Shared with the Corvallis School Board during the April 11, 2019 meeting
Golden Apple Awards
One of the driving forces in our district’s continued improvements is the commitment of our staff to help our students fulfill their potential. To celebrate the work of Corvallis School District educators, the Golden Apple Awards were established more than two decades ago by local philanthropist Mario Pastega, through the Corvallis Public Schools Foundation.
Over the last month, the Corvallis Public Schools Foundation recognized four educators to celebrate their outstanding contributions to students and the school communities where they work. These awards celebrate that behind every successful student, stands extraordinary educators.
Tonight we are recognizing our four Golden Apple Recipients, Claudia Bouvier, Ruben Sandoval, Jefferson Peak, and Jenny Davis. I want to share highlights from the nomination letters we received for this year’s recipients.
Claudia Bouvier, Office Manager, Garfield Elementary
I can’t think of another individual more deserving of being recognized for their dedication to the Corvallis School District educational system. Our trilingual, Ph.D. holding office manager is one of a kind.
She asks for nothing (except for people to sign their time cards!) and gives everything to this school. Her dedication to the staff is remarkable. She is asked to do so many things in her position and, without fail, follows through with any task directed her way.
Claudia knows not only the names of the students at Garfield, but also their siblings and families. She observes the needs of the those around her and speaks to our Garfield family in a language and tone that makes people feel welcome and at ease. What Claudia provides for Garfield Elementary goes beyond the word important. She provides the glue that keeps the school running like a machine.
Ruben Sandoval, 3rd Grade Teacher, Garfield Elementary
Ruben is a humble colleague who is eager to collaborate and learn from his fellow teachers. He is open to trying new ideas and strategies, and if they don’t work out as we had planned, he maintains a growth mindset and quickly comes up with new, creative ideas for the future. Ruben is a teacher leader. For example, he has created student audiobooks of all the books we have read as part of our literacy curriculum. He takes his iPad home on the weekend, teaches himself how to use the iBooks technology, and records his voice reading the stories. Several of our students are emergent readers in Spanish, and now they have access to the learning objectives.
Walk into Ruben Sandoval’s classroom at the end of the day as he plays his guitar and sings Spanish songs with his kids. You will see a class full of smiling, engaged learners and a kind, hard-working, and passionate teacher.
Jefferson Peak, Teacher, College Hill
Jeff is the physical embodiment of the idea that student success is all about relationships. Endorsed and highly qualified to teach advanced math, biology, chemistry, English, social studies, and PE, Jeff will tell you that what he actually teaches is kids. He gets to know each of his students and builds a trusting relationship with them that helps them discover their strengths, inspires them to achieve beyond their personal beliefs about themselves, and reminds them that they are worthy of love and acceptance.
Jeff is also the type of educator who sees what can be done and then makes it happen. When he came to College Hill, he found a group of students who were not feeling connected to school so he created a computer-assisted design course to engage our kids with advanced mathematical and problem-solving skills. He also created a soccer class to connect with kids who really needed to move and play in order for school to be meaningful. Over the years, the athletic opportunities afforded to students under Jeff’s leadership have grown to include basketball and co-ed soccer and College Hill now has three teams who compete at the city level and help to build community, camaraderie, and school spirit.
Jenny Davis, Science Teacher, Cheldelin Middle School
Jenny Davis loves science and ensures her students do too. Jenny holds a Ph.D. from Oregon State University and brings her knowledge of science to her middle school students. She leads the Science Olympiad for 6th, 7th and 8th graders.
Jenny is a teacher leader. She supports her colleagues and co-leads the 8th grade teacher team. She cares deeply about social justice and serves as a member of the Cheldelin Equity and Student Inquiry Teams.
When it comes to real world learning Jenny ensures all students have an outdoor experience. Jenny is an advocate for kids as they often go to her for support and advice. They feel safe with her. She makes sure no student slips through the cracks.
Congratulations to our 2019 Golden Apple Award recipients and thank you to the Corvallis Public Schools Foundation for this celebration of our outstanding educators!