Return to Headlines

March Employees of the Month

Ms. Maria Bahena
Custodian
Desert Sun Academy

Maria is such a valuable person to our DSA family. She is a meticulous custodian and takes such pride in doing her job and going above and beyond what is expected of her.  She leaves DSA with immaculate sinks, floors and tables and the counters are always wiped spotless.  DSA quite literally SHINES because of how much attention to detail she puts in to her work every single day. We are so grateful to have Maria!  Both our staff and our students feel fortunate that she cares so much.  She deserves recognition for a job done exceptionally well!

The words best used to describe Maria are vigilant, mindful, and attentive.  Maria truly exemplifies excellence in our schools.  Thank you, Maria for who you are and all you are doing for students, staff, parents and the community.


Ms. Jeanne Anne Baughman
Art Teacher
Black Mountain Elementary School

Jeanne Anne’s art projects are imaginative and creative and leave us in awe. She supports what the students are learning in their regular classrooms, and teaches many different mediums of art so that each student can find success in their own right and express themselves in ways that they may not be able to do otherwise. Jeanne Anne’s lessons are diverse, unique, well thought out and researched. She maintains excellent parent contact which is sometimes very difficult with the number of students that she sees on a daily basis.  She is a key member of the BMES Project Based Learning Committee, her before school Art Club is a hit among the students, and she gives so much of her time and talent to create and build scenery for the beloved musical and the numerous plays at BMES. Jeanne Anne makes us want to be students in her class!

The words best used to describe Jeanne Anne are creative, passionate, and empathetic.  She truly exemplifies excellence in our schools.  Thank you, Jeanne Anne for who you are and all you are doing for students, staff, parents and the community.


Ms. Kimberly Blackert
2nd Grade Teacher
Horseshoe Trails Elementary School

Kim has gone above and beyond in supporting her teammates by giving countless hours to mentor them on important items pertinent to second grade, including parent communication, best practices, procedures and expectations, professional obligations, and so much more!  Horseshoe Trail’s second grade has seen a lot of changes this year and through it all, Kim has been the rock and leader of her team with her positive attitude and amazing energy. Those new to HTES are quick to point out that the transition has been smooth because of her leadership.   Kim has been successful in building a strong rapport and effective support and communication structures within the team. She is a selfless and considerate person who is always willing to share her strategies and practices with her teammates so that they can be successful in their own classrooms at HTES.

The words best used to describe Kim are selfless, hardworking, and knowledgeable.  She truly exemplifies excellence in our schools.  Thank you, Kim for who you are and all you are doing for students, staff, parents and the community.


Ms. Kathleen Brewster
Teacher of the Visually Impaired, Special Education Department
District Wide

The way Kathy has hit the ground running, no one would never guess that she is new to CCUSD!  Her incredible knowledge, experience, and compassion is a priceless asset for our district and the special education department. She has stepped into a complicated situation and has taken on a caseload that is way above that of any other position. She has done this with a smile on her face and incredible grace. She is very humble and supportive and always ensures that each student is getting their needs met, they have thorough evaluations, and the families and staff that work with the students are educated on the students’ needs and supports that can help them be successful in school. Kathy sets our students up for success! She is an asset to the district and has inspired excellence in all of us.

The words best used to describe Kathy are Intelligent, compassionate, dedicated.  She truly exemplifies excellence in our schools.  Thank you, Kathy for who you are and all you are doing for students, staff, parents and the community.


Ms. Sharon Hagerty
Administrative Assistant
Horseshoe Trails Elementary School

Sharon is the heartbeat of Horseshoe Trails!  She does whatever it takes to make this school run efficiently, much of it going unseen and yet she never accepts credit!  She is a team player who supports her coworkers and provides important leadership qualities that allow the front office team to work together seamlessly. She is detail-oriented, hardworking, and so very kind. She cares deeply about HTES, the students, and the staff. Losing a principal midyear is a scary thing but she has not blinked an eye and has supported her new Principal to the fullest and has set him up for success. The staff adores Sharon because of her patience, kindness, and congenial attitude and the students love and respect her steady and calm demeanor which is exactly what an elementary front office needs.

The words best used to describe Sharon are, supportive, selfless, and AMAZING. She truly exemplifies excellence in our schools.  Thank you, Sharon for who you are and all you are doing for students, staff, parents and the community.


Ms. Katherine Herr
4th Grade Teacher
Lone Mountain Elementary School

Katherine rose to the occasion and embraced Google training!  She is the first teacher, or administrator for that matter, to achieve the trifecta of all that is Google. She is recognized by Google as a Google Trainer. Talk about going above and beyond, each step takes anywhere from 20-40 hours; along with some smarts and flexibility.  In addition, she has embraced the Personalized Learning like no other teacher. She is an integral member of the LMES PL Council and has even facilitated PL training for LMES teachers. Technology and PL aside, she also embraces the role of English Language Coordinator, she works with teachers to develop Individual Language Learner Plans and to top it all off, Katherine provides weekly tutoring to our EL students to assist them in their quest for learning.

The words best used to describe her are Intelligent, professional, and amazing.  Katherine truly exemplifies excellence in our schools.  Thank you, Katherine for who you are and all you are doing for students, staff, parents and the community.


Mr. Shawn Reick
Lead Groundskeeper, CSHS
Maintenance Department

We see Shawn out mowing so early in the mornings that it is still sometimes dark but he does it so as not to be in the way of the students. Shawn’s strong work ethic is obvious with the results he has achieved.  He has our grass areas looking nearly like lawns that you would expect to see at a country club. Shawn has really put a lot of effort into the over-seeding, cultivating, fertilizing, mowing and trimming of our grounds. After the grass areas were scalped, aerated, seeded and watered, he went the extra mile by roping off these areas and hanging signs directing students to stay off the new grass – and they did!  His meticulous attention to detail is apparent in how the grass looks today. Staff and students alike are enjoying the look and feel of our luscious new lawn areas. The Cactus Shadows greenbelt has never looked better.

The words best used to describe Shawn are tenacious, detail-oriented, and conscientious.  He truly exemplifies excellence in our schools.  Thank you, Shawn for who you are and all you are doing for students, staff, parents and the community.


Ms. Lara Motter
Speech and Language Pathologist
Desert Sun Academy, Developmental Preschool

Lara is an advocate for early invention in so many ways. By using her experience and knowledge of Early Child development she is able to ask appropriate questions to very young toddlers who come to her monthly screenings. She knows how to develop a comfortable rapport with young children who have speech and language delays and may only speak a few words. She is a pro at easing timid students so that they are able to comfortably separate from their caregiver allowing her and her team to gather the information necessary to determine if further testing is needed. She makes sure to develop comprehensive lesson plans that involve themed snacks, art projects and technology which makes her students, as well as special education teacher, contented and gratified.  She sincerely cares about her students, their parents and their success.

The words best used to describe Lara are caring, positive, and collaborative.  She truly exemplifies excellence in our schools.  Thank you, Lara for who you are and all you are doing for students, staff, parents and the community.