Community Care Award Recipients
The Community Care Award honors a non-resident, typically in a salaried position with the School District or Town of Hillsborough or other vital community role. Nominees will have made a sustained and significant contribution that has broadly touched the lives of our children. These contributions are widely recognized as having lasting impact to our community.
2017-2018: Sally James
The Associated Parents’ Groups (APG) is honored to present its Community Care Award to Sally James. Sally has been an integral part of the Hillsborough community as well as the Hillsborough City School District both as a parent and most recently as the South School Librarian.
Sally’s deep involvement in our Hillsborough community began as a parent volunteer where she participated in numerous classroom and district activities over the many years her children attended South and Crocker. She also served as a member of the Citizen’s Oversight Committee and Hillsborough Little League Board of Directors, started a Girl Scout Troop, and was an inaugural member of the District’s HTV team. In 2008, her love for South School ultimately led to her position as South’s Librarian. During her time at South, Sally has been a true innovator, developing various library programs and educational practices to bring classroom learning to life and instilling a love of reading in all South kids.
The most well-known literacy program Sally started was South’s Reading Tigers, the program highlighted when South earned the California Gold Ribbon Award in 2016. In addition, Sally also created the Summer Reading Challenge and the Long-Term Reading Challenge, and she continues the Birthday Book Club tradition. Sally has been instrumental in leading numerous hands-on enrichment experiences that have literally brought learning to life — including Colonial Day, A Walk through the American Revolution, and the State Food Fair for 5th graders, Gold Rush Day for 4th Graders, and the Ohlone Day for 3rd graders. Sally also organizes author visits, has a lunchtime Maker Space program, maintains her own website and Instagram page, and always loves collaborating with parents and teachers.
Outside of the library, Sally is a driving force for the green initiative and environmental awareness at South. She has helped set up sorting facilities throughout the school campus, worked with the current 4th graders to set up a program to help sort trash on campus, participated in numerous creek walks to clean up the creek behind the school, and helped establish the partnership with Samaritan House as part of the service learning initiative at South School. In addition, as a student council advisor, Sally has helped revamp the student council format and nominations process to ensure greater leadership from students, all while prioritizing the kids' opinions and leadership abilities. And last but not least, Sally has spearheaded the HSF Book Brunch for many years and while there are many parents who are involved in putting together this pay-to-play, it would not happen without Sally’s leadership and vision.
Sally is an incredible teacher, librarian, and human being. She is smart, kind, passionate, thoughtful, talented, a good listener, and loves what she does. She works so hard but makes it look effortless. She has touched the lives of every student and parent who has walked through the doors at South School and is revered by her colleagues on the South School staff. Many have said that just as the library has become the core of South School, Sally has truly become its heart.
2016-2017: Carol Gutierrez
The Associated Parents’ Groups (APG) is honored to present its Community Care Award to Carol Gutierrez. Carol has been with the Hillsborough City School District for 27 years, having taught at both West and North Hillsborough Elementary Schools. She was also a Writing Enrichment Teacher for one year where she worked at South as well.
Carol works tirelessly to ensure students get what they need to reach their full potential. She encourages students to follow their own passions and empowers them to share those interests with classmates. While promoting collaboration, Carol also respects those students that need quiet time or to work independently. By rewarding curiosity and encouraging individuality, Carol helps all children shine.
Parents also credit Carol for creating a warm school community. Carol has a genuine love for children and works to develop empathy and good character in her classroom. Carol also knows the names and interests of many students that are not in her class, helping to make all students feel part of the school community.
As a teacher at West with Pam Meuser and her job share partner, Robin Schreiber, Carol developed and refined the community service jobs program for 5th Graders, differentiated instruction with Theme Projects, engaged students by using an innovative stock market simulation, led a math peer tutor program, and promoted interest in world culture by hosting an annual “geography bee.”
In her current position as a 2nd Grade teacher at North, Carol uses art, technology, cooperative learning and exploration time to actively engage her students. Her classroom is alive with projects and creativity, organized with books and comfortable reading spaces, and most importantly always open to anyone who needs to ask for help or share their day.
Carol’s teaching inspires students and gives them confidence so they are ready for the future. Not only do students reach their academic goals, but Carol also encourages students to be life-long learners. One of her students recently said: “School can't get better than this! I love Ms. Gutierrez.” We are so fortunate to have Carol Gutierrez in our school district and are honored to share her many contributions with the Hillsborough community.
2015-2016: Troy Hager
The Associated Parents' Groups of Hillsborough is honored to present the Hillsborough Schools’ Community Care Award to Troy Hager. Mr. Hager has been a teacher in the Hillsborough City School District for 16 years. The award winning HTV News program simply would not be the outstanding program it is today without the dedication and expertise of Troy Hager. Since the programs inception in 2000, Mr. Hager has "continued to innovate, making it possible for the HTV News program to reach more and more Hillsborough students and the broader community through extensions such as the elementary school newscasts," stated Julia Davidson, former APG President. Mr. Hager was an integral member of the team who brought the One-To-World Chromebook program to Crocker Middle School. He continues to be a source of support and information for teachers, parents and students with regard to Chromebooks at Crocker, all while maintaining the level of excellence we have come to appreciate from the HTV News program.
Mr. Hager also serves as advisor to the Crocker Coding Club and has served as a coach and on the Executive Board of Hillsborough AYSO. Mr. Hager has been described as "a calm, steady, talented contributor to Crocker," and "a teacher who not only values creativity and independence in his students, but actively fosters and instills these qualities in them." As stated by former North School and Crocker Middle School student Kate Davidson, "Mr. Hager was fun, supportive, patient, and kind... He not only taught me independence and responsibility, but he also gave me technology skills that will be useful for me in years to come."
2014-2015: Ron Frankel
The Associated Parents' Groups of Hillsborough is honored to present the Community Care Award to Ron Frankel. When you think of our Outdoor Education program, there is only one constant that has endured for the past 16 years, and that is Ron Frankel. He has taken every 6th grader at Crocker Middle School to outdoor ed and has spent countless hours in preparation, attentive to each student's individual needs, to ensure that everyone has a positive experience.Mr. Frankel is also an extraordinary presence at Crocker, going out of his way to connect with students in his class during breaks and lunch. The musical lunch club in his classroom is always popular. Ron runs the RoShamBo championship and Pickle Day . In addition to leading the Science team and curriculum, Ron also spearheaded our new Crocker Radio program this year!
As a student at Crocker, Ron showed his early inclination for leadership roles by serving as Student Body President and he also received the Kenny Wells award. Ron's allegiance and endearment to the school and school district is both unique and special. We have been so fortunate to have him as a leader within our District for nearly twenty years!
2013-2014: Li Moon
The Associated Parents' Groups of Hillsborough is honored to present the Community Care Award to Li Moon, a gifted educator who is in her 22nd year with HCSD. Li Moon has been in the Hillsborough City School District working as the Resource Specialist teacher at North Elementary School. Li has been the teacher-in-charge at North for 12 years and the Data Advisor at North for 14 years. Li has positively affected so many kids over decades and has single-handedly changed the course of their lives. The end result is that her graduates have gone on to be very successful in life! Li won both the district's TONY award and the Teacher Leadership award in 2001.
2012-2013: Modell Marlow Andersen
The Associated Parents' Groups of Hillsborough is proud to honor Modell Marlow Andersen with the Community Care Award, which recognizes integrity, perseverance and dedication to education. Modell has been an outstanding teacher and remarkable administrator in Hillsborough for the past 39 years. She has worn many hats, from teacher, to cross-country coach, to interim dean at Crocker, to president of the Hillsborough Teachers Association, to her current position as Director of Educational Services. Her present responsibilities include district-wide assessments and testing, curriculum and instruction, staff development, and parent contact and communication, to name a few of her many responsibilities. Modell also takes on additional roles as needed in collaborations, negotiations, and special projects. Outside the district she has participated in a variety of county educational initiatives, worked to develop curriculum for various organizations, presented at many conferences locally and nationally, and has had leadership roles in ACSA, the Association of California School Administrators. Her two children, Reid Marlow Andersen and Delaney Marlow Andersen, attended Hillsborough schools.
Modell's ability to communicate complex material clearly and with unwavering enthusiasm to ensure that parents are informed and supported, while never losing sight of the needs of each individual child, has been enormously beneficial. She never shies away from a challenge or a student need, and has provided some of her most valuable contributions behind the scenes, going over and above her job description. Her care for our district knows no bounds as she offers her skills, her time and her care to students, staff, teachers and parents. Modell, after many decades in our district, continues to exemplify excellence as she promotes HCSD Forward, while strategizing and implementing Common Core Standards. She challenges what can be done in public education striving to improve the system in all areas. Her dedication to pursuing and realizing the vision of the district is one we applaud and value greatly. With gratitude and enormous admiration, we honor Modell Marlow Andersen with the Community Care Award.
2011-2012: Sandra Feinn
The Hillsborough School Associated Parents' Groups congratulate Sandra Feinn as the 2011 Community Care Award recipient.
2010-2011: Willie Murphy
The Hillsborough Schools Associated Parents' Groups are thrilled to honor our 2010 Community Care Award recipient, Willie Murphy. The Community Care Award is given to an individual who has made a significant and sustained contribution that has broadly touched the lives of our children and community.
Willie Murphy's dedication to his job touches the life of every boy and girl who attends North, South, West and Crocker Schools as well as any child who plays AYSO or Hillsborough Little League. Willie has been employed by the Hillsborough School District for 8 years. He works quietly behind the scenes to ensure that the many hundreds of citizens who use our recreation facilities appreciate the care he takes of our town's fields and parks. In the spring time, when Little League games and practices are held seven days a week, you can see Willie out on the fields bright and early every day including Friday evenings as well as Saturday and Sunday mornings. Not only does he keep our fields and parks in meticulous shape, he always has a smile for everyone, a kind word for the children and adults, and extra tennis balls for the dogs to chase. Willie knows many of the children in the area and takes time to talk with them. On a regular basis many of us will spot Willie far off on his tractor or truck and he will give a big wave and a smile.
2009-2010: Janice Richardson
The Associated Parents' Groups of Hillsborough is delighted to introduce Janice Richardson as this year's Community Care Award recipient. The Community Care Award is given to a member of the district who has made a sustained and significant contribution that has broadly touched the lives of our children. Janice Richardson has been a beloved teacher and member of our Hillsborough School District community for 28 years.
Janice started at North School as a 3rd grade aide, taught 4th grade math, and 5th grade science. After she was there for 4 years, North School closed, and it was time for her to find a new home. Janice chose South School. In her first few years at South, Janice was a 3rd grade aide, taught 4th grade social studies and 5th grade science. Janice was then asked to take the Technology Specialist position. Janice had taken computer classes but was a little apprehensive about taking on this role. She decided she was up for the challenge and has been an amazing Technology leader at both South and district wide for 20 years.
Janice has been leading the South Student Council since 1994, she assists the students with their speeches, helps run the elections and works closely with the students throughout their term. Janice is also involved with South's Community Outreach Program, has been on School Site Council for several terms, was the very 1st HTV representative for South School filming every presentation and musical, and has served more than ten years on the South leadership team. South has an amazing 3rd grade Hillsborough History program that Janice created. This program teaches the children about the many historical events, places and people of our town. She also recently began the Green Ambassador Program, promoting energy saving ideas for students to make South School and the world a greener place. During the building of South's new MPR, Janice was on the renovation and design committee. Janice was even once knee deep in protecting South School by helping in the sandbagging of the school when the creek looked like it would overflow during El Nino. She has also spent many weekends assisting in the wiring of the school for technology. A busy lady!
Janice commutes these days more than an hour to school each way. She has the support of her wonderful family, her husband of 42 years, Denis, her 3 beautiful children and her 7 grandchildren. Janice told us she loves coming to work every day and loves to see the growth of the children from Kindergarten to 5th grade. We applaud Janice Richardson for her passion, warmth, and energy. She stands out because of her continued innovation and dedication to the children. Thank you and Congratulations Janice.
2008-2009: Kendra Kasten
The Associated Parents' Groups of Hillsborough is delighted to introduce Kendra Kasten as this year's Community Care Award Recipient. The Community Care Award honors salaried personnel with the School District, Town of Hillsborough or other vital community role. The award recognizes sustained and significant contributions to the education of our children.
Kendra's two children, Jeff and Alyssa, attended West and Crocker before she became a North School teacher. She started volunteering at West in the classroom and as a Room Parent. Enthusiastically she became involved in a number of activities, including the Halloween Committee, New Parent Welcome, Hot Lunch, Library, Wee Care, Scrip, HSF, and School Site Council. Her contributions to the Parent Group culminated in her role as West Parent Group President in 1995. As a Crocker parent she assisted in the library and was an officer on the Crocker Parent Group Board. Kendra also served on APG and supported various Concours committees including Concours Day, Dinner Dance, and the Fashion Show, back when there was a Fashion Show!
In 1997, Karen Wolff, then Principal at North, had the good wisdom and foresight to hire Kendra as their Reading teacher. She currently works with K-2 students in small group settings, and provides enrichment for K and 1st grade students by extending the Open Court themes. She teaches weekly whole class lessons to 2nd graders in the area of syllabication. Kendra recently completed a HIP Plan designed to help 2nd and 3rd grade teachers in the area of syllabication. This HIP plan organized and formalized years of teaching experience so that other teachers can use the system effectively. Widely respected by her peers and loved by her many students, Kendra truly exemplifies the professionalism and commitment of an exceptional teacher. Her contribution to the excellence of our schools' reading program will be felt for many years!
Kendra, your skill, warmth and dedication have touched so many lives. From the bottom of our hearts we thank you for all you've done for our community over the years!
2007-2008: Robyn Chamness
Congratulations also to Robyn Chamness who will receive our Community Care Award this year. Robyn has been an inspiration to our children, both inside and outside of the classroom, for over 20 years.
2006-2007: Janet Chun
The Associated Parents' Groups (APG) selected Janet Chun, Principal of Crocker Middle School, as the 2006-2007 Community Care Award recipient. Linda Fitzpatrick, APG president, announced the recipient at the Hillsborough Concours Tennis Classic luncheon on October 18, 2006. In making the introduction of Janet, Linda shared with the large audience several of the comments that APG received from Hillsborough City School community and district members to support Janet's selection. For example, “Janet has an unwavering commitment to children." “Janet is a fantastic role model. She is compassionate, a great listener, patient, and exemplifies competence."
Further, “Janet has created a balanced environment where student emotional and academic needs are met." One teacher wrote, “Mrs. Chun's car is always the first to arrive and the last to leave!" Another staff member shared, “Mrs. Chun can be found on the blacktop, the cafeteria, the playground, the classrooms, and the hallways engaging students in conversation." Additionally, several people stated, “With Mrs. Chun, children always come first. Staff and students all trust her. Mrs. Chun is a true professional who is beloved and respected by parents, faculty, and students."
By way of history, Mrs. Chun entered the HCSD in the early 1990s as a social studies and math teacher. She served as the vice principal at Crocker for four years. For the past six years, she has been the principal of William H. Crocker Middle School. During Janet's tenure as principal, Crocker has been recognized as a California Distinguished School, a National Blue Ribbon School, and has won several Kent Awards. For all of the above reasons, we salute and congratulate Mrs. Janet Chun for being the recipient of the Community Care Award for 2006-2007.