Third Quarter Shining Stars

Third Quarter Shining Stars
Posted on 04/07/2021
Third Quarter Shining Star

These teachers and staff shine bright as our third quarter Shining Stars! Read what their nominators had to say about our winners below.

Jackie Kneale Shining Star

Jackie Kneale, 4th Grade Teacher, Hosea

This year has been super challenging. Mrs. Kneale has a super challenging class this year, but goes above and beyond to love and support her students. She has went out of the way to buy a student in her class with sensory needs shoes that help her feel comfortable, she feeds her kids extras when they are hungry, and she always has a helping hand and listening ear when staff needs it. Jackie is an amazing teaching partner, and has helped pick up the slack when we were short due to COVID, and other illnesses. She's a true blessing and I think she could use a pick me up. 

Jason Guthery Shining Star

Jason Guthery, Language Arts Teacher, Lafayette

Jason has always gone the extra mile, or more like five miles, for the kids. He has "found" cleats for a young man that wanted to play baseball but didn't have the equipment he needed and has personally paid for a student's athletic physical because his mom couldn't afford it; he brought his own dress clothes from home for a student that had to go to court and didn't own appropriate attire; he has made phone calls home to students' parents because he sensed that something just wasn't right with the kid and he was concerned. Jason has organized fund raisers for a student whose house burned; again for a teacher that had to go through a kidney transplant. He is a freshman teacher, but you can find upper classmen stopping by to visit with him outside his door between classes, or inside his room before and after school, because they love "Coach Gut".

Toni Gardner Shining Star

Toni Gardner, 2nd Grade Teacher, Virtual Academy

During the first quarter of the school year, Toni learned some tragic news regarding the life of one of her students. Her student's mom had an accident last school year, leaving the mom paralyzed. Upon starting this school year, the child's mom passed away due to Covid. The child is now residing with their 80 year old, financially strapped, grandma. Grandma was struggling financially due to the recent events involving the child's mother. This weighed heavily on Toni's heart, so when the grandma reached out to Toni for suggestions on where look to help provide Christmas for the student, Toni quickly went to work. Toni reached out to every agency she could think of, but nothing was available. Toni then decided to adopt the child herself! She was also able to recruit her teaching partners to help. She wanted to make sure her student was able to have a happy Christmas despite of all the sadness and tragedy he experienced over the course of the last two years. She even went out of her way to hand deliver the wrapped gifts from Santa to the student's home! Her acts of kindness really showed me just how much love Toni has in her heart for her students. 

Daisy Sanchez Shining Star

Daisy Sanchez, Interpreter, SJSD ESOL Services

I would like to nominate Daisy because she is essential to helping our ESOL population and she goes above and beyond her job expectations. Daisy is always willing to help translate for our students and our student's families, even if it is a sensitive or difficult subject. She has compassion for our students and truly cares about their well-being. During the holiday season, Daisy volunteered to go to WalMart to help our Spanish-speaking students who were nominated for "Shop-with-a-Cop." Daisy is a wonderful resource and an even more wonderful person. 

Jeffery Carter Shining Star

Jeffery Carter, Social Studies Teacher, Central

Jeffery Carter is outstanding leader, teacher, and peer above reproach. He is deeply involved in his school and community, contributing greater to the positive image of the Saint Joseph School District. Jeff conveys ideas and feelings concisely in a single transmission. He takes complex ideas and explains them in a simplified manner so individuals and groups can understand them. He inspires interest, attention, and conviction and is exceedingly well at inspiring action by clearly and positively articulating expectations. Jeff has established a nationally ranked scholar Bowl program achieving one of the top 50 programs in the nation. That is 1% of the teams nationally. People want Jeff as their leader and leaders want Jeff on their team. He is exceptional at driving events through smart, timely decisions. What makes Jeff truly special is his strong moral conviction and commitment to students, his school, his district, and his community. We are at our best with Jeff on our team. 

Mary Sanders Shining Star

Mary Sanders, 2nd Grade Teacher, Pickett

Mary is all about relationships and community. In 2nd grade, she's instituted "Thankful Tuesday" and spends 15 minutes with the class creating something special (cards, etc.) for local health care workers. She's organized EMTs and firefighters to come out to remember 9/11 - buying them cookies from her own wallet and making sure the kids could present amazing banners and cards. In addition to all this, she is the biggest cheerleader for our students and staff alike. She can hardly walk down the hall without having someone brighten up and smile just by running across her. She makes learning fun for her students! Mary truly is a shining star at Pickett!

Amanda Ueligger Shining Star

Amanda Ueligger, Math Interventionist, Lindbergh

Amanda has done so many wonderful things for Lindbergh and for the school district. She is on the Math Curriculum Writing team for the upcoming school year. She wrote the 3rd grade Math curriculum for the Virtual Academy. She's served as the site director for Summer School and also as the Administer-on-Duty when the principals were out of the building. She is a mentor to a new teacher and is co-leader of Success Cadre for 1st and 2nd year teachers in our building. She's also been a substitute on many occasions when no subs were available. And this is just her service outside of her actual job! Amanda is ready and willing to do whatever she can to help out her colleagues. She is such an amazing asset to Lindbergh and to the Saint Joseph School District. We are so blessed to have her as part of our SJSD family!

Darryl Bond Shining Star

Darryl Bond, Social Studies Teacher, Truman

Mr. Bond became a teacher after a successful career in the business world. He was clearly meant to be an educator. You really have to stand next to Mr. Bond before seeing him teach to get an idea of why he is a shining star. He is a very tall man, intimidating at first, but once he starts speaking, he transforms into someone unexpected. He is gentle, mild-mannered, soft-spoken, even-tempered, patient, and attentive. He literally bends down to listen to his students with complete interest in what they have to say to him no matter what it is. He engages them in the hallways with questions about themselves and he remembers it the next time he sees them and their eyes light up that he takes the time to get to know them. Mr. Bond is a master at tailoring lessons to meet the needs of all his students. Even as a new-ish teacher, he is constantly tweaking his plans to get the best results of instruction. It's like he wraps his classroom in a figurative hug each day and the students feel safe and loved while they are in his room. It's hard to describe how you just know someone loves what they do, but Mr. Bond has an air about him that feels like he was meant to be a middle school teacher his whole life and we all just missed out on his gift while he was in a different profession. I am so thankful we have him at Truman.

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