The following employees were selected to receive April 2021 Employee Excellence Awards and recognition at the April 13 school board meeting. Learn more about each recipient below:

  • Jason Galvas, teacher, Fort Vancouver High School Center for International Studies
  • Jennifer Geloff, teacher, Anderson Elementary
  • Stacey Holmstrom, teacher, Anderson Elementary
  • Cathy Potter, district resource officer, safety department
  • Leah Sweeney, attendance clerk, Eisenhower Elementary

The Excellence Award is given to five employees and/or small teams from October to May each school year. Nominations are open to staff, students, parents and community members. Nominees are selected for recognition by a committee of their peers.

Jason Galvas, teacher, Fort Vancouver High School Center for International Studies

Jason GalvasJason has taken great strides to maintain the positive connections with students and families that he has established based on respect and trust. Said one parent, “My son has been in his class for three years, and he always communicates with our family so well.” During remote learning, Jason has worked hard to support his students and maintain open lines of communication. No matter the distance, he shows his students how much he cares.

From the nomination:
“He is a great teacher, and I’m so thankful that my son has him as a teacher!”

Jennifer Geloff, teacher, Anderson Elementary

Jennifer GeloffOne of the first things that impresses Jennifer’s colleagues is the fact that she has a wealth of knowledge, skills and practices. One of the second is that she is quick to share her lessons and strategies. In addition, her passion for equity and inclusion inspire others to practice greater empathy and compassion for their students. Jennifer has lifted her colleagues and students throughout the pandemic. They say that she is a mentor, advocate and friend.

From the nomination:
“Because of her, third grade students at SJA are growing and learning.”

Stacey Holmstrom, teacher, Anderson Elementary

Stacey has worn many hats at Anderson. Her roles have included first grade teacher, second grade teacher, third grade teacher (twice), testing coordinator and reading support. She thrives with each new opportunity, approaching it with her unique blend of passion, positivity and professionalism. This has endeared to her colleagues, as well as to her students and their families. Many find themselves inspired by her example. Anderson is a stronger community with Stacey’s presence!

From the nomination:
“She is an absolute joy to collaborate with and a beam of positivity and success.”

Cathy Potter, district resource officer, safety department

DRO Cathy Potter

Building positive relationships with staff members and students is key to being a district resource officer, and Cathy achieves that goal with finesse. She is skilled at responding to escalating behaviors and keeping everyone involved safe. One of the first things she does is check in with staff to see what is needed so that she can support them. Then she remains calm as she connects with students. Afterward, she visits them again to make sure that they are doing well.

From the nomination:
“Cathy Potter is an amazing DRO!”

Leah Sweeney, attendance clerk, Eisenhower Elementary

Leah SweeneyThe phrase “hard worker” and “Leah Sweeney” are nearly synonymous at Eisenhower. Throughout the pandemic, she has tracked student participation in remote learning, regularly checked in on her colleagues and Eisenhower families and helped new teachers get established at the school. More recently, to prepare for hybrid learning she helped sort out the details of A and B pods and serves as an important source of knowledge on attendance procedures. Her colleagues say that they are lucky to have her at Eisenhower!

From the nomination:
“She has made a genuine difference in the lives of our Eisenhower families and staff.”

Congratulations to these staff members! They join the hundreds of VPS employees who have received Excellence Awards since 2007.

Nominate an employee for the award