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Papillion La Vista Community Schools Recognize Legendary Staff with Greatness Awards

PLC Schools Recognize Legendary Staff with Greatness Awards

A stadium normally packed with baseball fans was instead filled with cheering staff members from the Papillion La Vista Community Schools on Thursday morning, August 9th. As part of the annual all-staff kickoff inside Werner Park, new for 2018-19, the Greatness Awards were made part of the celebration. Every year, four PLCS employees and one PLV Foundation employee are awarded the District’s top prize for their work during the previous school year. The Greatness Awards are designed to recognize legendary staff members in five categories:

2017 Elementary Teacher/Specialist of the Year

  • Cindy Smith, Hickory Hill, 6th Grade Teacher, 22 years of service
    Cindy Smith is an outstanding educator honored for her work in and out of the classroom. In addition to differentiating any lesson to meet the needs of every child in her classroom, Cindy makes every single child feel valued and special in their own way. Cindy’s greatness extends outside of the classroom as a foster parent to over 85 children. A coworker nominating Cindy wrote, “Cindy puts her heart and soul into the children that she fosters, and she does the same for every student in her class. The love that she feels for the children who are lucky enough to call her a foster parent is something that every student in her class feels as well.”

Cindy Smith stands with her Greatness Award
Cindy Smith stands with her Greatness Award for the 2017 Elementary Teacher/Specialist of the Year after the all-staff kickoff August 9th
at Werner Park. 

2017 Secondary Teacher/Specialist of the Year

  • Louise Dornbusch, Papillion-La Vista South High School, Teacher, 14 years of service

Louise Dornbusch is described by her peers as “an outstanding individual who possesses the passion, enthusiasm and work ethic to help every student be successful.” She is described as kind and gentle and the type of teacher that leads with her heart.  She is also known as an expert in her content area on both a local and state level. She has won numerous awards and her students achieve greatness under her leadership. Outside of the classroom, Louise’s heart of compassion extended to the immediate future of three PLCS high school students who were removed from their home during the last school year.  As the evening wore on, state officials were unsure as to where those children would be placed.  It was that pivotal, life-changing moment that Louise and her husband stepped forward and took the children in. That act of kindness and generosity has led to an ongoing commitment for these kids’ care, happiness and wellbeing.

Louise Dornbusch stands with her Greatness Award. Louise Dornbusch stands with her Greatness Award for the 2017 Secondary Teacher/Specialist of the Year after the all-staff kickoff August 9th
at Werner Park. 

2017 Rookie of the Year

  • Allison Brown, Carriage Hill, Learning Center Teacher, 3 years of service

A common theme during the nomination process for Allison Brown included being known for her excellent and committed service of some of the most challenging students, those with behavioral needs at Carriage Hill. A peer wrote in their nomination of Allison, “she manages to “find a hero” in the toughest kids and builds authentic, strengths-based relationships with every student she works with. Allison is also described as fearless and compassionate. Even one of Allison’s students wrote in a nomination. His name is Tank, a fourth-grade student wrote, “sometimes I get mad, but even when I am mad or upset, she doesn’t get mad.  She stays calm.  She is nice, funny, fair and flexible.  Every morning when I see her I know I am going to have a great day.  I hope you give her the great teacher award because she deserves it!”

Allison Brown stands with her Greatness Award at Werner Park.
Allison Brown stands with her Greatness Award for the 2017 Rookie of the Year after the all-staff kickoff August 9th
at Werner Park. 

2017 Classified Staff Member of the Year

  • Malinda Clark, La Vista West. Paraprofessional, 6 years of service

Malinda Clark works with bilingual students and families at La Vista West. Clark has been with the District for six years and is known for her positive attitude, friendly smile and willingness to anything to help a child. Her work includes making books in English, Spanish and Vietnamese for students to take home so students can read these books in English and their parents can follow along in their first language. A parent who wrote in both Spanish and English, “We cannot express in words the gratitude we have for her in helping our son.  He is now reading on grade level and better understands social studies.  We are proud that our son is a part of La Vista West and we have Mrs. Malinda Clark to thank for our son’s accomplishments.” 

Malinda Clark stands with her Greatness Award at Werner Park
Malinda Clark stands with her Greatness Award for the 2017 Classified Staff Member of the Year after the all-staff kickoff August 9th
at Werner Park. 

2017 Foundation/Kids Club Staff Member of the Year

  • Beth Buras, Papillion La Vista Schools Foundation

Beth Buras has worked with the Papillion La Vista Schools Foundation Kids Club team for the past nine years. She’s made an impact with both the Foundation and Kids Club. She was recognized for developing great relationships with both children and their families. She has 11 years of service, she worked as Walnut Creek as the Director of Kids Club at that location and currently is the Kids Club Assistant Director.

Beth Buras stands with her Greatness Award at Werner Park. Beth Buras stands with her Greatness Award for the 2017 Classified Staff Member of the Year after the all-staff kickoff August 9th
at Werner Park. 

The group of winners for the 2017 Greatness Awards
From left to right, Louise Dornbusche, Malinda Clark, Allison Brown, Cindy Smith and Beth Buras stand with their 2017 Greatness Awards at Werner Park.