Inspirational Stories


Lisa Stogoski, teacher, Willard Middle School

Nominated by Ally Harwood, student

"Ms.Stogoski has been my art teacher for just a few days, but she has made my days more fun than ever! She helps us get better at art, so we can get good grades and improve. Her classroom is also very welcoming, and I couldn't wait until the second semester to have her as my art teacher! She has a classroom that helps you navigate art with posters showing where to buy a sketchbook and where supplies are. I can't wait until my next art class to see this amazing teacher!"


Julia Brennan, teacher, Goshen Post Elementary School

Nominated by Katherine Thomas, community member

"Ms. Brennan consistently goes above and beyond for her students. My daughter has been struggling with anxiety and having a tough time at school. Ms. Brennan is always ready to support her and encourage her, even on the hardest days. After a particularly difficult day recently, Ms. Brennan took extra time after school to meet with us and help my daughter feel more comfortable returning to school the next day, reassuring her that everyone has tough days, and that she is doing a great job. We are so thankful for her support and encouragement and her willingness to go above and beyond to make her students feel valued and welcomed in her class. She truly sees the best in her kids and cares about them."

Kyra Dugan, teacher, Hutchison Farm Elementary School

Nominated by Ugochukwe Lucy Okere, community member

"Thank you Ms Dugan, for being my child's teacher. When a child loves her teacher, she is eager to learn and looks forward to going to school every morning. She has improved greatly academically because of you. She loves you very much. Thank you!"


Brandon Sellars, School Security Officer, Willard Middle School

Nominated by Michelle Campiglia, principal

"Brandon Sellars excels in his position as an SSO at Willard. He goes out of his way to build relationships with and mentor many of our scholars. We regularly see him chatting with students in the hallway between classes or giving them a fist bump as they leave for the day. Brandon takes pride in his role at Willard and gives 100% every day to keep our community safe. We are so grateful to have him here."

Angela Turner, teacher, Forest Grove Elementary School

Nominated by Sidra Naved, community member

"Mrs. Angela Turner is enrolled in a Master's program with a specialty in Reading. She is learning a lot about the Science of Reading, which she has already started to implement into her classroom. By doing so, she has seen a tremendous improvement in her students. She implemented the Science of Reading into her reading lesson plans which aligned with the standards. It was pretty impressive! As always, change is hard and others may have been skeptical about change, but she was resilient and kept implementing what she was learning, which can be seen in her student's mid-year scores. As educators, we know teaching students how to read has changed and continues to evolve, especially with the Science of Reading. Her story is really inspirational for educators and I believe more people should know how she has brought MORE confidence in her students by making some changes to how we teach reading. She is truly an amazing teacher who really cares about her students being successful! I highly suggest reaching out to her for more comments! "

Gunjan Kumari, Digital Experience Specialist, Willard Middle School

Nominated by Michelle Yalavarthi, co-worker

"Gunjan Kumari goes above and beyond her duties as Digital Experience Specialist at Willard Middle School. She is willing to do whatever it takes to help staff and students with their technology needs. She is highly knowledgeable, kind and efficient with her work and has helped us greatly with our promethean board in the library. Thank you for being so amazing, Gunjan!

Jessica Kirkland, teacher, Park View High School

Nominated by Antony, student

"I wanna give SHINE to one of my favorite English teachers, Mrs. Kirkland from Park View HS. All of the SHINE is towards you. You’re a fun, understanding, relatable teacher no one has ever seen before and you’re always so fun to hang out with. Props to you- I wanna have classes with you again, because all of the laughs and the thrills you give out to your classes."

Tammi Bell, Area Transportation Supervisor

Nominated by Elia Ryan, dispatcher 

"Tammi deals with a lot of information and people and she has the right/appropriate answer for the situation presented. Whenever there is a question, Tammi has the answer and will often explain things, so they are easy to understand and retain. She interacts with co-workers and the public in a wonderful way- I have always admired her calm poise even when situations get crazy! Tammi has a smooth way to lead her group in dispatch; she evaluates situations and explains things in a way that is understandable and gives instructions that are easy to follow. Tammi is a hardworking supervisor, always answering the phone when she is "on the floor" with us dispatchers. She has a positive way to look at things, and I am grateful that she is my supervisor."

Mark Muldowney, teacher, Round Hill Elementary School

Nominated by Sara Williams, community member 

"Mr. Muldowney is an incredible fifth grade teacher who has been an unwavering source of support and encouragement for our son. From the moment our son stepped into his classroom, Mr. Muldowney has gone above and beyond to help him grow both socially and academically. He sees the whole child, and encourages our son to be his best self both inside and outside of the classroom. Mr. Muldowney’s passion and energy for teaching is evident in everything he does, and has made a profound impact on our son’s confidence and enthusiasm for learning. He has created a safe and inclusive environment where our son feels valued, accepted, and empowered. Mr. Muldowney’s dedication to understand and accommodate our son’s unique needs has truly been remarkable. The impact that he has made on his growth cannot be overstated. Despite all his efforts and dedication, Mr. Muldowney remains incredibly humble and gives all of the credit to our son. Mr. Muldowney works tirelessly to make sure he shines. He has been the driving force in our son's progress and success. Mr. Muldowney’s genuine care and dedication to each of his students' growth, combined with his humility, make him an exceptional teacher. We are so grateful for Mr. Muldowney and the positive influence he has had on our son and all of his students. We need more teachers like him."

Maria Gore, teacher, Willard Middle School

Nominated by Gela Russell, assistant principal 

"Maria Gore is the teacher that you not only want as a part of your school, but also need. She is able to bring science alive for our scholars with interactive activities, such as a recent convection, conduction, and radiation activity that looked at the various ways in which to cook popcorn to thoughtfully show students the difference between the three. She has this way of thoughtfully approaching her scholars, so they know that they can do anything. Moreover, she is a community builder, as seen in her organization of various team building activities such as our Valentine’s Day gathering. She believes in the power of a small group of people doing amazing things, and we are forever thankful to have crossed paths with her."

Nicole Bacharach, teacher, Goshen Post Elementary School

Nominated by Laura Smith, community member 

"Having Mrs. Bacharach for 2nd grade has been such a blessing for our son. He is a shy student who struggles with anxiety, but with the guidance of Mrs. Bacharach has started confidently socializing with peers and has become more independent. I have watched him go from starting each day with tears, to now looking forward to his days at school. Mrs. Bacharach’s calm and patient demeanor coupled with her experience has helped her connect with our son and think of creative solutions to ease his anxiety and make him more available to learn. She has been extremely communicative and has gone out of her way to make sure our son feels comfortable at school. In addition to our son’s social/ emotional growth we have noticed academic growth as well. He began the year as a tier 2 student, but now no longer requires intervention. My family is so grateful for her kindness and expertise."

Sophia Ra, teacher, Little River Elementary School

Nominated by Ashley Blossom, community member

"We wanted to take a moment to express our deepest gratitude for the incredible support and guidance that Ms.Ra has provided for our son,throughout this 5th grade year. Ms.Ra’s dedication to fostering not only academic growth but also personal development has not gone unnoticed. From the moment our son entered her classroom, it was evident that she possessed a rare gift for inspiring and motivating students. Her passion for teaching shines through in everything she does, and it has made a profound impact. More than just imparting knowledge, she has been a mentor and a source of encouragement for our son. Her patience, kindness, and unwavering belief in his abilities have helped him overcome challenges and strive for excellence. As a parent, witnessing his growth under her guidance has been truly heartwarming. Ms.Ra’s commitment to nurturing a supportive learning environment has not only shaped academic achievements, but also instilled in him a sense of confidence and self-belief that will undoubtedly serve him well in the future. In a world where teachers often go unrecognized for their dedication and hard work, we want to ensure that Ms.Ra knows just how much she is valued and appreciated, her influence extends far beyond the classroom, and the difference she makes in the lives of her students is immeasurable."

Iris Zelaya de Castillo, custodian, Guilford Elementary School

Nominated by Ana Castro, community member

"Iris is one of our custodial staff members. She always goes above and beyond what she has to do in our school. She always has a smile on her face and does everything with a good attitude. When we have our Parent Coffee Hours she always goes out of her way to help set up and help with clean up. She is always busy and always being called to do various tasks around our building. Our building is in good shape because of her hard work. She is great at building relationships with staff and with our students. She is an amazing human being!

Erin Klotz, Forest Grove Elementary School

Nominated by Brittany Lewis, community member 

"Erin Klotz has gone above and beyond as a leader in our school! After the previous teachers on our third grade team left our school, Erin moved from her previous grade level to be team lead for a grade level that she had not previously taught. An SOL grade at that! She has brought together a team of teachers that include those that are brand new to teaching and new to LCPS. Even with other challenges that her team has faced, Erin shows up every day willing to support all students as well as her teammates. With her enthusiasm and the smile that she shows up with each day, she truly embodies the “Champion” aspect of our school pillars. She is constantly going above and beyond to support our staff and students. She is an asset to our school and a wonderful coworker!"

Keenan Elder, counselor, Brambleton Middle School

Nominated by Christy Rivas, community member

"My daughter was having a rough time transitioning from grade school to middle school. Keenan Elder (Middle School Counselor) was there to listen to my concerns about her locker and some of her classes. She was eating alone at lunch on one of her A or B days and she was having so much anxiety about even going to school. Keenan took her aside without letting her know that I had contacted him just to touch base with her to see how her school year was going and he let her know that he was there if she had any questions. He was able to work out her locker situation and was able to get her feeling much better about going to school. This is huge when you have a child that repeats every day of how she doesn't want to go to school and makes every excuse to stay home. He helped her again this school year with a situation and has been a life saver. She is getting good grades in school and is a much happier person. He is amazing at his job!!"

Gillian Smith, teacher, Willard Middle School

Nominated by Maura McSorley, student

"Mrs. Smith is an amazing art teacher at Willard middle school and teaches us how to show our feelings and creativity through art."