The Humboldt County School District Board of Trustees continued its new tradition of celebrating outstanding teachers and employees during the Jan. 9 meeting.
Assistant Superintendent Dawn Hagness identified two Winnemucca Grammar School (WGS) teachers who have had a significant impact on student learning: Kindergarten teacher Rhonda Stevenson and Fourth Grade teacher Lori Seidlitz. WGS Principal Jonathan Reynolds attended to show his support.
Hagness said Stevenson embraced her role of helping kindergarten students learn to write. She would invite administrators and teachers into her classroom, saying “My kids are writing! Look what my Kindergarten kids are doing!”
When Stevenson learned that the district wanted to purchase the Fountas and Pinnell reading materials, she told Reynolds, “This is what I’ve been waiting for my entire career. I would have given anything, and this is what I wanted.” She said she could finally teach the way she always wanted to teach.
Hagness said Stevenson wasn’t afraid to tell anyone how excited she was about the materials. “You can see it in her classroom,” Hagness said, adding that the classroom’s energy on the first day Stevenson used the new materials gave her goosebumps.
“Rhonda, I can’t thank you enough for your commitment to Winnemucca Grammar School, to your Kindergarten kids every year, your teaching staff — because that energy is very important — and what you bring to the entire district because of that.”
Lori Seidlitz helped implement a new math program. Once Hagness convinced Seidlitz that she was the right person for the job, “Lori was so thoroughly involved in every bit of that, and wasn’t afraid to say ‘Come into my classroom and see it working.’”
“Once she commits, she's all in,” Hagness said. “And her kids are all in.” She explained that Seidlitz develops the classroom environment that fosters success and cooperation very early in the school year. “Lori has the talent to develop that in her students, and very early on.”
She has a very open classroom, inviting teachers and administrators from across the district, Hagness said, and she always asks for feedback so she can continue to grow and improve.
“Not only has she helped Humboldt County in this way, she’s been asked across the region to have other teachers from other districts come into her classroom to see what’s going on,” Hagness continued.
“I always love the opportunity to go in. I’m challenged in that room, and I appreciate the enthusiasm and the ability that she is able to pull out of kids. And her test scores reflect what she does every day with her kids.
“Lori Seidlitz, congratulations and thank you for what you do for Winnemucca Grammar School, Humboldt County and teachers across the region," Hagness said.