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The MCSD Employee Recognition Award is for those employees who go above and beyond on a continual basis for students, staff, and/or parents. Nominations can come from the community, parents, staff members and students. The district will be recognizing employees monthly in their buildings as well as at the televised board meeting of that month. The district would like to take this opportunity to introduce to you and congratulate December’s best of the best at MCSD!

To nominate a deserving employee, go to: Employee Recognition Form.

Doreen Borde – Secretary at Muscatine High School
Nominated by Suzanne Bissell
Doreen is always ready with a smile or an offer to help to anyone who needs it. She genuinely cares about the students, staff, and parents at MHS. On a day when all the administrators were out of the building, Doreen willingly stepped in and made a huge difference on a day when my daughter just needed a friend and advocate. She was a wonderful, caring listener and quickly looked for solutions to the situation. Along the way, she found out my daughter played the accordion and turned a rough day into a good one as they spoke about the abandoned accordion that Doreen had in her garage but didn’t know how to play. Several days later Doreen GAVE this beautiful, antique accordion in perfect condition to my daughter! It means so much to our whole family and illustrates perfectly what a generous and kind person Doreen is! Just last weekend, my daughter played that antique accordion in MHS’s fall play. Thanks, Doreen. We are all lucky to have you at the high school!”

Kelli Holthe – Paraeducator at Jefferson Elementary
Nominated by Renee Johnson

“Kelli is an exceptional paraeducator and I am very lucky to work with her every day. She is a vital part of our Begindergarten classroom and will go above and beyond to help me and our students everyday whether it is performing her daily duties, asking what else she can do to help complete our assessments, sitting with a student who just needs to talk about something going on at home, talking through changes we could make to improve our classroom, or staying just a little bit longer because sometimes things do not go as planned with a classroom of 5 year-olds. The list of positives Kelli brings to our classroom is endless and an important reason why our students are successful.

Heidi Kuo – Chinese Teacher at Muscatine High School
Nominated by Janelle Tapia
“I would like to nominate Mrs. Kuo for employee of the month. This is actually her first year here at MHS teaching Chinese. For those of you who haven’t had a chance to meet Mrs. Kuo, you need to know that she’s one of the kindest, smartest, and bravest teachers I’ve met. She came to America with her husband a couple years ago and then decided that teaching Chinese to high school students was a peak interest of hers. In my opinion, learning the English language is very difficult especially as a second language, but yet Mrs. Kuo did it and is even teaching her native language here. She’s definitely very passionate about teaching. Her reaction when someone in the classroom gets the correct answer is priceless. Her goal is to not only help students learn Chinese but to try to persuade them to continue onward with the language. Recently the language department took a field trip to the University of Iowa for students who were interested in continuing their current focus of language. Mrs. Kuo tried very hard to convince her students to go. I was the only student from the Chinese department to go and our experience together was amazing. I was able to get to know her better as a teacher and make a more personal bond. She was thrilled that I showed interest in becoming multilingual. I hope that by awarding her with this award Mrs. Kuo knows that she’s appreciated for her hard work and patience with high school students. Dealing with older kids can be difficult and she tries very hard to be as patient with them as she can, but I hope that other’s ignorance doesn’t drive her away from her passion, especially since she’s a great teacher all around. This is why I nominate Heidi Kuo for staff member of the month.”

Dawn Thompson – First Grade Teacher at Grant Elementary
Nominated by Bethany and Trent Behnke
Ms. Thompson is my son’s first grade teacher. This is the first year that my son is excited to go to school. She is such a wonderful teacher that interacts with her students making sure they are getting the academic learning in a fun way. She does a fun point system for good behavior in the class dojo and every certain amount of points they get rewarded with fun stuff (my son loved it when he got to sit in the teacher’s chair). Whenever I have sent her a message, no matter what it regarded, she always takes the time to message me back and lets me know what is going on and what she is doing to take care of it. Thank you, Ms. Thompson, for being a rock star first grade teacher!”


Sarah Walsh – Instructional Coach at Muscatine High School
Nominated by Allison Coffman
“Sarah is a leader in many capacities at MHS. While her main title may be Instructional Coach, she plays many key roles in our school. You will find her teaching biology and environmental science, acting as the Student Council advisor, and being an active leader on many committees, just to name a few. Sarah puts the needs of her students and her coworkers above all else. She wants everyone to succeed and will go above and beyond to ensure this very goal. Her dedication is evident in her every action. She is one of the hardest working people I know and I am proud to have her as a co-worker and fellow teacher at MHS.”

This information is provided as a free service to the community on behalf of the Muscatine Community School District.

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