February Employee Awards!

The MCSD Employee Recognition Award is for those employees who go above and beyond on a continual basis for students, staff, and/or parents. Nominations can come from community members, parents, and staff members. The district would like to take this opportunity to introduce to you and congratulate February’s best of the best at MCSD!

Mary Spratt – Kindergarten Teacher – McKinley Elementary
Nominated by Trista Sotelo

“Mrs. Spratt has been caring for this community’s kiddos for years! She is one of the most patient people I have ever met working with kindergarten-aged children each and everyday. She makes learning in the classroom so much fun; where my kids are excited to head back there each morning. She send us personal messages either by text, photo, or in their agendas to keep us informed of the things they are doing each day. Mrs. Spratt takes the time to get to know the kid’s and the parent’s likes/interests (she knows how much I love photos and to hear the funny things my kids say…she often sends me texts of these things throughout the week). This personal touch makes a parent feel so much more confident in knowing that our kids are safe and loved while away from home each day. She allows my kids to express their love for God and their love for others freely; which we are completely blessed by. She is truly one of a kind and I am sad that I have no more kids to pass through her classroom. We love you Mrs. Spratt! ~Trista Sotelo

Erin Thomas – Special Education Teacher – Muscatine High School
Nominated by Deb Ortiz

“Mrs Thomas teaches self contained special education Algebra I, co-teaches Algebra I and self contained General Resource, is a responsibility teacher for 10 different students, is a Muskie Mentor for two students during her planning time, works with two at risk students to increase academic performance and school attendance, and stays after school with my daughter and several other students daily to work on homework and re-teaching. When I say after school, I don’t just mean until her actual contract day is finished. Some nights I pick up my daughter between 5:30-6:15, which is well past her contract time, and this is on a daily basis. It’s very apparent, with her wonderful communication through emails, google doc sharing, phone calls, and text messages, that she truly wants to see each of her students succeed in life, and not just in the classroom. She takes whatever time necessary to develop a bond with her students in order to make a connection that allows them to not only trust her, but to give her the extra effort necessary to achieve their goals. Mrs. Thomas is living proof of the positive impact that a truly valuable educator can make on their students. She has not only eased my daughter’s academic stress, but also the stress that I feel when trying to help her keep caught up in her new transition to high school. I truly don’t know what we would do without her!!” Deb Ortiz

Shauna Dennison – Assistant Principal – Central Middle School
Nominated by Dan Wright

“Ever since coming to Central, Shauna has made a positive impact on our students. Dealing with discipline is not an easy task, however, she makes it very easy for students to understand why they have a consequence. Many times throughout the day, I hear her ask students “Are you doing your personal best?” She talks to them so logically, and maturely about their choices, our students want to be more successful, and take pride in all they do. Shauna, and our entire staff work tirelessly to ensure the success, and safety of every student. I work hand in hand with Shauna, and know even though students may be disciplined, they come away feeling that she truly cares for them.” Dan Wright

Nicky Sand – Elementary Music Teacher – Grant and Mulberry
Nominated by Alyce Spoto and Sarah King

“Nicky Sand is one of our outstanding teachers. She can take 1-½ classes at a time at Mulberry and have the entire class working and engaged in learning. Or double up classrooms for Christmas program rehearsals. She tailors her curriculum to each student’s interests and talents. Then encourages them to share their talent with the world. She takes a leadership role with the student lighthouse teams and teaches our elementary students to assume leadership roles. Her imagination is without bounds. Every year she writes a new Christmas program for her elementary schools. She targets her production to the student’s talents. I know she is already planning next year’s Christmas program at Grant. She wants students who excel at guitar playing and drum set to show off their talents. Nicky designs and sews costumes for the students to wear during the production. I know for a fact she purchases hundreds of dollars of materials for her students. When there is a change of schedule or special rehearsal for the Christmas program, Nicky very effectively communicates with the staff in the building, the parents and the students. There is no doubt about what will happen, when, and what the expectations are for the students. It is an honor and privilege to work with such a talented, creative, dedicated and positive professional.” Alyce Spoto

“I have had the joy of working with Nicky Sand, the music teacher at Grant and Mulberry, for many years. Each year I continue to be in awe of her talent and enthusiasm that she shares with students and staff alike. She gets students excited about music and helps them to shine. Nicky has a way of getting kids to do more than they ever imagined. Nicky puts on an amazing Christmas program year after year. The students not only sing at the concerts, they also get the opportunity to dance, play instruments, act and present. She goes above and beyond by writing plays to showcase the students and makes the props and costumes. Grant School also has a Leadership Day each year. Nicky is an integral part of the assembly for this day. She facilitates the student leadership as they plan and prepare for this big day. I am a 5th grade teacher at Grant, and I know how involved she encourages our 5th grade students to be. They often are the ones to write the words to the songs they sing. They also get to choreograph the dance and then teach it to the other classes. They are excited and proud to have the chance to have such important leadership roles at our school. Nicky lights a fire in her students. Her legacy is evident as you see so many of her students continue on in music in middle and high school. We are lucky to have her.” Sarah King

Angie Curtis – Gifted and Talented Teacher –  West Middle School
Nominated by Laurie Schroeder

“Angie does an amazing job with our TAG students at West Middle School. She is always willing to step in and help in the promotion of higher learning in the classroom. Mrs. Curtis also is working in coordination with other teachers in planning and developing the TAG program throughout the district. Many parents rely of Angie for the most current up to date information concerning college and career pathways and for being an advocate for their student in the school system.” Laurie Schroeder

To nominate a deserving staff member, go to the Employee Recognition Form.



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