Staff Member of the Month

Brian Cox

May, 2016

Oxford Hills Middle School

“Brian Cox is an outstanding teacher who engages students with hands-on science lessons while creating strong relationships with students, parents and teachers. His accepting, fun-loving demeanor reaches people from all backgrounds and makes them feel valued.

“From 2011-2013 Brian and I taught together on the Experiential Learning Team. While working with the most challenging students in the school, Brian persevered through the daily struggles of students falling asleep in class, swearing, throwing items, stealing, and fistfights. He never gave up in finding a way to reach students to re-engage them in school through science inquiry. He became the mentor for struggling students who needed a strong male figure in their lives. He became the confidant for a student wanting to quit drugs. With the poverty in our district, we had many students whose basic needs were not met. Brian made time for these students to shower and wash their clothes during the school day. While the Experiential Learning team has changed in nature and Brian now teaches mainstream science, his compassionate personality remains true.

“What I respect most about Brian is his ability to make students see their own value. He takes the time to learn about students so that he may better support them with their learning. If a student is feeling down, he finds a way to make them laugh. He'll stay after school or come in early; he'll find different ways of explaining challenging topics so that each student is able to fulfill his or her potential. Even with these examples, I feel as though my words fall short of the impact that Brian makes on students; I cannot adequately articulate how he is able to reach students - only the difference I see once they have had him as a teacher.

“I would be remiss if I did not mention that Brian is an excellent colleague. The culture that he creates for students emanates to the teachers around him. He works well with everyone. He is kind, patient, and would do anything to help a fellow teacher. His sense of humor can make stress and sadness dissipate. From Brian I have learned to laugh at myself. I have learned that there are more important parts of teaching than growth scores on assessments. I have learned that not everything planned well goes well, but that it all works out when we have each others back.”

Lorraine Kennagh

April, 2016

Central Office

 “Lorraine does a multitude of jobs and does them well. She can answer any question about payroll/insurance/deductions that is asked her and she always answers with a smile. I believe that she knows every employee by name and where they work within the District!
“Lorraine spends a lot of her own time and personal expense making our office feel like a home. She bakes pop overs, cookies and shares her home made jams with us. Every holiday she decorates. But most of all, we can ask her any question at all and not only does she know the answer - she never minds being asked no matter how busy she is.”

“Lorraine has donated quilts and afghans to the head custodian tickets auction every year since we began it. The money raised  fro this auction is all given out as collage scholarships for our students.

“This year Lorraine donated 3 queen size quilts, 2 twin size quilts, 2 afghans, a knitted sweater, all these were handmade by Lorraine. She also donated a DVD player and purchased a 32 inch flat screen TV for the auction. I feel this is above and beyond in assisting in the further education of our students”

“She contributes yearly to our cause, raising scholarships for seniors looking to further their education. Lorraine has a full table of her quilts that must take hours upon hours to complete. I believe this is a kind, caring quality that needs to be recognized.”

Susan Leunig

March, 2016

Oxford Elementary School

“Susan is referred to as the "sunshine" of OES. She works with students from Pre-k to Grade 6 and is able to make them feel comfortable and safe, help them learn in a variety of different ways, all the time offering warmth and compassion. She is in charge of the Sunshine Fund and works tirelessly to get money and support for staff members and families in the school who need it.

“Susan is constantly on the go, able to relate to all students, and is an effective communicator. She is already asking staff how she can help and constantly doing the extra. She is the oil that keeps the machine moving!

“Every morning, Susan checks in with lower S.E.S. students to make sure they feel safe and settled. Often times they come in disheveled, missing socks, flea bites, or haven't eaten dinner the night prior. She makes sure all students are cared for in the beginning of the day and cared for so they may be able to learn and be more successful :) If you want evidence of how IMPORTANT she is, please noticed at every Friday at 3:00 she is swarmed with students offering hugs and kind words who will be on their own for a whole weekend. They know how loving she is and that Monday morning she will be there with a smile on her face to welcome them into our school.”

“When students shut down and are upset, Susan is the go-to-person to help that student and without fail, she pulls the student out of their funk and will soon have them learning and achieving! Susan wears many hats: educator, counselor, coach, and, cheerleader. Every building in OHSD needs a Susan!”

“Sue builds an amazing rapport with her students and treats everyone she comes in contact with respect and kindness. She greets the children every morning as they enter our building, setting them up for success in their day.”

“Susan goes above and beyond for the staff and students of OES.  She always has a kind word for everyone.  If someone needs anything she is there.  She keys in on the strengths of each student she comes in conduct with.”