Good Luck

August 23rd, 2019

5 20 19 masonic lodge presentationKaitlyn Ralston and Stacey Bangs from Cottonwood Elementary School stop for a photo after receiving their exemplary teacher and student certificates at Monday evening’s meeting of the USD 480 school board. L&T photos/Elly Grimm• Special to the Leader & Times


The Masonic Fargo Lodge 300 in Liberal recognized several exemplary students and teachers during the most recent meeting of the USD 480 school board Monday evening. These are the letters sent nominating the respective recipients. 


Bright Start Early Learning Center – Jill Herrington and Catalina Longoria 

This is her fifth year at Preschool in USD 480. Mrs. Herrington works hard to make sure all her students are included and learning. Her knowledge and experience enables her to design activities that are suitable and engaging for each student. She is willing to help her co-workers and share ideas.

Catalina was chosen from Random selection. All of our students are just learning their social skills and to follow a routine. They all work hard and they're the best.


Cottonwood Elementary School – Kaitlyn Ralston and Stacy Bangs

Kaitlyn has gone above and beyond for our school this year. She always has a smile on her face and is so positive and patient with all her students. She truly cares for all of her students and their learning. She makes learning fun and engaging in her classroom. She meets each and every student where they are and believes every student can accomplish big things. She works tirelessly to build relationships with the students she works with every day. Kaitlyn is very active at Cottonwood. She is our co-pilot for redesign, 2nd grade level chair, she has taught BLAST for the last two years, she is active in our Booster Club, and regularly attends concerts for all grade levels at Cottonwood, Outside of school, Kaitlyn is active in the United Methodist Church, she is a substitute teacher at Dance Images, and supports current and past students at sporting events. Kaitlyn is always ready to jump in and help wherever she is needed. During her time working in the district, Kaitlyn is a joy to work with by providing a positive work environment and support system to her fellow teachers.

Stacy is a teacher's dream student. She is academically strong, she is creative, she has passion to learn, she is caring and has a dream for her future. Stacy is very self-motivated and I can't wait to see what she accomplishes. 

MacArthur Elementary School – Jade Gilmore and Marely Beltran del Rio and Karely Beltran del Rio

Mrs. Gilmore has the heart, mind, and soul of an exemplary teacher. She brings a positive attitude to everything she does. She strives to look for the best in all students and has truly developed a great relationship with them. While in her first year of teaching, she is taking everything in but has her own fabulous ideas on how to make learning in her 5th grade classroom relevant and hands-on. She has led a new MacArthur Gardening Club for fourth and fifth graders. This club has worked on the outside plant beds and gotten them looking nice this spring! Mrs. Gilmore is an outstanding, positive role model for our students and her colleagues.

Despite overcoming a lot of change, these twin sisters Marely Beltran del Rio Karely Beltran del Rio never cease to amaze me with their positive attitudes, even when given every excuse not to. They come to school every single day with a smile on their face and show kindness to everyone they encounter. Their motivation to do well and hope to make a good life for themselves is evident during school as they strive to do the best they can while having each other's back. These girls are so deserving of this award and I know they would take great pride in receiving it! 


Meadowlark Elementary School  – Martin Monarrez and Xavier Alonso

Martin Monarrez serves as a  Meadowlark Elementary social worker. This is his first year to work in the school district. Mr. Monarrez is being recognized by Meadowlark due to his service to our students and their families. He works closely with Meadowlark parent coordinators and our school counselor in addressing the needs of students. Not only does Mr. Monarrez serve in his role as social worker working with students, advising them, teaching them strategies to solve problems, etc. He does so much more. He is a school family parent, helps with transporting students to appointments, provides transportation for families to school events, serves on the Site Council, Booster Club, and so many other areas when asked. Being the first year in a school, he listens, observes, and asks questions so he is able to serve completely. He is a calm presence for our students, parents, and staff. He uses his knowledge as a former DCF social worker to assist in areas that are foreign to others. Meadowlark Elementary is blessed to have such an amazing person working with all of us to provide services to students and families.

Xavier Alonso is a third grade student in Ms. Gibson’s class. He is the son of Crystal Banuelos Alonso and the brother of Angel Alonso. He is being recognized as Meadowlark Elementary School’s Exemplary student because he has shown great accomplishments in overcoming challenges and is coming out on top. His academics have flourished and he greatly shown improvement in his social interactions. He is full of witty comments and is eager to share his knowledge of the many scientific topics he has extensive knowledge about. He is attentive in class, listening and doing what he is to do. He is a helper to the music teacher in music class, as well as helping others. He has matured so much in the past year, making good relationships with staff and responding well to instruction and direction. 


Prairie View Elementary School – Amy Cosper and Dayanna Esquivel Lopez

Ms. Cosper is the pilot for redesign. She is innovative and exceptional. She asks great questions, encourages teachers to think beyond current practices and provides support through the evolving changes.

Dayanna is a model student. She stands up for herself and others. She is an AVID ambassador for Prairie View Elementary. She demonstrates perseverance and will give 100 percent of herself every single day.


Sunflower Elementary School – Carrie Shinogle and Gerson Alaniz

Carrie has taken on leadership roles at Sunflower even though it is her first year. She has taken a role in creating activities that celebrate our students and she has helped developed activities that has given our students different experiences here at school outside the normal day. Carrie's does a great job of relating to her students and finding ways for them to succeed.

Gerson is the type of student every school appreciates. He has pride in his school and is willing to help promote Sunflower. When asking teachers about Gerson it is always said you don't have to ask him twice to do something and he always gives it 100 percent effort. He is on the yearbook committee at Sunflower.


Eisenhower Middle School – Lorena Cisneros and Hallie West

Lorena goes above and beyond to care for thestudents at Eisenhower Middle School. Lorena is a strong advocate for students with special needs, frequently communicating with other staff members to ensure students receive the services that they need. She is a strong Warrior supporter and frequently supports students at various extracurricular activities. Lorena spends a large amount of her personal time helping students pursue community activities that help to build students' background experiences. She advocates for language instruction for ESL students during the summer. She's also a volunteer for both building and district level leadership positions, serving on both the SITE Council and PDC Committee.

Hallie works very hard in the classroom and in athletics. More importantly though, she is a model citizen at our school. She is ready to step in when she sees a need in other students. 


Seymour Rogers Middle School – Teresa Louderback and Lindsey Perez

Mrs. Louderback goes a great job working with students. She makes sure that she is doing all she can to help every student be successful. She makes learning fun and always makes sure that students are engaged and learning. She has been a tremendous help with our Kansas Redesign efforts this year.

Lindsey is one of the most phenomenal students I have ever been around. She is a wonderful student and is always responsible. She volunteers around seven hours per week after school when she is not involved in sports practice.


Liberal High School – Dr. Ginny Duncan and Kristen Kinsella

Dr. Duncan is an instructional coach at LHS. She goes above and beyond in her duties everyday. She eagerly helps staff improve their craft by offering ideas and training whenever they want or need it. She helps any teacher, substitute, student or parent with anything they ask her for. She is in charge of making sure 504's and the SIT processes are followed and that any assistance in helping students succeed is provided. She walks arm in arm with teachers to make sure that they are as successful as they can be. She helps in a very positive manner, but also wants to instill in all teachers the love of learning and not to settle for where they are. Dr. Duncan leads by example. She is always trying to learn something else to not only improve herself, but also help offer it to another teacher who needs it. She is also willing to drop everything she is doing if another teacher comes to her for help or if she sees that someone needs help. not only does she drop everything else, she does it willingly and with a smile. If everyone in the education business had that attitude and servitude, education would be at its best. 

Kristen is an amazing young lady. She is kind and helping to everyone, She continues to maintain high grades and attendance even though as a student, sometimes working 30 to 40 hours a week. She always wants to plug herself in to help in the community and at school. She has been a member of the Edu-tourism Club at LHS that shows other schools and members of those visiting schools the things we offer at LHS with redesign. She joined to help with the tours, be a member of a student panel to improve the school, and planning since she had some open time during the day. She also has been a Junior Rotarian and plans to give back to the community in the future. She wants to continue to be an active member of the community. She also attends meetings for the American Legion Auxiliary in Liberal. She hops that she can get more students involved and attending Boys' and Girls' State next year. she is an example to others of when life gets tough to persevere, to find the good in everything, and to always give your best.

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