Golden Apple Awards! #Golden

Kenai Peninsula Borough School District
Golden Apple Award | March 7, 2016
Mrs. Jean Calhoun, Secretary

Mrs. Jean Calhoun has served students and staff in the KPBSD for more than 25 years, with the majority of her time as secretary at West Homer Elementary School. She makes time for every student, every staff member, every parent, and every visitor. Walking past the school office, Jean is often heard laughing with a teacher, commiserating with a sad parent, or praising a child. She is described as the heartbeat of the school.

 “It is not uncommon to see Jean giving a personal tour to newly enrolled students, and the pride she feels for the school is evident,” said Shellie Worsfold. “It’s said that it’s really the secretary who runs the school … with Jean this is true. She interacts with everyone in our building and keeps the community feeling alive.”

“Jean juggles many tasks with constant interruptions, and a smile on her face all day long,” said Laura Peek, school nurse. “She is often at school late into the evening, has taken children home who missed their bus when parents are unable to get to the school. She has made sure students have a meal at lunch if lunch money isn’t available. Additionally, she covers the nurse office. She cleans wounds, provides ice packs, dispenses daily medications, and calls a lot of parents.”

“Jean helped me adjust as a first time librarian in a new school when I was hired at West Homer Elementary twelve years ago,” said librarian Lisa Whip. “She encouraged me as the multitude of tasks piled up, supported me in my struggles to make the library a top notch environment for literacy, and supplied me with information and contacts I needed to progress. During Book Fairs—twice a year—Jean advertises with the local papers and radio stations, puts out newsletters, contacts the truckers delivering books, and makes sure the Family Fun Night and the Fair itself is fully equipped to make the event a success.”

Jean has helped thousands of people over more than two decades. She does it every day without fanfare, and no attention drawn to her good deeds. “We just hear about it later from a student or parent, sometimes years later,” said Peek.

The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education is proud to recognize Mrs. Jean Calhoun for her dedication to the students of the school district, past, present, and future.

Kenai Peninsula Borough School District
Golden Apple Award | March 7, 2016
Ms. Linda Brady, Educator

Ms. Linda Brady has been a dedicated employee for the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District for sixteen years—teaching at Nikolaevsk School, Ninilchik School, and currently, Chapman School. “She is exceptional in her position as a special education teacher at Chapman School and provides the school its cornerstone for building all other programs,” said Conrad Woodhead, principal. “Linda is an active leader on our staff, conducting aide meetings each Monday morning and participating in all of our I-Team and Data Day meetings. This is great, but what makes Linda so special isn’t her willingness to step up whenever she’s needed; what makes her exceptional is her ability to seemingly pull effort out of kids that they never knew they had. The students she works with achieve what was otherwise impossible. Simply put, Linda is good for kids.”

Linda is selfless in her devoted stewardship to students. When need presents itself, Linda, and her husband Gary, have housed students, given students rides home, and on occasion, helped them with clothing items. She’s a fan favorite amongst the student body, probably because she’s there whenever they need her. A little known fact about Linda is that she has spent her life savings on her classroom library. We’ve had to give the UPS driver her own parking space, as she never drives by our school without dropping off another scholastic book order box for Linda. Every day, students work in her classroom before and after school. She even eats lunch with kids.

Legend has it that Linda does not sleep. When she finally goes home at night, she simply cooks dinner, tucks in her devoted husband Gary, and returns to work. Her colleagues have given up trying to beat her to work. “On more than several occasions, I’ve woke up to the ding of an email from my phone, only to find that’s it’s another IEP reminder from Linda. Most people are still sleeping at 5:45 a.m. in the morning; she is sending emails,” said Mr. Woodhead. “Linda is modest about her hard work and dedication, and she is deeply appreciated. We recognize Linda for her steadfast dedication to our students, our school, our community, and our district.”
The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education is proud to recognize Ms. Linda Brady for her dedication to the students of the school district, past, present, and future.

20160307_HL_Golden-Apples_LEAD-Linda Reinhart 
Kenai Peninsula Borough School District
Golden Apple Award | March 7, 2016
Linda “Grandma” Reinhart, Volunteer

Linda Reinhart has been a consistent volunteer at Paul Banks Elementary for thirteen years, since her granddaughters attended Paul Banks. She donates one to two days every week to help teachers and work with students, in addition to other special projects. The entire staff nominated her, and said, “Just when we feel like we can’t do one more thing, “Grandma Reinhart” is there for us. Paul Banks would not be the same learning community without her support.”

Linda is willing to assist with any situation at Paul Banks—including math centers, evening events, reading centers, art projects, and implementation of interventions. Linda has taken time to learn the Handwriting Without Tears Program and Read Naturally Program so that she can support teachers in the classrooms implementing these two important programs. She will take projects home to prepare them for instruction. Linda is a talented musician and will learn educational songs and teach them to the students. An example of this is teaching students a clock song she learned on the ukulele. She is equally present to assist students with special needs, and offer enrichment for other students. She loves to learn and shares this passion with the students and staff of Paul Banks. Every day it is evident how much she cares about all of the staff and students of Paul Banks.
Over the years, Paul Banks has had situations where support was needed and the school needed help providing it. Grandma Reinhart will step into a classroom to help with students that need extra support or spend time reading with students who don’t get the opportunity to do so at home. When a student is in need of love or attention, she is there.

Linda is an active member in the community. She assisted with sewing costumes for countless school plays, for students in schools from McNeil Canyon to Homer High School. She is passionate about making music and orchestra available and accessible to all the children in our community, and has been a key leader in the Kenai Peninsula Orchestra, the Homer Youth Symphony, and several years of Link-Up programs, which provide supplemental music instruction to entire schools.

Paul Banks is a better school because of Linda “Grandma” Reinhart. Most students call her Grandma Reinhart, and some even insist that she must really be their grandma, because they see her at school all the time. This spring she will be 80 years young and the students and staff of Paul Banks think they are lucky to have her consistent, quality, caring support!

The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education is proud to recognize Linda “Grandma” Reinhart for her dedication to the students of the school district, past, present, and future.

Link: Golden Apple recipients

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