The Humboldt County School District School Board hold "Celebrations" at their board meetings in order to recognize HCSD employees that have made a difference.

February 13, 2018

School Board Celebrates Lisa Evatz

The Humboldt County School District Board of Trustees recognized Lisa Evatz, counselor at WGS, for her distinguished service throughout the District in times of need and crisis. Her knowledge and compassion are truly appreciated, and she makes a difference for those she is able to serve.

Ms. Evatz
Board of Trustees President Braginton and Lisa Evatz

January 23, 2018

School Board Celebrates Noel Morton 

By Shanna Cummings 
The Humboldt Sun

Ms. Morton
Superintendent Dr. David Jensen, Noel Morton, and Board Member Nicole Bengochea

The Humboldt County School District (HCSD) Board of Trustees recognized School Performance Director Noel Morton for her hard work and dedication to helping students succeed.

Morton received the Central Office Professional-Technical Administrator of the Year award from the Nevada Association of School Administrators. She also received the award for District Level Administrator Impacting Student Achievement from the Nevada Association of School Boards in November.

Morton played an integral part in the district’s efforts to improve achievement at some of its lower-performing schools. Her contributions included developing computer programs to track student progress and leading focus group discussions with administrators, teachers and students.

“[Noel’s] passion, her understanding of curriculum and instruction her ability to lead, guide and motivate is exactly what we needed,” Superintendent Dave Jensen said. “Over this past three-and-a-half years she has had a profound impact on McDermitt Combined Schools. She’s also worked with the junior high and French Ford (Middle School).”

“I know from both Dawn’s and my perspective we couldn’t imagine our central office without having her leadership, her insight and what she brings as value to our group,” Jensen continued. “We’re fortunate to have somebody like Noel in our district.”

Assistant Superintendent Dawn Hagness said, “I don’t know if there’s anyone on our cabinet or administrative level who can engage in the type of conversations that Noel has.” She explained that Morton can talk to parents about helping students at home, she can advise administrators and engage in collaborative meetings with teachers.

“I feel like we’re very fortunate to have someone who is very well-rounded and brings an HR perspective, but can tie it all together and sit in our cabinet meetings and challenge us and push us every day and ask the questions to make sure we’re making the best decision in the interest of the kids,” Hagness said.

January 9, 2018

School Board Celebrates Grammar School Superstars

By Shanna Cummings 
The Humboldt Sun
Ms. Seidlitz
Ms. Stevenson
Board of Trustees President Braginton and Lori Seidlitz Board of Trustees President Braginton and Rhonda Stevenson

The Humboldt County School District Board of Trustees continued its new tradition of celebrating outstanding teachers and employees during the Jan. 9 meeting.

Assistant Superintendent Dawn Hagness identified two Winnemucca Grammar School (WGS) teachers who have had a significant impact on student learning: Kindergarten teacher Rhonda Stevenson and Fourth Grade teacher Lori Seidlitz. WGS Principal Jonathan Reynolds attended to show his support.

Hagness said Stevenson embraced her role of helping Kindergarten students learn to write. She would invite administrators and teachers into her classroom, saying “My kids are writing! Look what my Kindergarten kids are doing!”

When Stevenson learned that the district wanted to purchase the Fountas and Pinnell reading materials, she told Principal Reynolds, “This is what I’ve been waiting for my entire career. I would have given anything, and this is what I wanted.” She said she could finally teach the way she always wanted to teach.

Hagness said Stevenson wasn’t afraid to tell anyone how excited she was about the materials. “You can see it in her classroom,” Hagness said, adding that the classroom’s energy on the first day Stevenson used the new materials gave her goosebumps.

“Rhonda, I can’t thank you enough for your commitment to Winnemucca Grammar School, to your Kindergarten kids every year, your teaching staff – because that energy is very important – and what you bring to the entire district because of that.”

Lori Seidlitz helped implement a new math program. Once Hagness convinced Seidlitz that she was the right person for the job, “Lori was so thoroughly involved in every bit of that, and wasn’t afraid to say ‘Come into my classroom and see it working.’”

“Once she commits, she's all in,” Hagness said. “And her kids are all in.” She explained that Seidlitz develops the classroom environment that fosters success and cooperation very early in the school year. “Lori has the talent to develop that in her students, and very early on.”

She has a very open classroom, inviting teachers and administrators from across the district. And she always asks for feedback so she can continue to grow and improve. 

“Not only has she helped Humboldt County in this way, she’s been asked across the region to have other teachers from other districts come into her classroom to see what’s going on,” Hagness continued.

“I always love the opportunity to go in. I’m challenged in that room, and I appreciate the enthusiasm and the ability that she is able to pull out of kids. And her test scores reflect what she does every day with her kids.

“Lori Seidlitz, congratulations and thank you for what you do for Winnemucca Grammar School, Humboldt County and teachers across the region.”

November 28, 2017

School Board Celebrates Janhunen and Johnson

By Shanna Cummings 
The Humboldt Sun

Ms. Janhunen
Ms. Johnson
Board of Trustees President Braginton and Gail Janhunen Board of Trustees President Braginton and Marcel Johnson

For the first celebration, the board recognized Gail Janhunen and Marcel Johnson.

Janhunen has worn many hats in the school district over the past 25 years, including classroom teacher, Literacy Specialist, Learning Strategist, Dyslexia Specialist, Family Engagement Coordinator, CLIMBS (Content and Language Integration as a Means of Bridging Success) Trainer and Educator Effectiveness Coordinator.

Leslie Molina described Janhunen as “visionary in implementing evidence-based instructional strategies” throughout the school district.

About Janhunen, Winnemucca Grammar School Fourth Grade teacher Tava Dennis wrote, “her mentorship has been more beneficial than any college course because she built a relationship with me and my students.” Dennis also said that Janhunen taught her “to give the students something to be proud of. In turn, she gave me something to be proud of.”

The board celebrated Marcel Johnson as School District Employee Making a Difference. Johnson currently leads the credit remediation and recovery program at Lowry High School. The program offers computer-assisted instructional programs to students at risk of not graduating due to credit deficiencies. During the 2015-2016 school year, Johnson helped 89 credit-deficient seniors catch up to graduate with their class. She did the same for 56 students in the 2016-2017 school year.

The board wrote that Johnson “developed a program that saw individual students for their positive attributes and abilities, as opposed to deficits or past behaviors.”

“No longer do students maintain a sense of failure, rather, [they] have come to understand that with hard work, supports are in place to assist each in meeting their goals of graduation.”