Left: Jodi Sabin
Right: Marla Stringham
Not pictured: Monica Aldama
Ms. Marla Stringham, Choir Teacher and Fine Arts Department Chair
Copper Canyon High School
Nominated by Ms. Christine Kitzmiller, Performing and Visual Arts Teacher
Marla is a committed professional in everything she does for staff and her students. She goes far beyond and above in all she takes on and does for education. She teaches both beginning choir and advanced show choir and also teaches piano. She heads the Fine Art Department as chair for all the arts classes. As a co-chair for the advisory group, Marla and her group make weekly lesson plans for the half hour advisory lesson each Monday. Each year, she also organizes Saturday Camp, an entire day devoted to bonding with her beginning choir, the volunteer teachers, and parents.
Marla has repaired the torn stage curtain on her own time. She also put on the first ever Musical Review. Administration complimented her on how excellent it was to see the talent and student involvement in the Review. The musical took more than 1,000 hours of Marla’s director time to create the show. Each year, Marla takes her choirs to sing for the feeder school students to inspire new choir members and has participated in the District Choir Festival for the last four years. She takes her students to see ASU’s choir productions to inspire them to further their musical talent. She and the choir sing the National Anthem at most school assemblies, and she also helped to organize the Renaissance Festival for the Arts for parents and students.
Marla developed the musical choir program since Copper Canyon High School first opened. Her students love her and continue to join the choirs. She is dedicated to all of the arts programs and is an advocate for the other fine arts teachers. She is positive and willing to go the extra mile for the school, students, teachers, and her program. Marla’s classroom management is impeccable, and she gets students involved and wanting to learn.
Ms. Kitzmiller chose dedicated, caring, and creative problem solver as the three words that best describe Ms. Stringham.
Ms. Jodi Sabin, Administrative Assistant to the Assistant Principal for Curriculum and Instruction
Copper Canyon High School
Nominated by Ms. Denise Bryant, Lead Guidance Advisor
Ms. Sabin demonstrates a very welcoming environment for parents and students in many ways from explaining procedural forms to parents in a friendly, easy way to walking students over to athletics to pick up proper paperwork. She goes out of her way to organize major events on campus such as Open House, and has been known to coordinate behind-the-scenes setup and decorations, prepare sign-in sheets, door signs, and posters to make parents and the community feel welcome and to help them to move around our huge campus with ease. Another great example is supporting the feeder schools’ principals meeting by preparing the agenda, contacting student government students to give a campus tour, contacting culinary students and teachers to prepare the principals’ breakfast, making name tags with each feeder school’s mascot, putting together data for each feeder school that shows their former 8th graders’ current grades and attendance, and sending a follow-up email to all feeder school principals thanking them for attending and giving dates for future freshman activities. These are just a few examples of the amazing prep work Jodi does for any event on campus, big or small.
Ms. Sabin is very knowledgeable of her job responsibilities and purposely learned other classified staff positions in order to relay accurate and consistent information to parents and students. Anytime a parent or student comes into the Guidance Department, Jodi makes sure to find answers to all of their questions rather than referring them to different people. Jodi is a great problem solver and follows up with staff member to ensure that a parent or student who contacted her first receives the help that they need. She is very thorough in managing variance paperwork and constantly follows up with parents and students who may be unaware of the process by taking the time to explain how variances work, how to apply, and how to keep a variance. In addition, Ms. Sabin took the initiative to organize the SES Tutoring program by contacting agencies and calling parents to help them make the right choice for their students. Jodi always has a friendly attitude when working with the public.
Ms. Sabin’s goal is to become a science teacher. She continually asks questions in relation to education and student achievement such as “How does AIMS score data relate to student success?” and then creates ways to help teachers, such as sending them a spreadsheet that makes it easier for teachers to analyze the AIMS data to better teach our students. Jodi always looks for ways to improve our school by asking herself, “How is this helping our students?” For example, Ms. Sabin noticed how often our students look at the walls in the Counseling lobby and created bulletin boards with relevant information on college, scholarships, clubs, and activities to help current students with their post-high school questions, while making new students feel welcome about campus life. I can’t say enough about Ms. Sabin. Her attitude is contagious, and our school would not be as successful without her. I am honored every day to work with someone who has such a passion for helping others and who knows that what drives her is always putting kids first.
When asked what three words best describe Ms. Sabin, Ms. Bryant chose caring/selfless, hardworking, and helpful.
Ms. Monica Aldama, Administrative Assistant to the Assistant Principal for Curriculum and Instruction
Sierra Linda School
Nominated by Ms. Denise Saldamando, Guidance Advisor
Monica is someone who does not boast about her accomplishments nor complain about anything. She is someone who goes about her work quietly. Suddenly, you realize the work has been done before you even knew it. She treats everyone with respect whether an upset parent, a new teacher, a substitute teacher, colleagues, or students. She calmly answers everyone’s questions even though it may be the 20th time she has answered the same question that day.
Short staffed all year, Monica has had to take on additional responsibilities. She supports both the principal and assistant principal skillfully without question or complaint. She understands what needs to be done, and she does it. She has taken on the scheduling of substitute teachers, finding coverage for teachers that are out ,and countless other tasks that most of us are not aware of. She continues to perform her own responsibilities, and she is also back-up for the nurse if she is out. Not only does she do the work, she remains calm and pleasant while doing it.
Monica helps in so many ways. She is someone that knows everyone, so she is very resourceful. If a student is in need of something, she will find out who can help. Every year, she helps coordinate the Christmas Angels for our students and families in the middle schools. She has also translated for countless parent/teacher conferences and has called parents who only speak Spanish.
Ms. Saldamando chose dedicated, hardworking, and calm under pressure as the three words that best describe Ms. Aldama.