"She’s the glue that holds the school together." "She always goes above and beyond," say her nominators. For 33 years, Lincoln Elementary media assistant Sue Cernanec has helped keep Lincoln humming with her creativity, love of learning and willingness to always lend a hand, which is why Sue has been named one of our May Staff Spotlight nominees.
Sue would tell you her role at Lincoln is simply to “turn kids on to books.” But in reality, she does so much more. She is the creative mind behind the school’s amazing display cases and bulletin boards, which she changes once a month. She helps out with classroom projects. She is the in-house tech go-to person. She volunteers with the 5th grade Giant Eagle shoppers group that helps senior citizens shop. She loves to volunteer with the Future Club and News Crew because she loves to “watch and learn from the children” about new technology. She is a regular helper at dismissal time.
Mostly though, Sue enjoys being in the library surrounded by books, awaiting for the next group of students she can read to. “It’s the best place,” she says, “because the kids all want to come. It’s an exciting part of their day.” Much has changed over 33 years in her role as media assistant, as technology has grown to be an integral part of education and Sue has adapted along with the changes. Despite the tech explosion, she still carefully tends to her school’s book collection, often spending her own money and time scouring local library sales to add to the school collection.
From her days as a PTA mom when her children attended Lincoln in the in the 1980s, Sue and Lincoln have always gone together. As one of her nominators, Kathy Sisson, said: “I can’t imagine Lincoln without Sue!”
It’s hard to miss the joy and passion Harrison Elementary teacher Mark Mollison brings to his 5th grade classroom. As his nominator Stacy Rocco says, “Mark teaches with enthusiasm, energy and heart!” For that and many more reasons, Mark has been named one of our May Staff Spotlight honorees.
Mark’s passion for teaching and his respect for his 5th grade students is apparent every day. After 19 years in the District, all at Harrison, Mark still loves coming to work every day and even admits to missing it when he is off in the summer. “I just like being around the kids, it’s easy to be with them,” he says. It must be true, because according to his nominator, students are always keeping company with him in his classroom, no matter what time of day.
Mark’s love for his school and students drives his desire to help out in any way he can. He runs an afterschool game club and organizes the annual school Science Fair. A U.S. Navy veteran, Mark also helps organize an annual breakfast for veterans from all the armed forces.
Those who know Mark, know that his rapport with his students is a special one.
“You can feel the positive and respectful atmosphere he creates in his classroom and the students thrive because of it,” says Rocco. “The bond he forms with his kids is one they will carry with them throughout life!”