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Math teacher’s skills, front office expertise, volunteer’s dedication = VIP awards
Coyote Springs honors 3 who support students

A sixth-grade math teacher at Coyote Springs Elementary School was awarded the Humboldt Unified School District’s (HUSD) VIP award for certified employee of the month at the district’s board meeting March 5 at the school.

Michelle McCabe has created “real world problem-solving and hands-on learning experiences” for her students, Coyote Springs Principal Candice Blakely-Stump said.

“When you walk into Michelle’s classroom, you will see students engaged in authentic problems, collaborating and critical thinking in order to create solutions,” Blakely-Stump said. “Her students don’t just master content, but understand the content and can, in turn, apply those skills to other problems.”

McCabe also coaches the school’s volleyball team, facilitates lunch study groups, and meets with students after school. Students receive more intervention in the areas of reading and math due to McCabe’s revamping of the time and tracking of students, Blakely-Stump added.

Christina Bardon received the honor of VIP award for classified staff. She began as a parent volunteer at Coyote Springs, moved into a Title 1 para-professional position, and now, in her fourth year as an HUSD employee, she works as receiving clerk.

“Each of these roles has provided Christina with a wealth of knowledge about CSES,” Blakely-Stump said, adding that Bardon’s customer service skills are topnotch in the front office.

The principal said she can assign any job to Bardon and Bardon will run with it because of the cross-training she has received. “Her laughter is contagious and she always has a smile on her face,” Blakely-Stump said.

Twelve years ago, Courtney Stephenson’s children started in kindergarten at Coyote Springs. This past week, she was honored as the district’s Volunteer of the Month, where she continues to show up even though her children no longer attend the school.

When Coyote Springs needed a long-term substitute for a kindergarten classroom, Stephenson stepped into the position, obtaining her substitute certificate. She also served as treasurer of the school’s parent-teacher organization, “no easy task,” Blakely-Stump said.

“Her dedication to CSES truly made a difference in the lives of our students and staff,” she added.

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