HOUSTON – Nov. 28, 2018 – Superintendent Rodney Watson held the second round of Central Support Staff Meetings of the 2018-19 school year on Wednesday, where employees heard detailed updates on the bond program and middle school plan, and had the opportunity to celebrate 12 employees recognized for their excellent work and contributions to the district.
In addition, 10 lucky employees won special gift cards donated by Cabo Dental in a random process designed to thank them for their ongoing commitment to Spring ISD.
Watson kicked off each of the three meetings with a special ice breaker to encourage attendees to talk to other employees whom they might not know. He then went on to present important information on the upcoming state legislative session, where school finance and teacher raises are expected to be a main topic of interest.
Another highlight of his presentation was a quick overview of the designs for the new ninth-grade centers being built under the 2016 bond program. The district’s Board of Trustees reviewed the drawings earlier this month, and construction is expected to start next year in anticipation of all three facilities being open by August 2020.
Watson also gave a high-level description of the district’s plan to strengthen its middle schools with an initial focus on expanding speciality options for families. Specifically, the district will open its new Middle School #8 with an international Baccalaureate program. In addition, a new leadership program will be put in place at Middle School #9, which will open next August in the facility now being used by Spring Early College Academy.
Before concluding the meetings at the Gordon M. Anderson Leadership Center Boardroom and at the district’s Transportation Center, Watson recognized exceptional employees for their hard work and dedication with a special certificate and mug. Those employees are:
- Lisa Cojtin (Custodial Services) was recognized for her excellent customer service and helpful manner, especially in going above and beyond her normal assignments. In one instance recounted in her nomination, while setting up for a training at Westfield High School, it was discovered that the air conditioning was not working properly. She immediately searched for fans to help circulate the air, then quickly contacted the right people to fix the problem. This helped create a calm learning atmosphere, and it meant a lot to those hosting and attending the event. Watson praised her for building trust through integrity and leading by example.
- Sharene Nair (Distribution Services) was recognized for being a huge asset to her department and a great role model for her fellow team members. Her attention to detail and thoroughness allows the Distribution Services department to build trust with campuses while managing the district’s assets in the most effective manner possible. Her efforts and dedication also helped ensured that the implementation of the TIPWEB-IT asset management software would be a success. In particular, her outgoing, positive attitude promotes a healthy, happy work environment for her co-workers, and her skills are a credit to her and a great benefit for Spring ISD.
- Darrell Turner (Planning and Construction) was recognized for going above and beyond, especially during all the work on the district’s new Lockhaven facility. He went above and beyond to ensure that the departments that were moving into the building were fully prepared, and had all the infrastructure and everything they needed for a smooth transition. Because of his dedication and commitment to Spring ISD and its employees, the move into 420 Lockhaven and the dedication of that facility was a success. Turner was applauded for that accomplishment and for all of his work behind the scenes to keep the and its departments operating smoothly, even during times of transition.
- Mujib Rana (Technology) provides audio and visual support to departments and schools, but was recognized for all he does beyond his job description. For example, when it comes to preparing for events and presentations for parents, staff and community members, he always helps create a welcoming atmosphere. He regularly stands ready to step in and problem-solve whenever it’s needed, and he does so cheerfully and with a great attitude. Watson praised him for exemplifying the Spring Way.
- Karl Kuhlenschmidt (Child Nutrition) has been with the district since 2007, first as a lead driver and more recently in a Maintenance Technician role, where he has constantly demonstrated his commitment to excellent service. He was recognized Wednesday for giving his all and working tirelessly to ensure work orders are covered. In particular, he is always willing to help his co-workers, even with the oddest of tasks – whether making antlers to decorate the child nutrition bus like Rudolph at the holidays, or assembling bicycles for student giveaways. If there has to be a 2 a.m. call-out for an emergency at a campus, he will answer the call. Watson applauded him for always giving his best and for being so dedicated to Spring ISD.
- James Branch Jr. (Maintenance) was recognized for his initiative in always wanting to learn, prompting his hiring as a Building Engineer in the Maintenance department – a role he has served in for over 18 years. He promotes integrity in the work that he does, and he has distinguished himself while serving as a leader on our summertime preventive maintenance crew. He maintains his facilities so that they always provide a safe environment for students and staff and is known for brightening other people’s day with his “smile that goes a mile”.
- Juan Velasquez (Maintenance) has worked for the district for the past 16 years as a member of the Maintenance Grounds Crew team. He is recognized for always standing ready to do what’s needed. Sometimes, just doing what’s asked, day after day, we may think our work goes unnoticed, but the Maintenance Department would like to acknowledge the work this special person has done. His service and loyalty to the Maintenance Department – along with his abilities and work ethic – exemplifies Spring ISD’s Core Values.
- Darien Price (Building Operations) was recognized for regularly going above and beyond the call of duty to serve our staff and our students. As a member of the Operations Department, he helps ensure our buildings are maintained and functioning properly, and handles deliveries. He serves departments on a day-to-day basis as well as for special events. The nomination submitted for him said, “He is a perfect example of an unsung hero who sees the need and meets the need without being asked and without seeking recognition.”
- Monique Ornelas and Sherry Alvarado (Technology) from Spring ISD’s Security and Maintenance team were nominated for consistently going above and beyond to serve their customers. They sometimes work 10 to 12 hours a day supporting their counterparts from Data Management and supporting the end users at the campus. Even when they do take a vacation, their laptops seem to make their way with them so that they can respond to any urgent issues that may arise. Both of them are always vigilant, trying their best to keep up with the huge demand placed on them on a daily basis to serve their customers.
- Sgt. Leonard Woodard and Cpl. William Dawkins (Spring ISD Police Department) were recognized as high-performing and committed employees with the Spring ISD Police Department’s second shift patrol division. Both have demonstrated the Spring ISD Core Value “We win as a team.” In addition, both have led the team in the successful reunification of reported missing and runaway students in our district. Woodard and Dawkins were nominated for their roles as leaders and role models in their department, and for their excellent service to the Spring community.