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Local educators recognized for efforts, talents

Published: Friday, June 28, 2013 1:15 a.m. CDT
Recipients of the Dr. James A. Garnett Teacher of the Year awards for 2012-13 from the Sterling Schools Foundation are (from left) Heather Wittenauer, kindergarten to second grade; Samantha Celestino, Challand Middle School; Patti Douglas, third to fifth grade; and Susan Lawson, Sterling High School. They received $500. Other finalists were Adam Bauer, Taylor Jackson, Joel Penne, Jean Sanders, Alan Stewart, Joan Schriner, Ron Boardman, Chris Engstrom, Rex Neff, Wendy Schuldt, Diane Gould, Michelle Musselman, Janae Dalton, Jason Fargher, Karen Klingenberg, Bonnie Dern, and Deb Stern. Photos submitted by Jim Spencer.
Receiving Support Staff Members of the Year were (from left) Vicky Salas, elementary school; Lori Adell, Sterling High School; and Cindy Brown, Challand Middle School. They received $250.
Shelly Atilano (left), a counselor at Washington School, was recognized as the first-year teacher recipient, while Nicole Martinelli, biology and environmental science teacher at Sterling High School, was the second-year award winner. They received New Teachers of the Year awards and $250.

STERLING – The Sterling Schools Foundation honored Sterling Unit 5 teachers and support staff May 23 with the 2012-13 Dr. James A. Garnett Teacher of the Year awards.

Finalists were chosen by polling parents and staff members in April.

The Teacher of the Year committee chose the winners.

Each of the winners received a certificate, with teachers receiving $500, and new teachers and support staff given $250.

Recipients were:

Susan Lawson, an English teacher at Sterling High School, for her professionalism and optimism.

Samantha Celestino, a language arts teacher at Challand Middle School, who has impressed her peers with her ability to connect with students individually.

Patti Douglas, a 33-year teacher, who works with special education students in third, fourth, and fifth grades.

Heather Wittenauer, for kindergarten and second grades, in part for her development of a summer reading program for her students.

New teachers were Shelly Atilano, first-year teacher, and Nicole Martinelli, second-year teacher.

Support staff receiving recognition were Lori Adell at SHS; Cindy Brown at Challand; and Vicky Salas, who has worked at Challand, Jefferson, Lincoln, and currently at Washington elementary schools.

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