Impact Award Winners – Spring 2015


Left to Right: Superintendent Bruce Messinger, Katie Graf, Tracy Stegall, Judy Gilligan, Dave Blessing
Presenter (far right): Fran Ryan, CEO of Impact on Education
Not pictured: Dean Stankovic

Dave Blessing, Fine Art Teacher at Boulder High School
This Boulder High School fine arts teacher has brought more meaning to the art his students create because of his passion for teaching and education. His students praise his patient and dedicated teaching style saying that they have learned to love art and pursue it further because of his class. His work beyond the classroom makes Dave Blessing a truly remarkable community member. He helps students in other areas than art, in their post-secondary education careers, and in times of need. He is also a great support to the other staff members. Dave is an exemplary teacher infusing art into life in a refreshing and inventive way.
 
Judy Gilligan, English Language Development Teacher at Whittier Elementary School
Judy Gilligan is an ever-present force at Whittier Elementary. It is her job to assist all students from kindergarten to fifth grade in developing better language, communication, and reading skills. But she strives for more than just meeting her goals, she reaches out to students year round to ensure they are learning, growing, and becoming strong students. Her involvement in a summer reading program (utilizing a ‘book-mobile’), an annual heritage night, and the Take My Teacher Home initiative have helped the Whittier community enrich the education of all kids. In her last year as an educator, Judy has not lost her energy and enthusiasm for teaching.
 
Katie Graf, Second Grade Teacher at Superior Elementary School
Katie Graf is a big believer in the acronym. Teaching her kids DTRT (Do The Right Thing), TTT (Tell The Truth), AAB (Above And Beyond), and NGNG (No Guts, No Glory), gives students the right attitude to appreciate learning and gain everything they can at an early stage of education. Her lessons on reading, vocabulary, and history become the building blocks for enjoying learning in later years. She not only inspires students in the classroom, but also supports them outside of school. She knows the importance of encouraging students in all aspects so they can be successful in all areas of life.
 
Dean Stankovic, Fifth Grade Teacher at Fireside Elementary School
Dean Stankovic has devoted his career to enriching the lives of his students. By taking notice of each student’s specific learning style, Dean can guide them to their very best successes. He sees the importance of participation in the classroom and makes sure that all students have the same opportunities despite challenges or difficulties. And in 25 years of teaching, he has never lost the value of staying current. He uses technology to engage students on a daily basis. However, it is not just his commitment to his students that stands out, but his sense of humor and positivity. His exuberance in the classroom inspires students to strive for excellence. It also shows them that learning can be fun.
 
Tracy Stegall, Principal at Birch Elementary School
When asked how many children she has, Tracy Stegall always answers 402. As Birch Elementary principal, she lives and breathes the education and nurturing of her students. She understands the importance of academic excellence and providing students with a safe and healthy environment where they can grow, learn, and get excited about life. She knows each student individually and knows just how to interact with rambunctious fifth graders to shy kindergarteners. She fosters creative writing and other academic lessons, but also goes out of her way to make sure her students in need are getting fed, are warm during the cold winter months, and have a good support system at Birch.