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Dublin Unified School District Honors Certificated and Classified Staff in Annual Awards

Dublin Unified School District Honors Certificated and Classified Staff in Annual Awards

District Announces Teacher of the Year, New Teacher of the Year, Classified Employee of the Year, Teresa Herrington Memorial Award, and District Recognition Winners

Dublin, CA – May 18, 2020 – The Dublin Unified School District, which serves over 12,900 students, from preschool through adult education, in a diverse suburban environment, recently recognized Certificated and Classified staff members with the announcement of coveted annual awards. During the May 12, 2020 Board meeting, the district released the names of its 2019-2020 Teacher of the Year, New Teacher of the Year, Classified Employee of the Year, and Teresa Herrington Memorial Award Winners.

“On some levels, it feels unfair to recognize our staff in this capacity, because we have so many exceptional employees who go above and beyond on a regular basis,” said Dave Marken, superintendent of the Dublin Unified School District. “Every day, the current environment we are experiencing provides multiple examples of our staff’s commitment to this community. That said, it is important to celebrate their accomplishments and dedication. While we are recognizing Nicole, Katie, Amy, Sean, and our District Recognition Award winners today, we are also acknowledging what they represent to their profession and to our community. Congratulations to all of you, and to your colleagues for all that you do!”

Nicole Richards - Teacher of the Year 

Fallon Middle School English teacher, Nicole Richards, has been named the Dublin Unified School District Teacher of the Year for 2019-2020. Ms. Richards has spent her entire eight-year teaching career as a Mustang. She is a bibliophile who instills in her students a love of books and the power of the English language. Growing up, Ms. Richards felt authors held superpowers because they could sway her emotions with their writing. It was in her English classes that she realized she could have those superpowers too. That realization fueled her decision to become an English teacher and to surround her students with books by powerful authors and to help them find their voice.

Nicole launched the AVID program at Fallon, six years ago, to help prepare students for success in college. She also helps her colleagues incorporate AVID strategies in their classrooms and serves as a regional trainer for the AVID organization.

Ms. Richards grew up in Danville, attending San Ramon High School before heading t0 UC Santa Barbara where she majored in English with an education minor. She later earned her teaching credential and a Masters in Education at UC Davis. 

Now an Oakland resident, when not working, she can be found going on walks with her husband Paul and dog Linda, baking chocolate chip cookies, working in her garden, and finishing her day with a good book. 

“I’m so honored and humbled by this recognition,” said Ms. Richards. “I miss having all the different personalities in one room. I love the amount of problem-solving that goes into this profession and collaborating with my brilliant colleagues. I view awards and recognition as an opportunity to reflect on what you’ve accomplished and as a chance to think about all that you still have to learn.”

Katie Hood - New Teacher of the Year

Frederiksen Elementary School second grade teacher, Katie Hood, has been named the Dublin Unified School District New Teacher of the 2019-2020 school year. Originally from Long Beach, California, Ms. Hood fell in love with the Bay Area while visiting friends in college. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Arts, with a concentration in Child Development, from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, where she also attended the Multiple Subject Teacher Education Program to receive her teaching credential.

Upon her arrival at Frederiksen, she quickly showed her ability to put forethought into classroom structures, organization, and routines. She spends countless hours in her room setting up an environment any seven year old would love. Her reflective nature and calm, caring demeanor are assets that assist in her focus on community building , student-centered management, and creating lifelong learners. 

Ms. Hood currently lives in Dublin where she enjoys knitting, hiking on the weekends, sightseeing in San Francisco, and sharing meals with family and friends. 

“I cannot remember a time in my life when teaching was not on my list of dream jobs,” said Ms. Hood. “Working with children and encouraging them to grow and expand their knowledge is a passion of mine. I feel so lucky to be a part of the DUSD family and cannot wait to see what the future holds in this community.”

Amy VanEmmerik - Classified Employee of the Year

The 2019-2020 Classified Employee of the Year is Amy VanEmmerik. Ms. VanEmmerik has been a special education instructional assistant at Dublin High School, supporting a wide range of special education students, for over 26 years. She has worked in the resource program, special day class and in the Counseling Enriched program. Amy has also served on the DHS School Site Council for the past two years and is an active advocate for the population of students she serves. A respected leader in her department, Amy has trained countless instructional assistants and teachers. 

Ms. VanEmmerik grew up in Dublin, attending Dublin Elementary (a K-8 at the time) and Dublin High School. She has been married for 40 years to her husband, also a Dublin High graduate, has two grown children, and two rescue dogs. Over the summer, Ms. VanEmmerik and her husband average 100 miles of hiking per month in the trails around Dublin.

“I started working at DHS while my children were in school and I was always planning to go back to work in the semiconductor industry when our kids became older,” said Ms. VanEmmerik. “Once I began working with the students, I became hooked. I found my niche. The students here in Dublin are wonderful. They are willing, able and excited to learn. Not only do the students learn from us, but I learn from them every single day. I can’t imagine doing anything else.”

Sean Adams - Teresa Herrington Memorial Award

The Dublin Unified School District established the Teresa Herrington Memorial Award following the sudden death in October of 2005 of Teresa Herrington, a much-loved school secretary, and association leader. The award is given each year to a classified employee who best exemplifies the character traits and qualities that Teresa exhibited throughout her 25 years of service with the District. 

The 2019-2020 award winner is Sean Adams, head custodian at Dublin Elementary School. Mr. Adams is revered by students, staff, and Dublin Elementary families. He is often the first person to arrive and the last person to leave the school. He helps to create a warm, friendly environment by greeting students, staff, and guests every morning. He has the ability to complete five tasks at once, with a smile, while walking a kindergartener back to class.

Mr. Adams began his career in the Dublin Unified School District in 2003, working as a custodian at Dublin High School. During his ten years as the school, he worked day shifts, night shifts, and supported football games, track events, and band competitions. In 2013 the head custodial position opened up at Dublin Elementary and he’s been working here ever since.

When not at Dublin Elementary, this Martinez resident can be found working on his cars, including a couple Corvettes he’s restoring, with his cat, Daisy.

“I love coming to work every day because the staff at my site are my family and even back at DHS they were too,” said Mr. Adams. “It’s a great district to work for and I thank everyone for this award.”

District Recognition Awards

Since 1989, Dublin Schools have given a special District Recognition to classroom teachers, classified staff, administrators, and volunteers who have consistently demonstrated notable achievement in supporting the District's mission. These people are nominated by members of the school community including teachers, administrators, parents, community groups, classified staff, and students. This year’s District Recognition award winners are:

  • Darrell Chapman, Computer Technician I at the District Office 
  • Adrienne Conrad, Mod/Severe SDC Teacher at Amador Elementary School 
  • Chip Dehnert, Public Information and Community Relations Officer at the District Office 
  • Rachael Guinther, Teacher/6th Grade Core at Fallon Middle School 
  • Teri Kolon, Kindergarten Teacher at Green Elementary School
  • Alex Lopez, PE Teacher at Murray Elementary School
  • Kelvin McClain, Campus Supervisor at Fallon Middle School 
  • Teri Meadows, Secretary III at Dublin Elementary School
  • Chuck Mercer, PE Teacher at Wells Middle School
  • Kenna Moirao, 3rd Grade Teacher at Frederiksen Elementary School
  • Michelle Partridge, Lead Service Worker at Dublin High School 
  • Sara Powers, Volunteer at Amador Elementary School 
  • Nia Sallee, Campus Supervisor at Cottonwood Creek School 
  • Holly Scroggins, Principal at Amador Elementary School 
  • Ashley Sheaff, English Teacher at Dublin High School 
  • Richard VanHorn, Lead Custodian at Wells Middle School 
  • Gail Weston, Volunteer at Dublin Elementary School 
  • Deborah Yamasaki, Volunteer at Frederiksen Elementary School

About the Dublin Unified School District
The Dublin Unified School District serves over 12,900 students, from preschool through adult education, in a diverse suburban environment. The district has 12 school sites, including seven elementary schools, two middle schools, one K-8, and two high schools. The Dublin Unified School District mission is to educate every student to become a lifelong learner by providing a safe and supportive environment that fosters collective responsibility for each student’s success. Dublin schools have been recognized with numerous accolades, including Advanced Placement Honor Roll, National Blue Ribbon School, Gold Ribbon Award, Project Lead The Way Distinguished School, California School of Character, National School of Character, California Distinguished School, and Title 1 Academic Achievement Award School.

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