NCESD Staff Awards Luncheon 2024

Published On: June 17th, 2024|Categories: Agency News, Awards, News|
NCESD Staff Awards Luncheon 2024

Each year, the NCESD takes the time to acknowledge team members who have gone above and beyond to demonstrate what it truly means to lead, serve, and support. 

“Whether it was navigating through unforeseen circumstances or tackling day-to-day responsibilities, our staff’s commitment to provide high-quality, just-in-time service and support never wavers,” said Dr. Michelle Price, NCESD Superintendent.

The achievements celebrated during the event are testaments to the skilled and dedicated team at NCESD. It is because of the expertise and hard work of each individual that the organization is able to continue to deliver exceptional service to our region’s students, school staff, districts, and partners. Congratulations to all of the recipients of the 2024 NCESD Staff Awards!

Each description below was submitted by the individual who nominated the award recipient.

Lead Awards

These awards are given to NCESD staff members who inspire a shared vision and direction with a team, demonstrating exceptional communication skills, strategic decision-making, and the ability to foster a high-performing and inclusive culture. They excel in verbal and written expression, listen attentively, and empower team members to achieve significant organizational impact.

Ashley Goetz

Associate Director of Student Success and Learning

Cari Haug

Regional Science Coordinator

Eric Johnson

Associate Director of Student Safety & Well-Being

“Ashley has provided innovative leadership for our OSSI school improvement work for the past two years, including the development of a school improvement planning process that aligns multiple compliance requirements with solid continuous improvement strategies. In addition, our regional principals have benefitted from her role in the Courageous Principals program, the leadership summit, and the collaborative problem of practice work she instituted with our school leaders.”

“As the lead for the Regional Science coordinators this year, Cari has facilitated her ESD colleagues through several challenging conversations related to science standards and curriculum. Her clear understanding of science content, deep empathy for colleagues and their work, along with respect for diverse opinions have benefited the science coordinator group and our internal content coordinators as they navigated OPSI’s Standards review process this year.”

“Not many people are willing to put up with 100 different ideas of how we can reach out and support our districts daily, but Eric has had his hands full with our department attempting to do just that. It is not every day you get to work for someone who is calm, hears what you have to say, and helps you reach the goals you are intending to do.”

Serve Awards

These awards are given to NCESD staff members who excel in clear facilitation, adapts remarkably, empathizes deeply, and exhibits high cultural competence, fostering inclusivity, respect for diverse perspectives, and collaborative engagement.

Adrian Chavey

Inclusion Coach

Jan Dosh

Early Learning Coach

Luisa Hernandez

Family Resource Coordinator

“Adrian is exceptional at fostering inclusivity and acceptance in our region. Her mentorship of new special education teachers prepares them to continue the work in this field. Because of Adrian, teachers are supported, students are learning, and our ESD is a better place! Adrian has so many skills and she uses them to serve everyone around her. She is positive, inclusive, and thinks person-centered.”

“Jan is extremely well versed in all early learning systems and brings forth issues of equity and inclusion for all individuals and providers in the system. This is all on top of the care, consideration and coaching she provides to our many school districts this year through inclusion grants, partnering with the teaching and learning team and supporting districts through the new rules for Transition to Kindergarten.”

“As an FRC, she is in charge of setting the tone and creating a positive first impression for the families assigned to her, and she clearly takes this responsibility to heart. Her role often requires her to support and sort through some very complex family dynamics, and she does so with the utmost compassion and patience. She regularly utilizes high levels of empathy to educate families and to empower them to advocate successfully for themselves and their children as they enter and navigate through our public school system. ”

Support Awards

These awards are given to NCESD staff members who provide assistance, resources, and services that enhance the overall educational experience and outcomes in our regional school districts and beyond. This support can take various forms and may include: professional development, curriculum development, technical assistance, data analysis and assessment, special education services, grant writing and funding assistance, and collaboration and networking.

Ashley Curtin

School Psychologist

Ashley Jantzer

School Psychologist

James Webber

Regional Science Elementary Specialist

Jennifer Weeks

Occupational Therapist

Leanne Lafferty

Managing Director of Special Services

Linda Dezellem

CTE Specialist

Stefan Troutman

Education Technology Specialist

“Jennifer is a dedicated team player who consistently demonstrates a willingness to answer questions, address concerns, provide valuable information and resources, and offer support in various capacities to her colleagues. Her extensive expertise in Occupational Therapy enables her to share valuable knowledge and insights with others, contributing significantly to the success of her team.”

“Among the special education directors I’ve worked with, Leanne stands out as the most supportive. Her vast knowledge serves as a steady guide, helping me navigate challenging decisions with clarity, even when I tend to overthink.”

“School psychologists are indispensable to schools and threat assessment teams. They offer a comprehensive approach to student safety, mental health, and a student’s educational success. Ashley has been an advocate for her districts to complete a holistic view of the students on her caseload. She has been a vital facilitator for inclusivity and collaborative engagement, making sure students are seen, supported, and advocated for.”

“Ashley has taken on a new project of getting Pre-Employment Transition Skills (Pre-ETS) to secondary students in our region. She started this DVR project from ground zero and has connected districts with outside k-12 resources for students to leave high school with employment skills. She is creating a vision for this work to grow across the region and even has successfully placed students in paid internships.”

“Stefan’s passion for Educational Techology is unmatched and his method of supporting his team cannot go unrecognized. He has created support videos and documents, screenshots, and breakout sessions all in an effort to make what we do for our districts and schools the best it can be. Not to mention he is always willing to make time for his colleagues.”

“Linda is tireless in her efforts to lift up all districts but especially our smaller districts, ensuring every student has access to essential services and opportunities. She is a champion for our underserved communities, playing a pivotal role in bringing crucial financial resources to multiple districts. She has helped several districts received hundred of thousands of dollars in grant money.”

“You can find James in schools and at hydro dams around our region, donning a white lab coat, hauling a tote of science goodies, and talking to kids about electrical safety, energy conservation, and hydroelectricity. James consistently goes above and beyond to make science fun, hands-on, and relevant for students. He is intentional and thoughtful in ensuring that his lessons are inclusive so that students of all skill levels can participate.”

Extraordinary Teamwork Awards

These awards recognize NCESD staff members who have worked together to impact the internal processes within the NCESD or the districts we serve.

District Financial Hardship Support

This team was recognized for providing support to districts experiencing financial and budget restrictions, supporting both business offices and district leadership.

  • Angela Allred (not pictured)
  • Bill Eagle
  • Debbie Cook
  • Trisha Schock
  • Jason Williams
  • Linda McKay
  • Marc Anderson
  • Tamar Burns

NCESD Professional Service Team

This team supports every program and department at NCESD playing a crucial role in providing support and services to school districts in our region. Their attention to detail, organizational skills, and ability to multitask make them invaluable assets in keeping everything running smoothly.

  • Barb Nuxoll
  • Jane Schuyleman
  • Kayla Langston
  • Kim Wagner
  • Lysbeth Romero
  • Molly Naff
  • Raquel Ellis (not pictured)
  • Selena Sencion
  • Sheila Salmon (not pictured)

Qmlativ Payroll Transition

Together, Jason Williams and Jody Patrick, led the agency in transitioning to an updated platform for all Human Resources and Payroll operations. Their hard work and attention to detail played a pivotal role in the smooth transition.

Years of Service Awards

In addition to the awards above, employees celebrating milestone anniversaries at the NCESD were recognized during the event. Congratulations to the following team members who make the NCESD what it is!

5 Year Anniversary

  • Anna Troutman
  • Blaine Pellegrini
  • Cyndy Valdez (not pictured)
  • Dylan Kling
  • Eric Freund
  • Eric Johnson
  • Kathryn Metcalfe (not pictured)
  • Lindsey Harvey (not pictured)
  • Molly Naff
  • Ryan Stieve
  • Selena Sencion
  • Shana Anders (not pictured)
  • Tami McBride

10 Year Anniversary

  • Nicole Courtney
  • Devon Owley
  • Jody Patrick (not pictured)
  • Trisha Schock
  • Jason Williams

15 Year Anniversary

  • Shanna Brooks


  • Jennifer Weeks
  • Mike Dingle
  • Lynell Morrison-Nelson

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