The Elk River Area School District handed out special awards last week.
Fal Sentryz, 98, is the Volunteer of the Year recipient. She was described in her nominations as “inspirational, extraordinary, a life-long learner and ‘positive, positive, positive.’” Sentryz has contributed more than eight years to volunteering with children with articulation disorders.
One nominator wrote, “Fal supports 3- and 5-year-olds in snow, rain and shine, nothing stops her; she makes each child and staff member feel like they are the most important person in the room. … It’s amazing to watch the kids and staff be so inspired.”
Patricia Rosales, an English as a second language paraprofessional at Otsego Elementary School, is this year’s Staff of the Year. Included in her nominations were adjectives such as caring, unusually positive, quiet leader, amazing team member and exemplar of service.
Paula Donnelly, an Early Childhood Family Education parent educator, is the 2013 Elementary Teacher of the Year recipient. She is described as a “catalyst,” and tireless, creative, valuing and supporting.
Her nominator, in a five-page nomination, wrote that Donnelly “makes families and children feel special; she easily incorporates all families into her classes and her enthusiasm is contagious.”
Ena Rasmussen is the 2013 Secondary Teacher of the Year winner. The science teacher at Rogers Middle School has been described as someone who sets high expectations, leads by example, is passionate and inspirational. One of her nominators wrote that Rasmussen “makes her classroom experience exciting and memorable; she believes each and every student can soar beyond any imagined limits, which, in turn, gives them self-confidence.
The four will be formally recognized this August at the school district’s all-staff meeting.