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April 2023 Staff Recognition - Congratulations!

May 16, 2023

Portrait pictures of each April staff recognition winners

Each month, the District recognizes staff members who have exemplified the Learning Without Limits tenets (connecting with others, engaging in rigorous learning, owning the learning, and solving complex problems) and those who have been a vital link or chainmaker. All SGASD staff are invited to nominate and be nominated.

The staff members chosen for the April recognition are below, as well as a description of each category. 

Congratulations, everyone! We applaud the amazing work that you are doing each and every day!

April 2023 Staff Recognition Winners

Engaging In Rigorous Learning:

  • Steve Perago - SGAHS Teacher
    • "Steve is an excellent teacher who holds his students to high standards and pushes them to engage in rigorous learning. As the College in the High School teacher for English, he is truly preparing them for college and beyond."

  • Jason Baker - SGAHS Teacher
    • "In addition to teaching a variety of different courses, Mr. Baker advises the History Club and coaches the Bowling team and the Mock Trial team. Mr. Baker offers a variety of hands-on opportunities to his students, allowing them to experience the learning for themselves. He engages students in class with unique and challenging activities. In fact, many students take multiple classes with Mr. Baker during their four years of high school because the coursework is unique and the content is applicable. He offers field trip experiences that teach students life skills. And his teams experience high levels of success. The Bowling team won 2nd place at the state level last year, and he continues to build momentum behind the program this year. The Mock Trial Team consistently places at the state level, and some of the students take advantage of additional speaking competitions with the mentorship of Mr. Baker. Mr. Baker is truly invested in the success of the students inside and outside of the classroom, and his dedication deserves acknowledgment and appreciation. Thank you, Mr. Baker. We sincerely appreciate your time and effort to facilitate the engagement and the achievement of so many students at Spring Grove Area High School."

Connecting With Others:

  • Tuesday DeCello - SGE Nutrition Services
    • "Tuesday does her best to make sure students have a happy lunch experience. Problems happen every day- equipment breaks, short/staffed, sad students. She rolls with it and does what she can fix it. The kettle broke while making potpie- plan b and the same delicious potpie was made. A student was not happy with lunch- proper steps taken - the next day he was smiling as he got his lunch. Tuesday played an important part in solving these problems. She volunteered her time to help with the talent show at SGE, and made sure the students were ready to go on stage with things they needed to perform."
  • Gary Harris - SGAHS Special Education Teacher
    • "Gary works with senior special education students preparing them for graduation and the world beyond. He works with each of his students to ensure they are successfully meeting the criteria to graduate. Gary puts in a lot of extra hours to help his students succeed. He is also the department chair and always lends an ear to listen. Gary is a team player and empowers his department to be successful in their classrooms."

Owning The Learning:

  • Emily Wryk - SGAHS Teacher
    • "Emily makes connections with students easily. She exudes a calm presence that makes her approachable, and therefore, many students seek her out when they are struggling academically or emotionally. She provides different perspectives that students can relate to and offers guidance when she is able to. A student told me yesterday that she loves having Mrs. Wryk the last period of the day because she feels she can decompress after a busy day at school."

  • Pat Craig - SGAHS Launch Program Teacher
    • "Pat works at the Launch Program at the High School. He works with teachers and students to ensure all students' needs are met. Pat connects with students through strong relationships. When students transfer out of Launch, he is intentional about checking in with those students in the mainstream. Pat cares deeply about each of his students and their families." 

Solving Complex Problems:

  • Mitch Warner - District Maintenance
    • "Mitch works hard with the electrical, game field preparations, and safety and security for the district. He takes pride in his work and has great customer service skills. He is a member of the Accident Prevention Committee and the School, Safety, and Security Committee. He has the ability to troubleshoot systematically." 
  • Kevin Durgin - SGE Custodian
    • "Kevin has been employed at SGE for 21 years. His experience has been an exceptional asset to the custodial team. Oftentimes, the team has to rely on Kevin's job knowledge to respond to everyday challenges." 


  • Melissa Dantro - NSE Teacher
    • "Melissa has gone above and beyond to share ideas, lessons, activities, resources, and procedures that she uses in her classroom. I am only in my second year at my grade level, and she has reached out to me throughout last year and this year, always willing to lend a hand, as she knows how challenging it is to be new to a grade level. She is enthusiastic, kind, fun, and recognizes that educators are all in this together. She recognizes that supporting one another is essential and is one of our purposes in this career. Thank you, Melissa!"



  • Melissa Sneeringer - SGE Librarian
    • "Melissa has been incredibly welcoming and kind during my first few months of employment. She is extremely open to questions and new ideas. She has allowed me to make connections with staff and students, as well as tailor my processes to my strengths. Her willingness to really listen to my thoughts and ideas has allowed us to make changes that have been complimented by fellow staff members and students. She has made my transition into my position a wonderful experience! She is truly an amazing mentor and teammate."

Descriptions of Recognition Categories

Connecting With Others: 
Those who have gone above and beyond in connecting peers, students, and or community members in order to expand opportunities for each other, the district, and/or our students. 

Engaging in Rigorous Learning:
Those who have provided opportunities for students, themselves, and/or each other that challenge, engage, or expand capacities and/or cultivate learning.

Owning the Learning:
Those who have encouraged others to explore, discuss, research, and/or investigate to help others or themselves find answers and/or work together.

Solving Complex Problems:
Those who have worked creatively toward solving an issue or have identified a problem and have brought forward potential solutions to that problem. They do not give up easily, whether they are helping a student, peer, or themselves. They may also have fostered creative problem-solving among students or peers. 

Those who have gone above and beyond to form positive relationships and to serve our Spring Grove community. This person serves as a connection and sets out to encourage, equip and empower our students, faculty, staff, and families.

Those who recognize that all people need chains of human connection; everyone deserves someone who tries to bring them back to shore when the tides are tough. Chain-makers see problems and actively try to solve those problems. They are solution forward. They lend their strength to others when they are in need of support.