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Congratulations, DMUSD Employees of the Month, September 2020!

Del Mar Union School District

Employees of the Month

September 2020


Link to Photos of September 2020 Employees of the Month


Ashley Falls, Maestra Vickie Anderson, Spanish Language Immersion Teacher

We would like to honor Maestra Vickie Anderson as the teacher of the month for the month of September.  Maestra Anderson is new to our district, and Ashley Falls, but not new to education.  With over twenty years of teaching experience, she has brought a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the Ashley Falls community in an effort to start and develop our Second Language Immersion Program.  Throughout the short time she has been with us, she has gone above and beyond to create an engaging, joyous, and meaningful experience for students that have chosen to participate in our SLIP program.  We are excited to have her here and look forward to seeing how our students will blossom under her influence, and how the program will grow with her guidance.    


Carmel Del Mar, Alia Thorsen, Kindergarten Launch Teacher

CDM is thrilled to announce Alia Thorsen as our selection for the September Employee of the Month!  This year Alia is a kindergarten Launch teacher whose virtual classroom supports students’ learning through the use of established routines purposefully designed to set her students up for success.

Alia is committed to making sure her instruction meets the needs of each one of her learners.  She provides meaningful learning opportunities throughout the day to ensure all students are motivated to actively engage in authentic learning.  Alia embraces a culture of thinking and in her classroom student thinking is visible, valued and actively promoted as part of the regular day-to-day experience for her kindergarteners.

Alia is a dedicated member of our staff, a valued member of the Launch kindergarten team and she is masterful in creating a warm and welcoming first school experience for her young students.  We are grateful for Alia’s extraordinary flexilbility and her dedication to doing whatever it takes to design a kindergarten program where all students experience the joy of learning. Congratulations, Alia!


Del Mar Heights, Nathaniel Cardoso, STEAM+Art/ Integration Teacher

Nathaniel Cardoso, we are so excited to announce Nathaniel Cardoso as our September Employee of the Month! Nathaniel is our Arts and Integration Teacher and has hit the ground running from his very first day at Del Mar Heights! His creativity and enthusiasm for Art truly shines through and he adds a special touch to most events we have had at our site, from the Talent Show, Cultural Heights to grade level performances. His knowledge and vast experience are appreciated, and he always goes above and beyond to provide our students with the exposure to art in all mediums that is second to none! Nathaniel’s positivity and warm personality makes him a team player and he is always willing to jump in and help whenever asked and he truly adds something special to our staff here at Del Mar Heights. Congratulations Nathaniel!


Del Mar Hills, Stephanie Ilkhanipour, Fifth Grade Teacher

Del Mar Hills is proud to honor Mrs. Stephanie Ilkhanipour as our Employee of the Month! Creative, student centered, forward thinking are words to describe Mrs. Ilkhanipour! She adores her children and cares deeply about educating the whole child. She creates a culture of thinking with her students and is continually responsive to their needs. As teachers were learning new technology to start the school year, Mrs. Ilkhanipour has been extremely supportive with assisting teachers in a variety of ways. Our teachers and students know they can trust Mrs. Ilkhanipour and appreciate her positivity and encouragement. Congratulations to Mrs. Ilkhanipour! We are so grateful you are a SurfRider! 


Ocean Air, Kate Daniel, Sixth Grade Teacher

Ocean Air School is thrilled to announce Mrs. Kate Daniel as Ocean Air’s Teacher of the Month! Kate is masterful at creating a fun and engaging learning environment where children are supported to share their thinking and consider the viewpoints of others. Kate’s willingness to go the extra mile ranges from supporting staff members with teaching approaches and technology needs, to unifying the students, staff, and parents of Ocean Air by designing activities to bring our community together during school closures. Congratulations Kate! 


Sage Canyon, Michele Chavez, Fourth Grade Teacher

Sage Canyon’s September Employee of the Month is Michele Chavez.  Michele is a student-centered educator.  She dedicates herself to meeting the needs of each individual child, helping them grow academically and socially, and feel confident in their abilities.  Michele works tirelessly to engage and support all students in the learning process.  She creates a learning environment that encourages constructive and productive interactions among students.  Michele leads in many ways on her team, at our school site, and for our school district.  Her focus is on supporting two new teammates and ensuring there are positive experiences for all fourth-grade students at Sage Canyon.  We are grateful to have her as part of our team!


Sycamore Ridge, Ashli Hansen, Fourth/Fifth Combo Teacher

Sycamore Ridge School is thrilled to share that Ashli Hansen is our Employee of the Month.   Mrs. Hansen is an exceptional educator and a highly regarded teacher by both staff and families in the Sycamore Ridge school community. She is skilled at meeting every child’s specific needs in her classroom and seamlessly supports and extends children’s learning.  Mrs. Hansen has a natural ability to connect with her students and build meaningful relationships. This August, Mrs. Hansen welcomed a 4/5 combination class with grace and flexibility.  Her team shared that Ashli has an incredible dedication to her craft.  When learning something new, she makes sure to understand every aspect before moving forward. All those around her greatly admire her focus and efficiency. Congratulations, Ashli!


Torrey Hills, Cindy Monaghan, Speech Language Specialist

Torrey Hills would like to recognize Cindy Monaghan as our Employee of the Month! Cindy supports students with their Speech and Language Services. Cindy is an exceptional educator who goes above and beyond to support her colleagues, her students, and families. She is always student centered and helps students make exceptional growth! Cindy helps support our youngest learners with our preschool assessments and services and has a caring way of helping parents understand the beginning of their journey with special education. Cindy is very skilled in her craft yet continues to learn and constantly strives to grow and adapt in her abilities. We are so fortunate to have her at Torrey Hills supporting our students in our preschool and our DMUSD Launch program!


Early Childhood Education, Emily Weiss, Infant/Toddler Teacher

Our ECDC employee of the month is Emily Weiss, she is an ECDC teacher at the Ashley Falls ECDC location. Emily has been with the DMUSD for over a decade in providing loving care and supervision. Emily is currently the support staff for the infant and toddler classrooms, and spends some time helping the administration team in any way possible. The ECDC saw tremendous growth in Emily the past 6 months during the COVID-19 circumstance. Not only did Emily dedicate herself to working over the summer, she provided extraordinary positivity, enthusiasm, and dedication to her position. Emily has worked diligently to help get the ECDC up and running, without any hesitation. If I were to describe Emily in one word, it would be: Flexible. During a time of such uncertainty and evolving situations, flexibility was exactly what the ECDC needed- and Emily has done wonderful. I couldn’t be more proud of her!!!


District Office, Tiana Barton, Business Services & Purchasing Supervisor Tiana Barton Congratulations Tiana Barton, Business Services and Purchasing Supervisor!  It is hard to believe that Tiana has only been with the District little over a year, because starting with day one she has worked on some very important District agreements and has become an integral part of the Business Services Department.  She tackles each day with a smile and is always optimistic.  She always strives to do what is best for the District, Staff and Students, and has worked diligently to assure that in-person and long-distance classrooms have what they need. We are so grateful for Tiana!