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ESP Employees of the Year Honored

Four Educational Support Professionals have been honored for their dedication to the students of Westminster Public Schools (WPS) and named Outstanding ESP Employees of the Year. They were recognized before the Board of Education at their meeting earlier this month.

*Click on their names below to watch the recipients receive their award*

Ingrid with BOE


Ingrid Chacon (Special Education Instructional Assistant - Hodgkins Elementary)

Nominated by Mat Aubuchon - WPS Director of Elementary Education

“Ingrid approaches her relationships with students from a place of true caring and compassion. She is always ready to give a hug, a listening ear, or a smile. Students rarely have a bad day in "Ms. Ingrid's" class. The students in Ingrid's program have significant intellectual and physical challenges, and Ingrid cares for them as if they are her own children. She sees the beauty and the strength in each student and truly makes them feel a special part of the Hodgkins community.”






Arok with BOE

Arok (Thuc) Garang (Evening Custodian - Sunset Ridge Elementary)

Nominated by Roger Vadeen - Principal at Sunset Ridge Elementary

“He responds positively to comments and feedback. His interaction with his supervisors is respectful and always positive. What stands out about Arok is his strong desire to be helpful. Arok has built many solid relationships with the staff and students at Sunset Ridge. Arok is courteous and friendly in his interactions and he is universally liked by the students, staff and community of Sunset Ridge. One of Arok's most admired strengths is his genuine interest, concern and care he shows for people. You can count on Arok to offer his assistance with simple things like taking care of a spill in a classroom or help improve the look of a classroom by doing a 'deep clean' on the carpet. One of the highlights of my year was when I was able to tell Arok that he earned the financial incentive that all staff received for meeting school and district goals. During our staff celebration, Arok was celebrating with our staff, but he did not realize that he would also be getting a financial reward. He thought that because he did not work with the students on academics that he was not part of the reward. When I told him he was part of the financial reward, his smile grew even wider. He told me that he is motivated to do a good job because he knows that the work of the students and of the teachers is so very important. What a great attitude!“  


Nicole with BOE


Nicole Goll (Instructional Assistant - Hidden Lake High School)

Nominated by James Steward - Principal at Hidden Lake High School

"The students trust Nicole! For alternative students, everything in their life is about change. Many do not know where they may be sleeping, getting the next meal, or what their out of school life will be from moment to moment. Nicole’s continued persistence and presence have brought the students to trust, confide and have a sense of stability. Through her work, she has taken upon herself students who are struggling to present their English 4 Capstone Project. She has been instrumental in the success of multiple students, helping to push them over the graduation line and become graduates. I trust Nicole! She has been instrumental in assisting with office duties and student/community relationships required here at Hidden Lake. My respect comes truly from her educator’s heart, she chooses to educate and teach the students, bringing understanding and learning."



Vicky with BOE


Vicky Kraus (Secretary to Principal - Hodgkins Elementary)

Nominated by Amber Swieckowski - Principal at Hodgkins Elementary

“It goes without saying that the building secretary is always the most beloved staff member in the building. However, those of us at Hodgkins would argue that WE have the most amazing secretary in Vicky. Although the list of her special skills is long, it is nothing in comparison to the list of her special qualities. Vicky is friendly, helpful, compassionate and a true champion for our students and families. In spite of her workload, she is always willing to drop everything and help anyone find a solution to a difficult challenge whether it be professional or personal. For this reason, she is known as the "staff counselor". She is phenomenal at her job. Vicky is one of those people that excel at all that she attempts. She is incredibly organized. She has an answer to all problems and questions. She can answer a phone call, count fundraiser money, and input a new student in IC and send an email all at the same time. Really-she is that good! To me, she is what makes our small district unique and special. She is part of our community, in and out of the building.”