O’Fallon School District 90 Board of Education honored it’s December Teacher and Staff of the Month Awards at its Dec. 19 Board of Education meeting.
Teacher Tara Keys, Carriel Junior High School seventh grade language arts instructor, was the honored teacher and Colleen Headrick, an accounts payable support staff at the O’Fallon Dist. 90 office, was the recognized staff member. The December award sponsor was Dr. Craig Lotz, a clinical psychologist.
Each year, the seventh-graders create a children’s story — their first big writing assignment of the year where students learn about plot and characterization.
O’Fallon SD 90 Superintendent Carrie Hruby said, this year, Keys took the assignment to “the next level.”
“She thought it might be fun and a great learning experience for our students to send the completed stories to elementary students,” Hruby said.
Keys’ ideas were “well received,” on all fronts, according to Hruby.
“Then she offered the elementary teachers some suggestions on how they might use (them) in their classes,” Hruby said.
Keys’ suggestions included illustrating the stories to improve reading comprehension and visualization.
Hruby describes Keys as a “passionate teacher” who is “always looking for innovative ways to get her students and others excited about writing.”
Jeff Brokering and Ellen Hays, administrators at Carriel, said, “Mrs. Keys is a terrific teacher and great member of the Carriel and District 90 staff.”
With the district for over 12 years, Hruby said, Headrick has been “a dedicated employee (who) eagerly sought out additional work duties.”
For example, Hruby explained that Headrick recently discovered the district had a surplus of out-dated workbooks purchased several years ago.
“She took the initiative to contact the vendor to determine if there was any type of monetary reimbursement to the district for the return of the books,” Hruby said.
To assure the overall cost effectiveness, Headrick also contacted a local parcel company to research the estimated shipping fees for a return.
“Because of her forward-thinking, tenacity and ingenuity, Colleen obtained a notable refund for the District. Colleen continues to play an impactful role in assisting in the management and administration of the P-Card program,” Hruby said.
Among her accomplishments, Hruby said, she also organized a more efficient accounts payable system, which allows for easy accessibility.
Patty Cavins, district business manager, said, “Colleen always displays a positive attitude, and is eager to help coworkers and those seeking information from the district office. She is a vital team member in the success of our workplace environment.”