Back to top

Strengths in Action Awards

Strengths in Action Awards

The “Strengths in Action” award recognizes a Five Star employee, family or community member who exemplifies one of our ELEVATE strengths in an extraordinary way: care, collaboration, empower, engage or focus on students.

FOCUS ON STUDENTS: Danielle Esa, Second Grade Teacher, Stukey Elementary
“Danielle is a second grade teacher at our school. This year, she has several newcomer students in her classroom. Whenever there is a new newcomer student to our school, she graciously asks that they be put into her classroom. Danielle goes above and beyond to make them feel welcome. She has built a warm and welcoming environment where students are comfortable taking risks even if they make a mistake. She is very knowledgeable about ELL strategies around purposeful grouping, vocabulary, multiple ways to demonstrate learning, and other supports to allow ELL's to succeed. She is always so encouraging and positive. She engaged in a newcomer coaching cycle earlier this year and collaborated with teachers to ensure all newcomers K-5 were being supported. She works closely with our ELL team, instructional coach, and assistant principal on implementing ELL strategies. She has transformed her classroom this year to meet the needs of her students, has created SEVERAL different activities at all different levels in all different subjects, and scaffolds her instruction. She makes sure that every voice, experience, and culture is heard and valued in the room. She advocates for her newcomers in DDI cycles and makes sure the instructional moves are best for her students. At ILT, she always brings work to celebrate her newcomers and you can see how proud she is!  Ex: We just learned formative strategies at our last meeting and she has already implemented them with her newcomers (and other students). She volunteers her classroom for teachers and district staff to come in and see what she is doing with her newcomers and always asks for feedback to further push herself!   She works closely and collaborates with our newcomer classroom assistant,  Kai, in creating purposeful and high leverage activities at their level. She just received her masters in CLD in December and if you walk into her classroom on any given day, you would see evidence of this!!!” -Staff member