Three recognized with Excellence in Service Awards at BOE meeting

Three more staff members were honored during the Liberty Central School Board of Education meeting on Tuesday, June 11. Earning Excellence in Service Awards were art teacher Kath Johansen, fifth grade teacher Kim Heinle and Elementary 1:1 teachers aide Syndey Portz.

Kath Johansen

A woman holds a certificate flanked by two men.Johansen was recognized by two staff members for going above and beyond for students.

“Not only has she worked so hard to contribute to the District Art show, she has given the life skills class a wonderful experience in art this year, “ one nominee wrote. “Kath always connects what the students are learning in science and social studies and incorporates into her art lessons. From sewing pouches for the Pony Express or making bee houses for pollinators, Kath believes that learning with one’s hands is the best. She has been an asset to the life skills class this year and we appreciate her!”

Kim Heinle

A woman holds a certificate flanked by two men.Heinle’s long term dedication to making a difference in the district set her apart.

“Mrs. Heinle epitomizes dedication, compassion and excellence in her role as an elementary educator, embodying the values and commitment that we strive to instill in our educators,” her nominator wrote. “Mrs. Heinle has been an integral part of our district for the past two decades, demonstrating unwavering passion and commitment to the education and well-being of our students.”

She fosters growth, in herself and others.

“Her intentional pursuit of diverse teaching experiences reflects her belief in the power of change and personal growth, both for herself and her students,” the nomination read. “Her approach is characterized by high expectations, flexibility, authentic relationships, and creating a supportive learning environment where students feel valued and empowered to succeed.”

“An unwavering beacon of positivity and optimism,” Heinle inspires students and colleagues, the nomination said.” Mrs. Heinle is a true facilitator, mentor and collaborator, always willing to share her knowledge and expertise with fellow educators.”

Syndey Portz

A woman holds a certificate flanked by two men.Portz’s staunch dedication to supporting “a very challenging student” led to her nomination.

“I was humbled by the way Ms. Portz demonstrated an unwavering commitment to her student in every situation,” her nomination read. “She has an admirable ability to be creative, positive, and an excellent teammate.”

And it isn’t just her work with her student.

“She creates a positive and supportive environment for every child in this building,” the nominator wrote. “Her dedication, compassion, patience, and love make her worthy of this excellence award and more.”

Each month, staff members nominate others they believe are going above and beyond, be it a single act of excellence or kindness or a continuous work ethic.

We congratulate these employees on their awards.