Recognizing Excellence in APS

Krisella Pineda Bu Assaf and son
Krisella Pineda Bu Assaf and son

Aurora 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 Community A.

Krisella Pineda Bu-Assaf and Carlos Robles
APS parents Krisella Pineda Bu-Assaf and her husband Carlos Robles are helping their son Damian, who attends Early Beginnings: A Zoom Site, shape a successful future by being great role models. After dropping out of high school when Damian was three months old, they decided to create a plan, gain skills and earn credentials to fulfill their dreams. Now high school graduates, Krisella is a medical assistant on her way to becoming a registered nurse and Carlos is creating a bright future in cyber security.

John Portelle
South Middle School Social Studies and Television Production teacher John Portelle is bridging the communication gap between students and teachers via Lobo TV. The production provides students a unique experience to express and advocate for their interests. By bringing this series to life, students gain the skills they need to implement their plans for the future and also earn Digital Badges that will pave the road to success.

Pastor Gene Roncone


Pastor Gene Roncone
Highpoint Church Pastor Gene Roncone and his congregation have supported Crawford Elementary School students since 2012. Under Pastor Roncone’s leadership, Highpoint has provided hundreds of Crawford students with new coats, financed the school’s fifth-grade camp each year and opened a food bank to serve the community.

This winter, Highpoint will provide every Crawford student with a pair of winter boots. This generous donation will prevent many students from starting their school days with wet and cold feet.



David Van Sicklen
Kenton Elementary School Technology teacher David Van Sicklen created an after school program called the Genius Club where students explore their passions through unique projects. Students engage in research, critical thinking and analysis, gaining the 21st century skills they need to implement their plans. Upon completion of projects, students earn Digital Badges, racking up credentials that will open doors. Each student is striving to earn a Summit Badge through the club.

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