SCPS Recognizes 2016 Employees of the Year

SCPS Celebrates Employee and Student Successes
Posted on 05/14/2016
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Shenandoah County Public School Division Celebrates
Employee and Student Successes 
Teachers of the Year, Employee of the Year, and Team of the Year Recognized


Shenandoah County Public Schools recently honored the successes of school division employees and students. Celebrating our Successes 2015-2016,  sponsored by the Shenandoah Education Foundation and hosted by Dr. Jeremy J. Raley, Superintendent of Schools, was held on May 9 at Peter Muhlenberg Middle School.

Dr. Raley welcomed everyone to the celebrDr. Raleyation.  “Tonight, we are celebrating the great things happening in Shenandoah County Public Schools. It’s been raining, again,” he said,  “but this evening, the sun is shining on everyone who wears a name badge that says Shenandoah County Public Schools!  Our annual recognition event is always a highlight  of the school year, a chance for us to pause for a moment and celebrate our own for a job well done.”
Dr. Raley thanked the Shenandoah Education Foundation for their sponsorship of this event and for their support of Fine Arts in Shenandoah County Public Schools.  He also recognized School Board members for their dedication, hard work,  and long hours noting that this has been a difficult year.   He thanked the Board of Supervisors for their “vision for making an investment in  the future of Shenandoah County by supporting education in our community.  Tonight’s event,” said Dr. Raley, “has given us an opportunity to showcase how this investment is paying dividends for our community’s students.”    

Prior to the annual staff recognitions, Dr. Raley highlighted multiple 2015-16 student, staff, and school successes that have been measured in a variety of ways:

  • Michaela Amari from Strasburg High School is the State FCCLA First Vice President.logo

  • Jana Bowman from Signal Knob Middle School is the state FCCLA Vice-President of Community Outreach.                     logo

  • Bethany Gochenour from Strasburg High School is the state FFA Reporter.

  • John Robert Helsley from Central High School is the state FFA Sentinel. 

  • Central High School is a National Blue Ribbon School-identified as an Exemplary High Performing School.  CHS logo

  • Central High School is a semi-finalist (1 of 350 schools nationwide) to be in the running for the XQ Super School Challenge Grant.

  • Julie Neese-Whitaker from Stonewall Jackson High School is the ARC Northern Shenandoah Valley Teacher of the Year.  

  • SCPS boasts the state wrestling champiologon and state swimming champion.

  • Multiple student athletes will continue their athletic careers in college. 

  • SJHS is among the top 100 schools in the nation for teaching financial literacy. 

  • In our classrooms,  students are engaged inlogo valley health authentic, practical, learning experiences that are going to prepare them for success long after they leave SCPS. 

  • Missy  Hensley, Principal of Central High School, is the STATE PRINCIPAL of the YEAR!

  • SCPS has state winners in FFA, FCCLA,logo music, and technical trades.

“Our staff has not forgotten,” said Dr. Raley, "what brought all of us into this honored profession---making an individual difference to individual students and setting them on the path toward independence.  We have always viewed students as individuals, but our teaching methods are becoming less top-down and lecture-based and more of an organic model that empowers each student in his or her own educational journey.”


Each of Shenandoah County’s ten public schools selects a Teacher of the Year.  From these school-level Teachers of the Year, a central office executive committee selects a Division Teacher of the Year.   Dr. Raley was proud to announce that Meredith Bauserman,  science teacher at Central High School, is Shenandoah County Public Schools’ 2016 Teacher of the Year.
Meredith Bauserman SCPS TOY Meredith L. H. Bauserman Shenandoah County Public Schools   Teacher of the Year 2016 Central High School Science Teacher
Central High School Principal Melissa Hensley wrote, “ Ms.Bauserman is an innovative, cutting-edge science instructor who has revamped her teaching style from a lecture-based model to a student-centered, mastery-based model, which allows her to serve as a facilitator of learning.”  Based on Ms.Bauserman’s success, this model “has inspired colleagues throughout the division to implement a blended model in their respective classrooms and schools.”

“This instructional approach allows each student to get individualized attention and learn at the pace that best meets their individual needs,” said math teacher colleague Kate Hollenberg.  When Central High School announced a school goal of teachers implementing one Project Based Learning unit, Ms. Bauserman went further and redesigned her entire Ecology class with a PBL focus.

Ms. Bauserman’s passion for student learning and her desire to offer students the best educational opportunities has resulted in her receiving over $30,000 in grants for equipment to enhance instructional delivery.  

Mrs. Bauserman  will represent Shenandoah County Public Schools in the 2017 Mary V. Bicouvaris Virginia Teacher of the Year competition.  

All of the 2015-16 Teachers of the Year from Shenandoah County Public Schools are pictured below.
Alice Bauserman ALE TOY Alice M. Bauserman Teacher of the Year 2016 Ashby Lee Elementary School First Grade Teacher

Kathi Kahl NFMS Kathi A. Kahl Teacher of the Year 2016 North Fork Middle School Special Education Teacher
Joseph Spory Joseph M.Spory Teacher of the Year 2016 Stonewall Jackson High School History Teacher
Lyn McKee WWR Lynn E. McKee Teacher of the Year 2016 W.W. Robinson Elementary School Guidance Counselor
Kristine Hoover Kristine L. Hoover Teacher of the Year 2016 Peter Muhlenberg Middle School Sixth Grade Math Teacher
Meredith Bauserman CHS Meredith L. H. Bauserman Teacher of the Year 2016 Central High School Science Teacher
Melissa Himelright SHE Melissa D. Himelright Teacher of the Year 2016 Sandy Hook Elementary School Speech Language Pathologist
Jennifer Sell skms Jennifer E. Sell Teacher of the Year 2016 Signal Knob Middle School Eighth Grade Civics Teacher
Tammy Cooper SHS Tamalia "Tammy" Cooper Teacher of the Year 2016 Strasburg High School Special Education Teacher
Michele Harbison-Hepner Michele Harbison-Hepner Teacher of the Year 2016 Triplett Tech & Massanutten Regional Governor's School Alternative Education Teacher

Non-teaching staff memmbers are eligible for the Shenandoah County Public Schools’ Employee of the Year award.  “Our school division is successful,” said Dr. Raley, “as a result of the contributions of each and every employee who touches the lives of our students on a daily basis.”  The nominees for the 2015-16 Employee of the Year  award were:

  • Lee Blauvelt, Paraprofessional at North Fork Middle School

  • Adrianne Burner, Secretary at W.W. Robinson Elementary School

  • Berlinda Hughes, Paraprofessional at Ashby Lee Elementary School

  • Charlotte Polk, Secretary at Peter Muhlenberg Middle School

  • Julia Smith, Paraprofessional at Signal Knob Middle School

  • Scott Vaughn, Custodian at Sandy Hook Elementary School

Charlotte Polk Charlotte Polk Shenandoah County Public Schools 2016 Employee of the Year Peter Muhlenberg Middle School Secretary

Earlier this year, Dr. Raley surprised Ms. Charlotte Polk while she was working at Peter Muhlenberg with the Employee of the Year Award.  She was recognized as well at the Celebrating our Successes event.

Ms. Charlotte Polk embodies the spirit of service that has long been the expectation of Shenandoah County Public Schools,” wrote Mandy Roller, Principal of Peter Muhlenberg Middle School.  “Ms. Polk is knowledgeable, efficient, patient, organized, kind, loyal; dedicated to her work and friendly to students, staff, and all who enter our school.  Charlotte is in many ways the backbone of Peter Muhlenberg.  Ms. Charlotte Polk epitomizes all that the Employee of the Year should be.”

Assistant Principal Gabby Ryman observed that “Ms. Polk’s dedication to Peter Muhlenberg is 110% and is a testament to her love for our school. I simply do not know what we’d do without her.”  

Shenandoah County Public Schools’ Team of the Year award serves as the perfect model of one Shenandoah County Public Schools’  Cornerstones of Instruction --- Collaboration.  This year’s nominees for Team of the Year were

  • Paraprofessionals at Signal Knob Middle School--Julie Smith and Debra Funkhouser

  • Custodial Team at Stonewall Jackson High School--Gene Willis, Nancy Plaugher, Gary Jones, John Lock, and Owen Good

  • Strasburg High School Music Department Faculty--Kylene Robinson, Joel Ross, and  Chris Szuba

  • Special Education Team at North Fork Middle School--Kathi Kahl, Val Sobanko, Karleeann Mason, Jay Goode, Joanne Thompson, Lee Blauvelt, and Dianne Lewis

  • Library Team at Peter Muhlenberg Middle School--Wendy Poole and Krista Heres

  • Paraprofessionals at Ashby Lee Elementary School--Cathy Looman, Judy Neff, Crystal Harmon, Berlinda Hughes, and Nicole Baher

2016 SCPS Team of the Year Shenandoah County Public Schools 2016 Team of the Year Strasburg High School Music Faculty Kylene Robinson, Joel Ross, and Chris Szuba

Earlier this year, Dr. Raley surprised members of Strasburg High School’s Music Department with the  2015-16 Team of the Year award while they were instructing students.   SHS Music Department faculty,  including Kylene Robinson, Chris Szuba, and Joel Ross,  were also honored at the “Celebrating our Successes” event.     

Morgan Saeler, Principal of Strasburg High School, cited the SHS Music Team for their commitment and dedication “to overcoming obstacles in order to achieve excellence.”  As a team these three professionals have built an outstanding music program at Strasburg HIgh School despite each teacher’s spending only part of his or her day at Strasburg High School.  Each teacher has his or her own unique style;  yet each is able to shape and mold young musicians through a mixture of enthusiasm, passion for music and teaching, and commitment to the program.  The music program is a source of pride to the community and truly thrives as a result of the dedication and professionalism of Kylene Robinson, Joe Ross, and Chris Szuba,”  noted Mr. Saeler. 
"The success of our school division is a direct result of the employees who dedicate their  lives to education in Shenandoah County.  Without the talent and expertise of every professional who works on behalf of our students, there is no way that we would be able to attain the success that we have had this year," commented Dr. Raley at the close of  Celebrating Our Successes 2015-16 .   
Tracy Landes, Executive Secretary to Dr. Jeremy Raley, Superintendent of Shenandoah County Public Schools, organized and arranged all details for Celebrating our Successes.  Betsy Bushong, Administrative Assistant for Technology, created the booklet for this event and was the photographer.