On May 7, Belton School District employees and guests gathered at Belton High School to honor and recognize recipients of Teacher of the Year and Support Staff Person of the Year awards, those who have been in the district for milestone years, and those retiring at the end of the 2013-14 school year. The theme of this year’s dinner was “It’s our Good Fortune to have you in the Belton School District” with a Chinese food buffet prepared by Sodexo.
During the evening, employees who have been in the district for five, 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 years were recognized and given a pin for the years of service. To honor the building recipients of Teacher of the Year and Support Staff Person of the Year, each principal shared the quality attributes of staff members as they introduced their representatives to the audience.
Building Teachers of the Year were Eric Scherfenberg, Jeff Bertoncin, Olga Mason, Angie Steinman, Kelly Hemeyer, Jocelyn Rowan, Melanie Ryberg, Bethany Villaverde, Shannon Kern, Angela Galamba and Kathy Muder.
Building Support Staff Person of the Year for each building were Wilma Behning, Keith Nash, Pam Smith, Joan Thezan, Crystall McClain, Flora Parish, Anita Majors, Kristy Hardee, Nancy Miller, Patti Westcoat, Tracy Spurck and Judy St. Louis.
After all introductions, Lisa Cummings, assistant superintendent of human resources, announced the 2014 District Teacher of the Year as Eric Scherfenberg, Belton High School. She then congratulated Patti Westcoat, BOSCO, for being selected as the 2014 District Support Staff Person of the Year. District winners were chosen through an application and interview process with help of three community judges. As the District Teacher of the Year, Scherfenberg will also be honored by the Kansas City Royals on Aug. 8 during their home game against the San Francisco Giants.
Andrew Underwood, Superintendent, introduced and thanked retirees for their years of service and dedication to the Belton School District. Retirees for the 2013-14 school year are Suzanne Manfredi, five years, Yeokum Middle School; Robin Gibbons, 10 years, Scott Elementary; Chuck Varland, 11 years, Freshman Center; Diana Zugenbuhler, 16 years, Freshman Center; Beth Knott, 19 years, District Volunteer Coordinator; Winnie Gill, 21 years, Hillcrest Elementary; Libby Brown, 21 years, Mill Creek Upper Elementary; Deborah Twellman, 22 years, BOSCO; and Debbie Soldi, 33 years, Grace ECC and Education Center.
The district also honored Elizabeth Hart, teacher at Gladden Elementary, for her act of courage and kindness. Last December, Hart donated a kidney to friend and fellow employee’s husband who needed a transplant.