Aurelia Sicha, Instructional Assistant
Thomas Jefferson Middle School
Aurelia Sicha is well-versed in strategies for teaching students with intellectual disabilities, students with autism and for managing their more difficult behaviors in all settings around the school environment. She is gifted in understanding the emotional and social needs of the students and in supporting the students consistently and appropriately. Ms. Sicha is an integral part of the program and its success. She is respectful of all staff and their concerns about teaching students. She is particularly adept at communicating with Spanish-speaking families. She understands their concerns about their children and responds to their inquiries with empathy and professionalism. Ms. Sicha is not afraid to take initiative and the quality of her commitment does not waver.
Estela Reyes, Food Services
Carlin Springs Elementary
Estela Reyes started at Carlin Springs as a floater manager filling in for an extended period. She instantly found her place in the school community and easily formed relationships with students, staff, and families. In addition to working in the cafeteria she has gone above and beyond organizing and working with the family market food distribution program. Ms. Reyes is very pleasant and ready to greet kids every morning as they get off the bus with a breakfast and a smile. She is extremely organized and efficient which helps her team effortlessly serve over 75 percent of her students every day.
Mariflor Ventura, Bus Attendant
Mariflor Ventura plays a vital role in helping newly immigrated Latinx families transition into Arlington and connecting them with Arlington services and support. As a bus attendant, Ms. Ventura accounts for the safety of students of all ages and abilities. She creates pathways for first-generation students by providing connections for all families to obtain winter coats and other resources that they need. Ms. Ventura uses her Arlington neighbors network to provide adequate resources for enrolling students in school, and in August 2021 organized a back-to-school drive. Her mutual aid group, Casa Mariflor, is a gateway to the success of first-generation students in APS. Ms. Ventura exemplifies an employee going above and beyond their job description of caring for students on the school bus — she truly fosters community and ensures schools are safe, supportive places for every child.
Dr. Keith Reeves, Instructional Technology Coordinator
Discovery Elementary School
While his role at Discovery is that of Instructional Technology Coach, Dr. Keith Reeves contributes to the school well beyond that scope. He has a penchant for contributing to school-wide operations and successes. He is an active leader in our school community, consistently making decisions based on what is best for children. He uses this laser focus in all that he does. Dr. Reeves frequently co-teaches and has been instrumental in helping our staff develop the standards-based instructional program. Beyond that, he is eager to be involved in all aspects of leading a school and is passionate about contributing to the greater cause, always willing to offer help in any way possible.
Jonathan Martinez, Administrative Assistant, Special Education
Syphax Education Center
Jonathan Martinez exemplifies what it means to provide “service with a smile.” His professional demeanor and willingness to go the extra mile to support students and staff, makes him the perfect candidates. Because he has a heart for serving students with disabilities, no task is too great nor too small. His flexibility, professionalism, positive interactions with staff, his care for the well-being of students and his level of care and investment in his role in service to students is admirable and makes him the quintessential employee.
Rosaura Palacios, Custodian
Rosaura Palacios is a diligent worker who performs her job in a friendly and cheerful manner. Her strong work ethic is reflective in the quality of her work. Her enthusiasm for her duties has not waned in her over 25 years of service to APS. Ms. Palacios arrives to work each day with a smile and a warm friendly greeting for everyone she passes. She cheerfully and meticulously takes care of the building and performs tasks with a smile.
Irma Sierra, Extended Day
Arlington Science Focus School
Irma Sierra does a great job building relationships with custodial staff, teachers and administration throughout the school. Words that describe Ms. Sierra include hardworking, funny, helpful and supportive. She always volunteers to work or substitute at another site should they need help. She comes back with ideas and input from other sites that she thinks could be helpful. She is a staff member that makes everyone feel like family and she will always have your back and be someone to lean on.