Recognizing Excellence in APS

IMG_20170502_181931 - CopyAurora Public Schools is excited to see the APS 2020: Shaping the Future strategic plan coming to life across the district. Students, parents, staff and community members are going above and beyond to ensure APS students have the plans, skills and credentials they need to shape successful futures.

Each month, we celebrate great examples of this work in our P-20 Learning Communities. Following are highlights from our ACTION Zone.

Kate Garvin
For the past five years, Crawford Elementary School Community Coordinator Kate Garvin has worked diligently to create a community center that offers numerous resources and learning opportunities for students and families. The programs and partnerships Ms. Garvin has formed have increased parent engagement.

Thanks to her diligence in building this center, Crawford was recognized for creating one of the top 25 innovative youth projects in the nation! Ms. Garvin had an opportunity to accept this honor on behalf of Crawford at the Recommit to Kids conference in New York.

Anabel Aguilar and April Banaitis
Community In Schools Coordinators Anabel Aguilar and Case Manager April Banaitis have built a strong outreach program at Boston P-8. They manage approximately 40 community events and activities throughout the school year and provide individualized supports and services to students and families.

From clothing to parenting classes, resources and other necessities, Ms. Aguilar and Ms. Banaitis ensure students and parents have what they need.

Maribel Fernandez
Paris Elementary School Secretary Maribel Fernandez is revered as the heart and soul of the school. She has established positive and meaningful relationships with students, parents and staff and always goes the extra mile to ensure everyone succeeds.

Ms. Fernandez possesses strong leadership skills that are evident in her facilitation of Office Team meetings. She ensures best practices are in place and serves on the Paris Equity Leadership Team where she helped develop, implement and monitor the school’s innovation plan.

Jocelyne Tun-Medina
Jocelyne Tun-Medina, Aurora Central High School’s friendly receptionist, has been instrumental in transforming the school’s main office. Thanks to her warm presence, students, staff, parents and community members are happy to walk into a welcoming and supportive environment.

No matter the demands of the day, Ms. Tun-Medina continues to help improve the school’s climate and culture in a positive way.

Rob Lipson
Aurora West College Preparatory Academy hails their school counselor Rob Lipson as their "Restorative Justice Warrior." In an effort to maintain a healthy school environment, Mr. Lipson facilitates restorative conversations to address concerns between students and between students and teachers.

This approach to conflict resolution helps students build communication skills, understand multiple perspectives and advocate for ways they can be supported. Thanks to Mr. Lipson’s work, discipline data has significantly decreased at Aurora West.

Gary Childress
After 37 seasons of success and winning his 500th career game, Vista PEAK Preparatory Men’s Basketball Coach Gary Childress has retired. We thank Coach Childress for his phenomenal leadership, which helped the Bison establish themselves as a force to be reckoned with on the court.

Coach Childress kicked off his retirement in style. He traveled to Phoenix to enjoy the Final Four and foresees a life of travel. We wish Coach Childress the best and thank him for his many years of service.

We thank each individual for making a difference in our students’ lives by dedicating their time, talents and resources.