This year, in an effort to highlight the commitment of our volunteers and teaching staff in helping Hillside meet our mission, we have launched our “Visioning Awards”. We asked our staff, parents and students to nominate people in our school community who stand out as leaders and support Hillside in meeting our five key areas of focus: Academic Excellence, Creativity, Social Skills, Problem Solving and Faith & Character.
Winners of the 2015-2016 Visioning Awards
Creativity – Tara Jennings. Tara’s creative spirit goes above and beyond the scope of her position as our new art teacher. As a volunteer, Tara helped to organize, plan and implement last year’s Duvall Days Float, she wrote curriculum for seven different summer camp programs, created the school’s new logo and continues to make all of the marketing materials for the school in her free time.
Problem Solver – Steve Berry. Steve has volunteered to serve on Hillside’s Board of Directors for almost three years. He has taught a number of after school computer classes and currently volunteers on a weekly bases to teach computer science in our Middle School. Steve served on the marketing committee that worked to select our new school software, create Hillside’s new website and to design our new monthly newsletter format. Oh, he has also helped chaperone numerous trips to camp.
Volunteer of the Year “Social Skills” – Gary McConaha. We want to thank Gary for his many years of serving as a mentor reader and for his creative ways of supporting our school ; such as with the Backyard BBQ, the Teacher Roast, Santa Clause’s visit to Hillside and even on Pizza Thursdays by cutting-up fruit and bringing it in 120 individually plated fruit cups. Gary has also provided unending financial support of our annual fund raising campaign, auctions, the costume bowl and with the walk-a-thon. We are all incredibly thankful for his commitment and support!
Faith & Character – Cindy Griffin. Cindy’s faith is evident in the way she talks, acts and lives. Whether it’s in the classroom, her personal conversations, parent teacher conferences, or through her leadership of the student body counsel. Cindy encourages the Hillside community to strengthen their faith and encourages us all to grow in character.
Academic Excellence – Jena Brown. Jena has been teaching at Hillside from the very beginning and each year continues to push herself and our students to grow. She continually seeks out unique resources, videos and curriculum to encourage students to be passionate about their learning. Jena has also put in countless hours meeting with students individually and to support them in every way possible. Thank you Jena, for all you do to encourage our students to strive for Academic Excellence.
While we only gave out 5 awards this year, the number of people nominated was much, much greater. I hope everybody knows how much your efforts are appreciated!
Like the banyan trees in Hawaii, from each branch, new roots are formed and we become a school firmly rooted and ready to produce fruit. Thank you to everyone who helps make the dream of Hillside a reality. It’s because of you that we continue to see our students grow and bloom!