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Oakwood Schools


Staff Superstars

2021 - 2022

Quarter 1
Sandi Branham, Administrative Assistant, BOE

Sandi Branham

"Since my first day, Sandi Branham has always been so kind, thoughtful and always willing to answer any questions.  I have no doubt everyone in Oakwood Schools benefits from Sandi's kind spirit, positivity and dedication to her work. She is a true Staff Superstar."

- Amanda Venable, Oakwood Alumni Assoc. Director




Rachael Judge, Intervention Specialist, OJH/OHS

"Rachael Judge amazing with her students and her hard work often goes unnoticed. Oakwood Schools is lucky to have her. "

- Ellie Randall, OHS Teacher





Amber Perrott, School Counselor, Smith Elementary

Amber Perrott

"Amber Perrott works every day to help all the students and staff at Smith with their emotional woes, championing the Military Kids and offering that quietm confident voice to those who need a pause.  Amber is awesome."

- Elaine Fultz, Smith Media Specialist






2020 - 2021

May:  Bridget Fiore, OJH Teacher

Bridget Fiore

“Bridget Fiore is a superstar, every day, all year long!  She pursues knowledge, supports her peers and encourages curiosity in her students. She loves to learn (about anything) and her passion is both invigorating and inspiring.”

- Amy Ostdiek

May:  Sandy Zipes, Smith Teacher

“Sandy Zipes is so passionate in her teaching, positive in all her interactions and a role model for all of us.  Mrs. Zipes always makes me feel welcomed in her classroom and is so appreciative of the work I do with her students.  I feel honored to work with such an outstanding teacher.”

- Amber Perrott

April:  Hilary Waugh, OJH Student Counselor

“Hilary is personable, intelligent, creative, supportive, inclusive, tech savvy and such a team player! She goes above and beyond to help staff and students.  She has helped create some exciting new activities for students and staff.  She is truly an asset to the team!!!”

- Heather McGlothen

April:  Sue Scocozzo, Athletic Department Administrative Assistant

“Sue works so hard but especially this year with the pandemic and doing all she can to make sure students can have their sports seasons.  Not only does she facilitate all the ins and outs of athletics, she keeps the building calendar for the junior and senior high which is no small feat.  She is always willing to offer a helping hand even when she has more than plenty to do!”

- Dawn Roeckner

March:  Linda Miller, Smith Elementary Cafeteria Manager

“As the point person for the District’s lunch program during the last year, Linda Miller has prepared thousands of meals for our students during these topsy turvy times.  She has created opportunities to provide stability to families across our District.  Whether it’s a ‘surprise’ lunch in a pre-school student’s backpack or the meals delivered to other families, Linda is taking care of our students and their families each day.” 

- Kyle Ramey

March:  Kathy Kash, Smith Elementary Second Grade Teacher

“Kathy is one of the most supportive, uplifting colleagues we have at Smith.  She always shares a smile, a compliment, or an affirmation with anyone in her path.  Her rapport with her students is both warm and nurturing and not only does she make sure they are academically taken care of, she also does things such as yoga and mindfulness activities to feed their whole self.  Kathy is one of a kind!”

- Lisa Henry

February:  Mary Barnett, District Nurse

Mary Barnett

“Mary Barnett has been an essential force during the COVID-19 pandemic. She has performed all of her regular duties including providing medications, completing documentation and screenings, dealing with injuries, and speaking with parents regarding contact tracing and quarantine procedures.  She has participated in pandemic planning in the schools with the assistance of Public Health Dayton and Montgomery County while always doing her best to keep staff and students healthy.”

- Kristan Levy

February:  Diane Harris, District Driver

Diane Harris


January:  Pam Ellis, Smith Elementary Teacher

Pam Ellis

“Pam Ellis is my hero!  She has helped me beyond words with technology all year.  She does this day in and day out with a smile and patience.  I don't know what I would do without her help.  She truly is an outstanding teacher, friend and mom!”

- Kathy Kash

January:  Patty Reymann, Harman School Teacher

Patty Reymann

“Even when she is busy, Patty will drop what she is doing to help any teacher with any technology issue.  Patty is also very generous with her time for students.  She invests a lot of time and effort into her instruction, she's truly passionate about her students' progress and well-being.  Patty is always one of the first teachers at Harman in the morning and one of the last to leave.”

- Harman Fifth Grade Teachers

December:  Brianna Doyal, OJH English Teacher

Brianna Doyal

"I think Brianna Doyal is deserving of ALL the recognition. She is kind, caring and compassionate. She creates an environment where students feel safe and loved. Her lessons are fun, engaging and diverse, which allow students to learn in a way that works for them. Brianna is always willing to help her colleagues learn new things as well. She is for sure an MVP on our team!"

- Heather McGlothen

November:  Cathy Coppola, OHS Educational Aide

Cathy Coppola Staff Superstar

"Cathy Coppola is an amazing educational assistant.  She creates an instant rapport with EVERY student she comes in contact with and she goes the extra mile for not only students she is working with but also with any of the students in the room.  Her energetic spirit and positive energy fills any room.  I feel lucky to work with her every day."

- Bridget Fiore

October:  Kerry Martin, OHS Spanish Teacher

Kerry Martin

"She is there for her students every step of the way. She is patient and she is doing her absolute best to learn all of the new technology in this new crazy time. She rocks and her kids love her!"

-Ellie Randall

September:  Joni Sherk, OHS Administrative Assistant

Joni Sherk

"Joni is doing two jobs right now with grace and still manages to help all of us with our crazy questions and problems. She was thrust right into the middle of the craziness and hasn't blinked or backed away from the challenge! She is an exemplar of the true spirit of a lumberjack -- always willing to help and never backing down!"

- Heidi Edwards

2019 - 2020

April:  Pam Morrow, Teacher/Intervention Specialist at OJH/OHS

Pam Morrow

"Pam has a team spirit attitude every day and is encouraging to everyone around her. She is willing to go out of her way to do what's best for the students and those who work with her," Jasmin

March:  Kim Walther, Teacher at Harman

Kim Walther headshot

"Kim is the quintessential example of poise and positivity, she led the Elf Challenge at Harman with aplomb. All month, our staff was able to express their gratitude and affection for each other due to her flawless execution of the month-long activity. Kim is kind, supportive, encouraging, considerate, welcoming, and brilliant. She makes Harman a better place!" Harman School Counselor Michael Wadham

February:  Jennifer Simpson, Teacher at OJH

Headshot of Jen Simpson

"Jennifer Simpson works very hard in and out of class to provide students with engaging learning opportunities. She works tirelessly to create organized Take 5 lessons, while providing technologically advanced social studies lessons and organizing the 8th grade D.C. trip. She cares about our students so much and she is the REAL MVP!!!" OJH teacher Heather McGlothen

January:  Joyce Dunham, Teacher at Harman School

Joyce Dunham

"Joyce Dunham is such a blast to work with. She has been so helpful in guiding me through teaching third grade, and has helped me build my confidence in teaching. She is an excellent role model and always stands for what is in the best interest of her students," Harman teacher Kayleigh Davidson.

December:  Danielle Haggerty, Administrative Assistant at Smith

Danielle Haggerty

"Danielle was a substitute and then a full-time administrative assistant last year with a lot of things going on a Smith. She had to prepare for a new school year not knowing a lot of the procedures and figuring out things as they occurred. Kudos to Danielle for surviving the back to school pandemonium and first half of the year," Smith teacher Lisa Henry.

November:  Beth Johnson, Guidance Administrative Assistant at OHS

"Beth creates a safe and inviting environment for all, always providing to students what they need. As an administrative assistant, she always puts us in the best position to be successful and looks out for us so we can provide the best services possible. She is the heart and soul of our office, and a true Staff Superstar!!!"
-Adam Woessner

October:  Casey Kesler, Teacher/Intervention Specialist at Smith Elementary

 "She continues to meet the needs of her students in all ways, everyday. She demonstrates 110% dedication to her students!!!" - Deb Osterfeld

September:  John Loomis, Teacher at Oakwood Junior High

"Every morning, John Loomis spends time greeting students by name into the building.  He's a great people connector!" Karin Lauterbach

July:  Keri Hayes, Teacher/Intervention Specialist at Smith Elementary

"She truly cares for her students and loves kids.  She is very humble and does her job with great pride.  Keri is so very kind and helpful to all.  She would do anything for anyone.  Keri has excellent ideas/strategies and strives to find innovative ways to reach the students she works with.  Keri is a great co-worker!" Jen Richardson

June:  Carol McCarthy, Smith

Headshot Carole McCarthy

"With her quiet ways and soothing demeanor, Carol kept Smith School on an even keel during a very difficult time.  I saw people come into the office just to get a 'dose' of her magic.  She was an immeasurable help to me in coming into unfamiliar territory in a very difficult situation.  She was and is the very definition of 'superstar," Nanci Koepke

May:  Dawne Rockner, OJH

headshot of Dawne Roeckner

"Dawne is the ultimate multi-tasker!! She has a long family history in Oakwood and handles the Junior High Office with the utmost efficiency:) The kids and parents love her. I love working with her!!!" Tina Detamore said.

April:  Lori Morris, OHS

headshot of Lori Morris

"Not only is Lori an amazing English teacher, she devotes ENDLESS hours to the academic decathlon team. She works with them almost every single day at lunch and then some days before and after school as well. The students absolutely love her and she's created such a fantastic culture for the team that they are like a small family. All of that hard work has paid off too as they're eight-time state champs and seven-time national champs," Jenna Hill said.

March:  Joni Sherk, OHS

headshot of Joni Sherk

"Joni is a tireless workhorse behind the scenes dealing with finance and money at our school. She will do everything she can to help you and always has a positive attitude. She is a bright spot in the day, when so often paperwork and money sound like the last thing you want to deal with," Matt Deters said.

February:  Cara Leedy, OHS

headshot of Cara Leedy

"Cara Leedy, Intervention Specialist at the Senior High, deserves to be called a Staff Superstar. She consistently supports the learning needs of her freshmen students while at the same time nurturing their development of self-advocacy skills. She communicates positively and openly with fellow staff, parents, and students alike. She's also an amazing junior high volleyball coach. Cara's students are lucky to have her as their teacher!" Anonymous

January:  Kathy Jabir, Harman School

headshot of Kathy Jabir

"Kathy Jabir is my superstar! She is open to helping students and teachers. She worked hard to find a literacy project for our families that involves a family book meal/craft program that she coordinated with the Wright Library. She shares current research. She is in and out of rooms monitoring student progress as well as helping those students who need extra time and practice. Moreover, she knows when a peer is struggling and needs a break or a smile," Jennifer Davis.

December:  Bill Parries, Smith Elementary 

headshot of Bill Parries

"Bill is a superstar! He has a heart for the staff and students at Smith School and is willing to do whatever it takes to make sure everyone is safe and comfortable when they come to school. He goes above and beyond the call of duty each and every day, working on small projects in addition to the daily tasks in order to keep Smith School clean and up and running. He helps with electrical needs, playground repairs, classroom repairs and everything in between, always with a smile on his face. Bill is always on board with supporting a student who may need to help clean an area after making a mess or has earned a reward and wants to work with him. He even got a pie in the face during an assembly last year. He's just an all-around good guy who takes great pride in his work. We are blessed to have Bill at Smith." Smith Principal Lynn Cowell

November:  Brenda Casterline, Harman School

headshot of Brenda Casterline

"This woman does the work of 10 every single day—— with a smile. She is patient, kind, and takes care of us all."
Kim Walther, Harman School

October:  Matt Salyer, OJHS/OHS

headshot of Matt Salyer

"Matt is always willing to do whatever he can to help."
Laura Connor, Athletic Director

September:  Cathie Newburg, BOE Office

Headshot Cathie Newburg

"Cathie goes above and beyond to support all district staff members and departments to ensure that the service provided by OCSD is top notch.  She doesn't do it for the recognition but does it because of she is intrinsically motivated to do her best and what ultimately best for students and staff."
Allyson Couch, Director of Educational Services