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December Employees of the Month

Mrs. Michele Sivets & Mrs. Heather McGillivray


District Office

Michele and Heather have been selected as the #WeAreCCUSD Employees of the Month for December! This award recognizes staff members who positively impact all facets of CCUSD. 

Michele and Heather are a TEAM. What one is unable to do, the other steps right in to get the task accomplished. They are true team players. The receptionist at the District office is the "hub" of the District. They are social directors, problem solvers, a voice at the other end of the line, an ear to listen to callers' concerns, and an advocate for CCUSD.

Michele has taken on the task of the United Way Campaign for the ENTIRE district for the past two years and has improved results and morale surrounding the campaign tremendously! Her involvement in the Inspire Excellence Ceremony and Years of Service celebration is so appreciated and touches so many people in a positive way.  Michele has a calm demeanor that makes everyone feel at ease and welcome. She has a gift with attention to detail and efficiency in handling the day to day office procedures so that the front office runs smoothly. The job is endless and she handles it with professionalism and grace.  

Heather is the main point of contact for the Recognition Committee and she and Michele both work diligently to make sure every employee is recognized to the highest level. When we were unable to have a face-to-face end of year Inspire Excellence Award Ceremony, they both jumped in making it happen virtually and making sure everyone received their awards/certificates/pins! 

CCUSD is so fortunate that it is your smiling faces they see each day in the district office! 

The words best used to describe Michele and Heather are dedicated, driven, and friendly.  Michele and Heather, you truly exemplify excellence in our schools.  Thank you for who you are and all you are doing for students, staff, parents, and the community.

Sra. Nereida Castro

World Language Spanish Specialist 


Neri is so helpful to all of the teachers at DWES and she has no problem stepping into any situation to make it easier. Not only does she teach an amazing class, but she also helps with preschool, lunch duty, before school duty, and K-6 teachers!  She does crosswalk in the morning, drop off in the afternoon, and steps into any role needed. Neri helped our kindergarten team finish their kinder assessments before conferences and she is pushing-in to our first and second grade Spanish Immersion classes to help students who need more support with the language. Our students are excited to go to Spanish and the kindergarten students at DWES say that Mondays are their favorite because they have Spanish and Art.  That's a HUGE compliment. Neri is an amazing asset to DWES and an amazing employee!

The words best used to describe Neri are hardworking, helpful, and kind! Neri, you truly exemplify excellence in our schools.  Thank you, Neri, for who you are and all you are doing for students, staff, parents, and the community.

Mr. Denis Day


Cactus Shadows High School

Since day one, Denis has accepted every assignment and challenge with a positive attitude and a can-do approach. Recently, due to staffing changes, he took on an AP Government class and now has three preps each day, with 2 subjects he has not taught before. He is a consummate teaching professional, designing interesting and engaging lessons for all of his classes. He is an excellent collaborator sharing ideas and always looking for different ways to engage his students in learning. Denis is a great example of a person who models the importance of continuous learning, seeking improvement in content areas, and engaging in creating a positive environment in his classes.

The words best used to describe Denis are professional, reflective, and engaging.  He truly exemplifies excellence in our schools.  Thank you, Denis, for who you are and all you are doing for students, staff, parents, and the community.

Mr. Michael Gentry

Bus Driver


Mike is a limo driver for our most important people!!  He is a team player and constantly goes out of his way to help out. He sets a great example for everyone else by doing his regular job and anything extra when needed. Mike has gone out of his way on a daily basis to help with sanitizing buses and making sure they are safe as can be for our staff and students. He has done extra work when the garage was busy by spraying all of the buses by himself.  He never says "no" and always volunteers to help out whenever needed.  After his bus run, he stays late every single day to help spray buses and wrap things up.  He is often called Mr. Dependable and can always be counted on to be at work on time and ready to go!  He is so very appreciated for his dedication, hard work, and positive attitude! 

The words best used to describe Mike are reliable, dependable, and team-player.  He truly exemplifies excellence in our schools.  Thank you, Mike, for who you are and all you are doing for students, staff, parents, and the community.

Mrs. Kellie Hale


Lone Mountain Elementary School

The time Kellie spends in the LMES Library selecting books specifically for each of the students is invaluable and precious to each of them. She knows every student's interests, what books they are reading currently, and what books they want to read next. Kellie attends the LMES Parent Book Club Zoom meetings outside of school, she arrives early and stays late almost every day. She works hard to make reading and writing relevant and fun for LMES 5th graders, both virtually and in person. Kellie thinks outside the box and goes above and beyond to make sure students love reading, and are reading books that they like. She does readers and writers workshops with students and gets them to reflect on what they are reading. Kellie has been the fearless team leader, creating schedules and coming up with ideas of how to work our new daily routines in 5th grade. Her colleagues enjoy working with her and we all think that she is simply amazing!

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

Sra. Jocelyn Raught


Cactus Shadows High School

Jocelyn teaches Spanish in two classrooms AND online--all at the same time.  She is a true superstar!! She takes it upon herself to manage two Spanish classes; getting the students started in one room, then going to the other room AND she teaches them in person as well as online.  What is even more amazing is that Jocelyn does all of this with a smile on her face. She is a wonderful role model to her students and colleagues by showing composure, grace, and poise at all times. CCUSD is fortunate to have someone as talented, generous, and caring as Sra. Raught!  

The words best used to describe Jocelyn are motivating, dedicated, and selfless.  Jocelyn, you truly exemplify excellence in our schools.  Thank you for who you are and all you are doing for students, staff, parents, and the community.

Miss Kelsey Spear


Desert Willow Elementary School

Kelsey has modeled flexibility with grace this year. She moved to a new grade level, then changed from a single grade classroom to a combo class after the first quarter. She helped her colleagues become more comfortable using technology in their classrooms, she is developing her practice with personalized learning, and she helps with any task asked of her. She has a quiet and calm demeanor that inspires confidence. Kelsey created tutorial videos to help parents navigate our distance learning at the start of school this year - making it so they could better support students.  She stepped into the role of a combo teacher at the second quarter without missing a beat and is creating flipped lessons so that each of her students can get instruction from the teacher, even if she is engaged with the other group of students.  We are just amazed at the growth Kelsey has shown as an educator and it is showing in each of her students every day.  She is deserving of this recognition and we are proud to have her on the CCUSD team!

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

Mrs. Kristin Steward


Black Mountain Elementary School

Kristin provides guidance and shows patience to her students and her colleagues at every turn. She is a kind and generous teacher and teaching partner! She has spent countless hours before school, after school, and every weekend discussing standards, sharing curriculum ideas, and providing others with guidance. Her commitment to successful teaching is beyond compare. She helps new teachers learn the absolute joy of teaching kindergarten and she is a shining star among all of the incredible teachers at BMES. Every parent, staff member, and student who knows Kristin absolutely loves her. She is genuine, caring, supportive, and a bright light in a challenging world. Kristin embraces the art of teaching and it shows in her students!  Thank you, Kristin, for taking CCUSD to new levels with your hard work and perseverance.

The words best used to describe Kristin are kind, thoughtful, and amazing.  She truly exemplifies excellence in our schools.  Thank you, Kristin, for who you are and all you are doing for students, staff, parents, and the community.