Employee Rockstars

Rock Star

DCSD Rock Stars is a program created that recognizes and celebrates the accomplishments and outstanding work of DCSD employees. Nominated by District leaders, managers, and peers, ‘Rock Stars’ are recognized in INSIGHTS, the DCSD employee newsletter, and receive a small gift from DCSD. 

Is there somebody you would like to recognize? Nominate them by clicking here!
(Note: Nominations are only accepted by DCSD Employees for DCSD Employees)


DCSD Employee Rockstars: September 16, 2021

Mary Ann Hatlestad, Instructional Assistant - RTI Intervention, Roxborough Intermediate
Mary Ann has gone above and beyond in supporting our SPED team as we have had to adjust to new positions and staff being gone. She deserves way more than her hourly pay and has single-handedly kept our program afloat! Mary Ann has gone above and beyond in supporting our SPED team as we have had to adjust to new positions and staff being gone. She deserves way more than her hourly pay and has single-handedly kept our program afloat!
Nominated by Beth Collins, School Psychologist, Legacy Point Elementary

Amy Long, Building Engineer, Roxborough Intermediate
Amy has come to Legacy Point to serve staff and students in a way she has never done before. She has been learning all aspects of the Building Engineer position and she never skips a details. She is thorough and detail oriented and never misses or forgets a thing. Legacy Point has never looked so beautiful. What makes her truly exceptional is how she goes about her work; with a smile and a desire to serve all who walk through our halls. Thank you, Amy!
Nominated by Kristin Drury, Principal, Legacy Point Elementary

Karen Davis, Educational Assistant IV - Severe Needs, Castle Rock Middle School
Karen is one of the staples in our SSN program. The knowledge she brings along with a kind and caring attitude for our most important kids goes beyond measure.Regardless of the struggle to keep our program staffed, Karen shows up each day with a smile and a 110% effort to make sure our students have great days. On top of all that she is always looking for ways to make the staff happy. She is truly a rock star.
Nominated by Bernadette Pigeon, School Psychologist, Castle Rock Middle School

Allison Hawk, Assistant Principal, Eldorado Elementary
Allison is an Employee Rock Star because she has been an amazing resource to all new employees in our building. She conducts all of our induction meetings, answers hundreds of questions and has dance moves that are frequently on display, much to the student's, and staff's, delight! She whole-heartedly cares about the Eldorado Community and shows up everyday ready to do her best. Allison is cool under pressure and jumps in to help wherever she is needed. We are appreciative of her time and her efforts in making our transition to Eldorado Elementary a supportive and positive one! Thank you, Allison.
Nominated by Amy Hansen, Counselor, Eldorado Elementary


Patricia Yamada, Benefits Specialist, Wilcox
Pat and Chris are like the dynamic duo of Benefits. Their dedication to DCSD employees is unmeasurable. Benefits can be confusing and stressful. These two individuals work tirelessly to help staff understand and utilize the incredible benefits that DCSD offers. They work late into the night to ensure our staff is taken care of and feel supported. I rarely walk through the office when Pat and Chris are not on the phone walking someone through the websites of our benefit companies or helping a family find resources for a difficult situation. They handle the pressure and stress with a smile because they know that our staff needs that calming and solution-based attitude. I am proud to call them part of our HR Team!!
Nominated by Dion Killingsworth, Employee Relations Director, Wilcox

Chris Nash, Benefits Specialist, Wilcox
Pat and Chris are like the dynamic duo of Benefits. Their dedication to DCSD employees is unmeasurable. Benefits can be confusing and stressful. These two individuals work tirelessly to help staff understand and utilize the incredible benefits that DCSD offers. They work late into the night to ensure our staff is taken care of and feel supported. I rarely walk through the office when Pat and Chris are not on the phone walking someone through the websites of our benefit companies or helping a family find resources for a difficult situation. They handle the pressure and stress with a smile because they know that our staff needs that calming and solution-based attitude. I am proud to call them part of our HR Team!!
Nominated by Dion Killingsworth, Employee Relations Director, Wilcox

Greg Morehead, Carpenter, Operations and Maintenance
Greg is a true asset to DCSD. Greg can complete any request with skill and creativity. Parker Bridge would like to thank Greg for the dedication to students concerning their safety and success. Greg always responds quickly, cheerfully, and professionally whenever something comes up.
Nominated by Jackie Herrington, EA-IV, Parker Bridge Transition

Zach Nannestad, Environmental Health Manager, Operations and Maintenance
Zach is always available to assist schools and departments. Following heavy rains, Zach made himself available for nearly the entire Labor Day weekend to attend to building leaks and help ensure schools were up and running again.
Nominated by Richard Cosgrove, Chief Operation Officer, Wilcox

Michael Bakke, Strategic Sourcing Manager, Strategic Sourcing, West Support Center
Proactively going above and beyond to streamline processes. We had a vendor that was sending separate invoices for individual services with different dates, etc. It was cumbersome to track. Mike proactively reached out to the vendor and worked through a solution to streamline invoices into one resulting in reduced time and staffing resources. We really appreciate his help!!
Nominated by Stacy Rader, Communications Officer, Wilcox



DCSD Employee Rockstars: August 23, 2021

Michele Burnett, 5th Grade Teacher, Northeast Elementary School
Michele’s class was quarantined more times than any other class at school, yet she continued to outperform her peers. Michele is a leader and striver who excelled at advancing her students during the worst crisis in history.
Nominated by Corbett, Substitute Teacher, Mountain View and Northeast Elementary School

Rachel Dreiling, Human Resources Employment Supervisor, Wilcox
Rachel’s positive “can do” attitude inspired me to work harder for our students. Rachel and her team, like so many staff members in the District, worked tirelessly this year to overcome incredible odds to provide support for schools. This year of quarantines and remote learning has tested everyone’s ability to adjust and provide unwavering education for our students. Rachel worked weekends and holidays to ensure we covered as many vacancies as we could. Her team hired hundreds of substitutes. She helped create incentives and supplied trainings for our substitutes. Rachel played an integral part of the success that Douglas County Schools experienced in overcoming the challenges for the 2020-2021 school year.
Nominated by Dion Killingsworth, Employee Relations Director, Wilcox

Rachel Donnelly, Art Teacher, Highlands Ranch High School
Rachel did a collaborative art project with the 2nd graders at FCE in early 2019. She took their monster drawings and had her high school art students create stuffies based on their drawings. They are absolutely adorable! We have lots of pictures. Rachel went above and beyond because in the spring of 2020 we went fully remote, and her students were not able to finish the project. She had her 2021 students finish the project. Rachel reached out to me for the now 3rd grade class lists. She then had her students make a stuffie for the new 3rd grade kids who did not create a monster drawing in 2nd grade. When I was able to deliver the stuffies to the third graders they were so happy and the new students had huge smiles because they were included. The project was awesome and Rachel went above and beyond to complete it!
Nominated by PJ Fisher, Art Teacher, Fox Creek Elementary

Ashley Bidinger, English Teacher, Douglas County High School
I was working a security assignment when I saw a young student crying and having a bad day. I spoke to her for a minute but had to move on. I saw Ashley coming down the hall. I asked Ashley if she could spend some time with the student. She never hesitated. Ashley sat down with the young lady ( I have pictures) and spoke to her. After about 10 minutes the young lady got up with a smile on her face. Ashley took a few minutes to spend time with a distraught student. Ashley made a difference in the life of the young lady. Ashley took time out of her teaching assignmnet to spend time with a student in distress. Ashley was able to balance what is really important and when.
Nominated by Thomas Popken, Security, Douglas County High School

Paula De Ville, Central Enrollment Specialist, Student Data Services
Paula is always approaching her position with an amazing proactive attitude. No matter the situation she will always find a solution that best meets the needs of all parties involved. If she is unable to solve the issue, she never hesitates to reach out for assistance. This summer, Paula and her team processed over 1,100 new student registrations for the District. She worked nights and weekends to ensure that these students had a place to go on Monday, August 9, 2021. We really appreciate all the long hours that Paula put in to make this happen! She truly is a DCSD Rock Star!
Nominated by Philip G. Ranford, Director of Academic Integrity, Academic Systems

Bill Fordyce, Director of Facilities, Operations and Maintenance
His responsiveness to the needs of our schools. At the start of the school year we had a couple of chillers go out creating uncomfortable learning environments. Bill went above and beyond by working nights, weekends, etc. to coordinate service and repairs to get our classrooms cool as soon as possible. We appreciate his leadership and dedication to DCSD and its student and staff!
Nominated by Corey Wise, Superintendent, Wilcox

David Herrington, Maintenance Lead, Operations and Maintenance
Doing whatever it takes to keep our schools operating and creating comfortable learning environments for students. At the start of the school year we had chillers fail at a few schools creating hot, uncomfortable classrooms. Dave and his colleagues worked around the clock to find solutions and get the cooling up and running again as quickly as possible.
Nominated by Richard Cosgrove, COO, Operations and Maintenance

Bill Davis, Building Automation Systems Lead, Operations and Maintenance
Doing whatever it takes to keep our schools operating and creating comfortable learning environments for students. At the start of the school year we had chillers fail at a few schools creating hot, uncomfortable classrooms. Dave and his colleagues worked around the clock to find solutions and get the cooling up and running again as quickly as possible.
Nominated by Richard Cosgrove, COO, Operations and Maintenance

Jeff Houghtaling, Maintenance Lead, Operations and Maintenance
Doing whatever it takes to keep our schools operating and creating comfortable learning environments for students. At the start of the school year we had chillers fail at a few schools creating hot, uncomfortable classrooms. Dave and his colleagues worked around the clock to find solutions and get the cooling up and running again as quickly as possible.
Nominated by Richard Cosgrove, COO, Operations and Maintenance

Carlos Ayala, Building Engineer, Iron Horse Elementary
Carlos is our building engineer and brings passion and joy to his job every day. Carlos connects with every student and staff member and will drop what he is doing to meet the needs of others. His laugh and humor draw people to him! Our school had some challenges with wasps and small flooding. Carlos jumped in over the weekend to come to IHE to pump water and clean up classrooms. He also has worked endlessly to end our wasp problem so that our students, staff, and community are safe at school. He is amazing and we are so lucky to have him!
Nominated by Jenna Munoz, Principal, Iron Horse Elementary

Dawn Thomason, Secretary to Assistant Principal, Douglas County High School
Dawn over heard Security and other staff talking about the lack of room numbering and hall signs for emergency responders and students. Dawn took it upon herself to write up, laminate and install signs throughout the South building. Dawns self initiative will be very helpful day and day and very helpful in emergencies. Dawn was not told to do the signs and install them. She wasn't even asked to do them. She took the initiative and did her on her own.
Nominated by Tom Popken, Security, Douglas County High School

Jo Davis, Registrar, Sand Creek Elementary
Jo helped this summer with new student enrollment via Central Enrollment. She started each day with a willingness to help and learn. She was a relatively new registrar this summer but she assisted parents with all of their questions, called new families for missing information, and kept the rest of us laughing with a positive perspective when we were all feeling quite overwhelmed. Jo went above and beyond by working more than the expected hours and days to help make sure the summer enrollment team could enroll as many new and returning students prior to the first day of school.
Nominated by Paula De Ville, Central Enrollment Specialist, West Support Center

Aaron Bittler, Custodial Quality Control Leader, Operations & Maintenance
Aaron has had to take on a couple of different roles. Not only does he have to do the training for new employees when they are hired, he has also had to report to an elementary school every day since school started this year to provide custodial coverage because the custodial department has multiple openings. I want to thank Aaron for his hard work and positive attitude.
Nominated by Bill Fordyce, Director of Facilities, Operations & Maintenance

Website by SchoolMessenger Presence. © 2021 Intrado Corporation. All rights reserved.

In compliance with Titles VI & VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008, and Colorado law, the Douglas County School District RE-1 does not unlawfully discriminate against otherwise qualified students, employees, applicants for employment, or members of the public on the basis of disability, race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, religion, ancestry, or need for special education services. Discrimination against employees and applicants for employment based on age, genetic information, and conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth is also prohibited in accordance with state and/or federal law. Complaint procedures have been established for students, parents, employees, and members of the public. The School District’s Compliance Officer and Title IX Coordinator to address complaints alleging sexual harassment under Title IX is Catherine Franklin, Interim Compliance Officer, 620 Wilcox Street, Castle Rock, Colorado, complianceofficer@dcsdk12.org, 720-433-1285. Complaints regarding violations of Title VI, (race, national origin), Title IX (sex, gender), Section 504/ADA (handicap or disability), may be filed directly with the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education, 1244 North Speer Blvd., Suite 310, Denver, CO 80204. Complaints regarding violations of Title VII (employment) and the ADEA (prohibiting age discrimination in employment) may be filed directly with the Federal Office of Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 303 E. 17th Ave., Suite 510, Denver, CO 80202, or the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, 1560 Broadway, Suite 1050, Denver, CO 80202.