dedicated to the success of others. Her nominator said that "Allyson Judson is #PLCSGreat personified." Allyson enters every day willing to breakdown barriers in order to facilitate the growth of all students and staff she comes into contact with. Her nominator went on to say, "She fosters the development of new and innovative ideas. She celebrates victories no matter how small, and she supports when life doesn’t deal kids a fair hand. She is a voice for students and families when they feel unheard." She is #PLCSGreat!

 Gayla Ezra

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Gayla Ezra

Portal Elementary Special Education Para Gayla Ezra has been nominated by several people for special recognition. She is described as someone who goes above and beyond to help students and staff. Gayla Ezra enthusiastically has been participating in the PLCS food program. During the school year, she made sure to hop on Zoom to work with students in big and small groups. "It is so amazing to see her connection with students. Gayla is #PLCSGreat," one nominator said. She even went out of her way one day to buy lunch for custodians. "She always displays a positive attitude with staff and students and always has a smile on even with a mask covering it up."

 Stacie Leonovicz

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Stacie Leonovicz

Stacie Leonovicz, 6th grade teacher at La Vista West Elementary, worked to make the end of the school year special for her 6th graders even though they were missing out on special activities because of COVID-19. She wanted to keep morale up so she encouraged her students to power through the last two weeks of school with a gift card incentive. Her nominator explained: "Using the money she would have normally spent on her class's end of the year party, Stacie bought gift cards to her student's favorite stores. Student's names were entered into a raffle drawing to win these gift cards for attending Zoom meetings and completing assignments on SeeSaw." Stacie Leonovicz is #PLCSGreat!

 Joe Pilakowski

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Joe Pilakowski

PLHS Social Studies teacher Joe Pilakowski or "Coach P" has been nominated for sending encouraging messages to the runners year-round. He is described as a coach that is welcoming of all skill levels and sets students up with realistic, achievable goals, and encourages them to even step it up a notch. The nominator went on to say, "He appropriately shares information about his successes and struggles in life and turns them into learning opportunities for his athletes. He also offers himself as a sounding board for difficulties athletes may be having in sports, academics and their day-to-day happenings." Coach P is described as someone who offers a safe and inclusive atmosphere for student athletes. He is PLCS Great!

 Heather Svehla

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Heather Svehla

Tara Heights Elementary 2nd grade teacher, Heather Svehla, is being recognized as “PLCS Staff is PLCS Great”! She was nominated by a parent and they said “During the closure, Heather continues to be an exemplary teacher. Heather, from the start, has found ways to support her students through different uses of technology. She is one that does not consider herself 'advanced' with technology, yet she has found ways to connect with her students and families.” Thank you Heather!

 Kara Garcia

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Kara Garcia

Portal Elementary 5th grade teacher, Kara Garcia, is being recognized as “PLCS Staff is PLCS Great”! Ms. Garcia is described as caring, silly, fun, energetic, positive and more. Kara was nominated by a parent that said “Ms. Garcia has helped my daughter love school again! She goes above and beyond by staying on zoom to help my daughter with math, reading or just talk about how they are doing.” Thank you Kara!

 Miranda Bush

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Miranda Bush

Papillion Middle School Special Education Teacher, Miranda Bush, is being recognized as “PLCS Staff is PLCSGreat”! She is described as going above and beyond for her students during this difficult time. She was nominated by a parent and they said “She has been a bright light and the highlight of my son’s day in quarantine. She has arranged zoom meetings for students so they can all get together and play a game." Thank you Miranda!

 Jenny Keller

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Jenny Keller

Golden Hills Elementary teacher Jenny Keller is being recognized as "PLCS Staff is PLCS Great"! She is described as going out of her way to make sure students are connected and learning to the best of their ability. Her nominator went on to say, "She has driven books over to students homes so they are able to read what they want. Another positive aspect is that Jenny will work with such a positive attitude, always saying, 'We'll get what we can and make the best of it'. Her positive attitude is such a boost!" Thank you Jenny!

 Jamie Vance

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Jamie Vance

Longterm substitute Jamie Vance, had only spent five days in the first grade classroom she's subbing in before school buildings closed due to COVID-19. Her nominator describes Vance as a total pro during this time of new learning.  The nominator went on to say: "The first day of class after spring break, Mrs. Vance sent a welcoming email along with many sites and resources that she had prepared for the students. I can only imagine that she must have worked the entire spring break! Each week she has used SeeSaw to make the learning very manageable and engaging for the students. She is quick to respond and praise the students for their work. She has conducted several class zooms and does a great job navigating all of the bouncing 1st graders on the screen. Each student is celebrated and has sharing opportunities. Her love for her students yet complete control of the classroom is so impressive! I'm so glad that Ms. Vance is going to be an official 1st year teacher here in PLCS next year!"

 Kay Lyman

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Kay Lyman

Kay Lyman, a Special Education Para at Portal Elementary and is described as someone who personalizes lessons for her students with special needs to make sure materials are at their level. For example, for one student she knew the material would be difficult, so she customized the lesson so the student could create artifacts that would represent what the student needed to learn from that time period.  Her nominator went on to say, "The student was able to explain his learning to his mom, who quickly had tears! Kay went above and beyond, even purchasing materials herself so that she could enhance the learning of this student! Kay never brags about the extras she does for students, she just puts their learning first! Thank you Kay!" #PLCSGreat

 Laura Widner

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Laura Widner

Carriage Hill Elementary Teacher, Lauren Widner, was nominated by a parene for being a true asset to her class during quarantine. She describes Widner as being clear, comprehensive and reliable. The parent went on to say: "Every morning, Mrs. Widner shares Dr. Tapp's announcements with her students on SeeSaw along with a briefing for the day. She makes it a point to directly respond to each of her students through SeeSaw, email or Zoom. Not only does she respond, she shows true interest in what the students are doing. Mrs. Widner records herself reading a chapter of a book to her students every day so they can continue to listen and learn together. She also shares videos of herself doing silly things that make her even more relatable. Mrs. Widner obviously loves her class. In times like these, the real stars shine bright and Mrs. Widner is the brightest star in the sky. #cougarproud".

 Shannon Tolstedt

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Shannon Tolstedt

Papillion Middle Counselor, Shannon Tolstedt was nominated because she is a great role model for students. Her nominator went on to say: She is very dedicated to her craft as a counselor, she is very professional and handles difficult situations with poise and a calm demeanor." Her nominator went on to say she is the ultimate team player. She is #PLCSGreat! 

 Leah Gintz & Christy Shuput

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Leah Gintz & Christy Shuput

Leah Gintz, Administrative Services Manger and Christy Shuput, Data Specialist are both described as being a huge help to the payroll department. They are described as being very dependable and make themselves available whenever a problem arises. Christy is described as "patient and kind and very knowledgeable." Leah is described as "knowledgeable and is a problem solver." Thank you for being #PLCSGreat. 

 Riley Lampman

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Riley Lampman

Riley Lampman is a Special Education Para at Portal Elementary. His nominator said, "Riley has such a passion for the work he does at Portal and for the special education community as a whole. It is inspiring to see the connection he has with his students." Thank you, Riley! 

 Jenna Reeh

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Jenna Reeh

Jenna Reeh, an instructional facilitator for the district, is described as so willing to help teachers in any and all areas. Her nominator went on to say: "She uses her technical expertise to make teaching in this virtual world easier for all of us! She never makes me feel like I don’t know what I’m doing. She gave me ideas for organizing and simplifying my plan and she’s been extremely encouraging to me along the way. We are so lucky to have her in PLCS!"

 PLHS Administration

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PLHS Administration

Several Monarch seniors nominated their school leaders saying, "They care about each and every one of their students and are helpful in any situation. They also want what is best for their students and will do anything they can for them to be successful."

 Leslie Roth

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Leslie Roth

La Vista West Elementary Special Education Teacher Leslie Roth has had a huge impact on her students during the transition to online learning. She went out of her way to create individualized bags for every one of her students. Her nominator went on to say, "She has helped our team with many ideas and positive uplifting messages during the changes. She has made sure her students have what they need to continue learning and has supported their families through the changes."

 Eileen Kolbo

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Eileen Kolbo

Eileen Kolbo, a Special Education Para at Papillion La Vista South High School, went above and beyond recently to help out her fellow colleagues. The nominator explained that paras were called and encouraged to wear masks when reporting to do the food program work. The nominator says Eileen contacted them immediately to share that she would sew masks. She showed up with a whole bag of masks sewn, washed, and bagged. Her nominator explained, "We are so impressed by her spirit of giving! Well done, Eileen!" 

 Jennifer Smith

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Jennifer Smith

Social Studies Teacher
Health Systems Academy

A Monarch Senior nominated Jennifer and describes her as someone who truly cares about her students as people. The senior went on to say, "She works to have more of a relationship with us than just our teacher that does schoolwork. I can always talk to her about anything that is going on & she is very supportive & kind." She is #PLCSGreat!

 Christine Denker

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Christine Denker

English Teacher
La Vista Middle School
Christine is described as being amazing during this time of online learning. A mother of a student nominated her to be recognized because she makes learning fun. Her nominator explained, "She invited the students to do certain educational things to earn points. She has been giving out rewards for students who earn points. My son starts his school day with her videos and it gets him motivated!" She is #PLCSGreat!

 Ellen Kane

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Ellen Kane

EL Teacher
La Vista West & G. Stanley Hall
"I've never seen Ellen not helping someone," said her nominator. Ellen is described as always having a student with her at all times while school is in session. "Whether it be helping them check in, get to class, get breakfast, or just walking down the hall. Ellen is always helping them with a smile and putting them at ease." The nominator wasn't surprised to see Ellen putting meals together for families in need at LVMS. "She truly cares, and we are lucky to know and work with her." Ellen, you are #PLCSGreat.

 Jacquie Turkle

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Jacquie Turkle

Custodian
Rumsey Station
Jacquie is described as an amazing custodian and staff member who works tirelessly to keep the building clean and disinfected. The nominator went on to say, "Ms. Turkle is all about teamwork. She is willing to jump in and help with whatever needs to be done. Jacquie genuinely cares about the students and staff at Rumsey Station and it shows. Congratulations Jacquie! You are #PLCS Great!!!! Thank you!" Way to go!

 Becky Stearns

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Becky Stearns

Special Education Para
Papillion La Vista South High School
Becky is being recognized for all of the hours she has put in coaching the Papio South Cheerleading Squad consisting of students with special needs. Her squad partners with PLSHS Varsity cheerleaders to cheer at different events. Becky doesn't just coach, she does so much more. Her nominator explained, "She acquired their cheerleading uniforms, arranged their practices with the Varsity cheerleaders, decorated their lockers & infused a tremendous amount of enthusiasm & confidence into our cheerleaders with special needs." Becky is described as making a tremendous impact on the students by being a wonderful mentor to them. Thank you, Becky! You are #PLCSGreat and make a difference.

 Lori Boudreau

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Lori Boudreau

English Teacher
Papillion La Vista High School
Lori was nominated for recognition from someone who says that Lori has been an essential part of this "new way of life" for the online learning transition. They went on to say, "She is one who will ask the tough questions, lead not only her department but others asking for help, give advice orsuggestions, help review material, the list goes on...Her leadership is beneficial to staff, parents, and students. She is a comforting figure in an extremely stressful and unknown time. Lori is a prime example of #PLCSGreat."

 Elementary Secretaries

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Elementary Secretaries

Kelly Boyte, Golden Hills
Lisa Breakfield, Carriage Hill
Lorri Soucie, Parkview Heights
Trish Foster, La Vista West
A fellow school secretary described them as "amazing".  They went on to say, "We are able to consult with each other, give advice, motivate, and encourage each other through some trying times. It doesn't matter which building they work in, they care what is happening in yours too. They will let me know if I should be doing something differently and always lend encouragement. Seriously, I love working, talking, and being with these women. They truly matter." #PLCSGreat #PLCSBeKnown