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7:43 AM Fri, Jan. 18th

PUSD honors the GEMS who in their jobs go above and beyond to enhance education for all

Going the Extra Mile (GEM) award winners: Left to right: Award winners Becca Davis, Renee Steingraber, Summer Ammons, Sheri Landino, Kerrie Wright, Anna Seno, Cathy Moody, Credit Union West branch manager Sarah O’Neill, District Superintendent Joe Howard; award winners Kara Ketchum, Sue Soliere and Richelle Davis. (Nanci Hutson/Courier)

Going the Extra Mile (GEM) award winners: Left to right: Award winners Becca Davis, Renee Steingraber, Summer Ammons, Sheri Landino, Kerrie Wright, Anna Seno, Cathy Moody, Credit Union West branch manager Sarah O’Neill, District Superintendent Joe Howard; award winners Kara Ketchum, Sue Soliere and Richelle Davis. (Nanci Hutson/Courier)

In the Prescott Unified School District, there are faculty and staff who fly below the radar.

To their colleagues, however, their unassuming deeds in or outside the classroom contribute so much to students’ life and education. Their diligence is seen as going above and beyond their job expectations.

On Tuesday night, the PUSD Governing Board hosted its annual “Going the Extra Mile” celebration to honor the achievements and contributions of 10 such people.

PUSD Chief Financial Officer Brian Moore described his administrative assistant, Cathy Moody, as someone who is kind and caring to all, never hesitating to take on additional job duties or offering someone a shoulder to lean on, not because it is the thing to do but “because it is in her DNA.”

Unlike those who live by the adage that the “squeaky wheel gets the grease,” Moore said, “Cathy doesn’t squeak.”

“Cathy is not a diamond in the rough; she’s a sparkling diamond,” he said.

Taylor Hicks Elementary Principal Kelsey Secor described the school’s administrative assistant Richelle Davis, her first year at the school, as one who on a daily basis demonstrates “tenacity and grace.”

Lincoln Elementary Principal Karen Hughes described her attendance and 21st Century Grant clerk Kerrie Wright as someone with endless energy and spirit who “I have yet to see complain or yawn in the afternoon.”

The 2018 GEM Award recipients nominated by colleagues and administrators are:

Richelle Davis: Taylor Hicks Elementary administrative assistant: New to Taylor Hicks, Davis quickly “jumped into the position” that requires her to interact with everyone in the school, including students and parents and deal with a myriad of issues at any given time. One of the projects she initiated was the creation of a Gingerbread Village for the holidays as well as coordinating efforts to assure no child in the school goes without a Christmas this year.

Kara Ketchum: a Taylor Hicks Elementary reading paraprofessional: Kara is described as “always having a smile on her face,” a team player who works with teachers to make better readers of their students. She uses her bus duty time to connect with children, even helping students pick healthier foods for lunch.

Summer Ammons, a Mile High Middle School seventh-grade language arts teacher and Student Council advisor: Ammons is described as someone who is organized and “does everything with outstanding integrity.” She managed to organize distribution of some 700 school T-shirts and hoodies “with success.” She organized the first school dance, and students are already eager for next year’s event. “She gives 100 percent to everything she does.”

Becca Davis: PUSD district office payroll clerk: “Becca is cool under pressure.” She has helped create a strong bridge between the Business and Human Resources departments and is willing to assist on information technology issues. She handles front desk duties and is working online to earn her bachelor’s degree. “An example of an excellent team player.”

Sheri Landino: Prescott High School registrar: She was credited with earning the high school a perfect score on the audit related to student attendance, no small feat.

Cathy Moody, administrative assistant to the chief financial officer: Moody was hailed as not only doing her job expertly, but always offering to volunteer to help whenever a need arises. She has assisted in the transportation department when they’ve been short-staffed and never voices a complaint. “Cathy could teach a class on community service.”

Anna Seno: Mile High Middle School mental health counselor: She manages to get reluctant students to open up to her and has helped seventh graders take responsibility for their actions. She is a strong communicator with parents, students and colleagues.

Sue Soliere: PUSD grants coordinator: She is credited with making certain the district gets all the grants to which they qualify and managing those grants, making the complicated seem simple. “We hit the jackpot when Sue applied for the job.”

Rene Steingraber: PUSD testing coordinator: She has coordinated testing resources to make them user-friendly, and is able to come up with practical, easy-to-implement solutions when problems arise.

Kerrie Wright: Lincoln Elementary attendance clerk and 21st Century grants clerk: In her role in the front office she is essentially managing the job of two people, nary a complaint or harsh word for anyone. She makes certain all students who attend afterschool clubs have a way to get home safe and treats every child and person she encounters with “kindness and respect.”