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Crystal Apple 2011-12

Crystal Apple 2011-12

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Published by Brush News Tribune
2011-12 Crystal Apple - This special section is brought to you by the Brush News-Tribune
2011-12 Crystal Apple - This special section is brought to you by the Brush News-Tribune

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Published by: Brush News Tribune on May 02, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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By Katie Collins
Brush News-Tribune Staff Writer 
 Thomson Primary SchoolNurse and LPN Mandy Brownhad known for quite sometime what she wanted to dowith her life.In fact, as early as age six,Brown had written what shedescribes as a very small essay on her future as a nurse.After 10 years of working inthe field of family practiceunder mentors Dr. Shaun Thompson and his father Dr.Pat Thompson at GenerationsHealth Care in Fort Morgan,Brown felt excited to make thetransition to school nursing.“They were amazing men-tors for me,” Brown said of hermentors. “After they closed thepractice there, I was actually excited to get the position hereat Thomson.”“I felt like I had gotten a real-ly strong foundation atGenerations,” she continued,“and had the opportunity tosee people at all levels - frominfants to geriatrics, frombeginning of life to end of lifestages, and that was very humbling. I just knew that theexperiences I had there wouldcarry me over into this field,help me be independent,assertive and would challengeme in nursing.”For her fellow co-workers,that experience and willing-ness to grow and learn andcontribute to the Thomsonteam has made Brown a wel-come sight throughout thehalls and has earned Mandy Brown the 2012 Crystal AppleAward for Thomson Primary School.“Mandy is a perfect exampleof professionalism,” noted Thomson Primary SchoolCounselor Todd Jackson inhis nomination of Brown. “Sheis highly dedicated to the stu-dents, staff and parents. Sheis very thorough in all that shedoes, builds great relation-ships with everyone she meetsand is highly trusted.”For this Hoyt native whomoved to Brush with parentsDan and Cheryl Becker just intime to attend kindergarten,being a Class of 1994 BHSgraduate and earning hernursing certificate at NJCwhile raising her first two chil-dren had also earned Brownmuch life experience.“I played volleyball my first year at NJC,” said Brown, wholoves staying active in herspare time when she can findsome. “I had earned theWilliams Scholarship whilethere which allowed me to alsotake classes at MCC while Iraised my kids.”For Brown, building rela-tionships is one of the perks of the job and one that she high-ly values.“In this field, what I really enjoy is making connectionswith families,” Brown said. “Ifeel I can be a resource inmany different areas of thehealthcare field. I can helpthem get connected to thingsoutside the school that may help families with health as
Mandy Brown...Thomson Primary School
Strong foundation aids in connecting with students, families 
2011-12 Crystal Apple 
Recognizing Excellence In Education in the Brush School District...
Children are the world's most valuable resource and it's best hope for the future." John F. Kennedy 
Katie Collinsr/News-Tribune
Thomson Primary School Nurse Mandy Brown helps student Ayvin Palser get ready for herdental exam on Wednesday, April 11 during the Big Smiles dentistry clinic held at theschool that day.
SeeBrownpage 12
By Katie Collins
Brush News-Tribune Staff Writer 
Inspecting buses, straight-ening bumpers, adjustingbrakes and changing tiresmay be the majority of atransportation departmentmechanic’s job description,but when it comes to moldingthe minds of Brush students, Joe Mattorano offers so muchmore.Besides dedicating much of his time to the Brush TaeKwon Do Club that he’sdirected since 1989,Mattorano has volunteerednumerous hours to makingsure young students in Brushget a head start in readingthrough the Summer ReadingProgram.For his thoughtfulness,passion and can-do attitude,Mattorano has been awardedthe 2012 Crystal Apple Awardfor District Staff in Brush.“Joe has been an outstand-ing volunteer for the studentsin our district,” noted Transportation DirectorBruce Fyfe in his nominationof Mattorano. “He gives twonights a week teaching TaeKwon Do and doesn’t chargethe students or their familiesfor the training.”“Joe was also a key organiz-er for last summer’s SummerReading Camp for Thomsonstudents,” Fyfe continued.“He spent countless hourshelping build the craft proj-ect, lining up instructors andthen being at the camp forthree days. Joe is the person-ification of ‘roll up yoursleeves and do something tohelp these kids.’”For nearly three years now,Mattorano has graced the dis-trict garage with his earnestattitude, but prior to that hehad enjoyed a 37-year careeras a clerk with Safeway. The Trinidad native beganhis days with Safeway inBoulder where he worked for15 years before moving toMorgan County to work at theFort Morgan store. After retir-ing from Safeway, Mattoranowent on to work for the DeltaOil tank company where heworked as a mechanic for a year on vac trucks, but hispassion for all thingsmechanical actually began ata much younger age.“I always wanted to be amechanic,” said Mattorano.“It’s just something I’vealways loved to do. When Iwas a kid my uncle owned aservice station in Trinidadand I worked for him in thesummers and after school.”At the age of 17 in 1975,Mattorano married his firstand only love, wife Bonnieand with four children in thehousehold, continuing hiseducation and training in col-lege became a struggle.“I kind of put that on holdwhile my kids grew up forfinancial reasons,” notedMattorano. “There wasn’t awhole lot of room for school-ing so I tried to do a lot of courses through the mailwhile raising four children.But when I got offered the jobhere it was like a dream cometrue.”It was a day like any otherwhen the inspiration to take amore hands-on approachwith individual students hewas meeting through his timeas a mechanic took hold.As Mattorano explained, hewas driving the bus one day when he asked a middleschool student to help himread directions. When he sawthe student’s hard-fought
Joe Mattorano...District Transportation
District mechanic rolls up his sleeves to get things done 
Katie Collins/News-Tribune
District Transportation Mechanic Joe Mattorano rolls up his sleeves to inspect and changethe air brakes on one of the Brush School District buses at the district garage.
page 10
By Katie Collins
Brush News-Tribune Staff Writer 
 Just as her mother andgrandmother both enjoyedthe fruits of their teachingprofessions, so too doesBeaver Valley TitleI/Intervention Teacher AnnBloemker. This third generationinstructor brings not only the talents of her family genepool to her third throughfifth grade students, but alsonearly 40 years of teachingexperience to the schoolwhere she and husbandGary, a fifth grade teacher,both work to better the livesof each student they see.For her experience, enthu-siasm and passion for edu-cation, Ann has been select-ed by her peers to receive the2012 Crystal Apple Awardfor Beaver Valley Elementary School.As an Intervention teacher,Bloemker handles two class-es each of third, fourth andfifth grade students who arestruggling in reading andmath. Bloemker, in effect,‘intervenes’ into the minds of those students who need alittle extra help in keepingup with or catching up totheir peers with their studiesin those subject areas.“Ann accurately assessesthe strengths of her own stu-dents and uses thosestrengths to help each indi-vidual student reach theirfullest potential,” notedDistrict Office receptionistHilary Hansen in her nomi-nation of Bloemker. “Annindividualizes as much aspossible to take each stu-dent from where they are toget them where they need tobe in reading,” she contin-ued.“She is a great team mem-ber, willing to change andgrow with the changing staff,administration and curricu-lum. Ann is an excellent rolemodel for her students aswell as other staff members.”“I think the best thingabout teaching reading iswatching children get excit-ed about a book,” saidBloemker. “They get really involved with it and want totake it home. And I also lovewatching them go out of theroom with the book becausethey don’t want to put itdown,” she continued. “Nowthat is an 'aha' moment forme.” The enthusiasm she hasfor her students and theireducation resonates throughthe halls of Beaver Valley and has, by no means, goneunnoticed. Even her fellowstaff members throughoutthe district have seen theresults of Bloemker’s zeal.“Ann is such a positive,caring, compassionate per-son,” said Hansen. “Shecares deeply for her stu-dents. She has a great rap-port with not only her stu-dents but with their parentsas well.”For Bloemker, her careerin teaching obviously beganwith the family spark thatignited in her a mission.Growing up in WesternKansas, Bloemker felt thereweren’t a lot of choices when
Ann Bloemker...Beaver Valley Elementary School
Third generation teacher brings encouragement 
page 7
Katie Collins/News-Tribune
Beaver Valley Intervention Teacher Ann Bloemker reads with some of her third grade stu-dents during their intervention class.
   
        

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