• Please join us in congratulating our new HEART Champions:



    CHAMPION: Marcus Kalmeborg, Programmer/Analyst of Financial Technical Support         

    NOMINATOR: Olivia Simuoli, Data Analysis           

    Olivia shared, it was hard for her to pick just one instance when you not only helped her out, but helped her out immensely. She said that is because it is a regular occurrence, noting that she reaches out to you at least twice a week, and you consistently provide her with immediate support when it comes to her questions on Workday reporting.  In keeping with our goal to deliver a stellar customer experience EVERY DAY, EVERY TIME, she shared that “every time I reach out to him, he responds within minutes and is ready to help”. She goes on to share, that you take the time to understand the problem and then instantly starts to look into it. She continues to say “He has never once told me that he will get to it later - he always provides immediate help. He also takes the time to research the issue on the Workday help forum if he doesn't have an immediate answer, and he has no doubt invested countless hours in helping me improve my Workday reporting and dashboards.” She describes you as an extremely empathetic and is an invaluable thought partner.  Marcus, we your Communicate with HEART Committee, truly appreciate your customer service skills and agree your fellow Educator Olivia that YOU embody the principles of H.E.A.R.T., thank you!


    CHAMPION: Senaida Perez - Multilingual Family Engagement & Students Support

    NOMINATOR: Jose Gonzalez, Manager - Multilingual/Multicultural Office


    Senaida provides daily supports for families in need.  Since the Hurricane Maria events, Mrs. Perez has solely connected families with the basic needs resources for families to have a positive start in Cleveland.  Her firm belief is that our job is to educate the whole child.  This means that if the family is not doing well or is going through difficult times, it is her job to assist them into being well in order for their child to be successful.  She also made sure she connected our department and herself with community agencies and collaborative groups in order to connect families and provide all needs such as, but not limited to shelter, food, home furnishings, job placements, education, among others.  She takes pride in her work with these partnerships such as the Hispanic Roundtable, Tri-C Bienvenidos Collaborative, West side collaborative group, among many more. She truly is the meaning of service with Heart and has exhibited the “R” in this model with true sincerity as she builds strong relationships and rapport with our customers.



    CHAMPION: Bridgette Seneff

    NOMINATOR: Dr. Irene Javier, Principal – Lincoln West


    Nominator Irene Javier writes, "One unique component of our school design is the opportunity of our students to learn and prepare for college and careers through core competencies, expeditions, service learning, all of which are experienced by students by identifying a solution to a problem/s of local, national, and global significance. On January 2-9, a group of students and teachers from Lincoln West traveled to Cost Rica to visit, learn and collaborate with Earth University. Our team left the country, prior to the required down payment/full payment sent to our vendor Earth University. While abroad, Bridgette continuously navigated the Finance process of making sure that the contract was properly signed and executed, the approval process completed to make sure that payment to the vendor was sent accordingly. She involved connecting Dr. Javier from one person to another, and updating her around the clock on the finance process. During this time, her email sentence starters were always... “Hello Dr. Javier, it’s me again, I just want to make sure.....” “Hello, just making sure that I keep you updated on where we are...”. Thousands of miles away from a foreign country.... Dr. Javier shared, she did this with an enthusiastic voice, and smile which she could easily visualize with each update along with her “get it done attitude”. She did this during holiday break when most staff are on holiday vacation, but she made sure that the students and staff’s (maybe) once in a lifetime experience happened. This ensured that our students and parents not worry about the trip and nor face any financial barriers as part of the trip. She also learned that Dr. Javier had problems with her CMSD email, and without being prompted, she spoke to the IT team to help find solution. She did not stop until the last email says: “payment processed” -- What a great welcome to the new year. She RESPONDED with HEART during every encounter and kept the students and staffs welfare in mind.



    CHAMPION: Darius Dancy – Environmental Service Specialist

    NOMINATOR: David Spanos, Nurse


    Mr. Spanos shared that Darius usually visits his office right after school and that they usually only exchange a few words because Darius has to move pretty quickly to clean the entire second floor in just one shift. But 12/11/18 was different in that Darius r. Spanos shared he thought maybe you were sick or daydreaming. Instead it came out that he felt badly for whoever for whomever was acting out in negative ways and in particular areas of the restroom. Mr. Spanos shared that he was impressed that you didn’t really complain about cleaning up in this instance but that you were thinking of how troubled that soul must have been. Darius also shared that he has cleaned up bathroom stalls with all sorts of things smeared several times over recent months at the school. Mr. Spanos wrote, “I think Darius saved us from being in the news for bad reasons” and per Mr. Spanos, “people like Darius understand he's not just a custodian of property; he's a custodian of the District's reputation”. Darius, we are here today because we agree, you truly responded with HEART and show that the “role of the educator is bigger than the tasks associated with his/her job”. 



    CHAMPION: Tamara Bates-Thomas – Manager, Transportation    

    NOMINATOR: Brenda Gibson - for winning submission (also nominated by Erica McLain)

    Your nominator states, Tamara is a kind and gentle soul who always puts the students first in any situation. She has a very calming and soothing voice. She shared the following scenario where a parent came in to the office very upset about her child's transportation and could not understand the process. You were on lunch at the time, but had the parent sit down and walked her through every step of the process (very detailed). By the end of the meeting the parent was smiling and thanking you for taking the time to listen and correct the issue. Ms. Gibson heard this parent share with Tamara how thankful she was and how she wished everyone could be as understanding and caring as she was. She goes on to say, Tamara is the most thoughtful person I have ever had the pleasure to work with. I work out of Ridge Road Office and she makes everyone feel like family no matter what their job title is. She always takes that extra step to ensure that the parents and her staff have what they need to proceed. Tamara – in this instance thank you for your excellent service recovery displayed through your actions of RESPONDING WITH HEART!



    CHAMPION:  Lori Lively, 8th Grade ELA and Social Studies Teacher


    NOMINATED By: Erica Adams, Coordinator School Quality Reviewer


     After attending the December 2018 CMSD Town Hall, were she saw Principal McNeil speak about inquiry-based learning, Erica Adams was intrigued and wanted to know more. Principal McNeil connected her with the school's 8th grade ELA and SS teacher, Lori Lively. Mrs. Lively invited her fellow Educator to observe in her classroom.  Erica wrote in her nomination “it was such an informative and inspiring morning. Mrs. Lively greeted me on my arrival that morning and took time to familiarize me to inquiry-based learning; during the observation, the practices and benefits of inquiry-based learning became clear. Afterwards, Mrs. Lively took the time to chat with me about what I saw and even escorted me to the door, waving me off with a friendly goodbye and thank you” – this was truly START with HEART in interaction.  Mrs. Lively you received a warm transfer referral from your principal and you executed to “close the loop” - ensuring this inquiry turned into a learning experience for Ms. Adams. It was clear as she shared the details of this encounter, you greeted her, shared your role and told her what to expect, you deliberate took the time to listen and assist, all while building rapport and relationship. This was an interaction with a fellow educator that went "above and beyond" -- thank you for communicating with HEART!



    CHAMPION: Principal Natalie Smith-Benson       

    NOMINATOR: Carolyn Cooper, Substitute Secretary


    Sub Secretary Carolyn Cooper shared that she is an Iowa Maple Alumna, and a long time community resident. Her nomination stated “I've completed several assignments at Iowa Maple School; and I am very impressed with the wonderful leadership and excellent job that Principal Benson is doing.  She shared so much – here is a snippet of her nomination feedback: Principal Benson exemplifies the saying that: "It takes a village, to raise a child." Because she makes sure that her staff is equipped to serve and educate each Scholar, and that her staff is equipped to assist, effectively communicate with, inform, and serve every Scholar's parent or guardian. Principal Benson always goes above and beyond, showing the staff and subs how much she appreciates them. In her experience as a Substitute Secretary, Ms. Cooper states -- NO OTHER (capital letters!) Principal has shown her ANY appreciation, except for Principal Benson, and your heartfelt, sincere kindness and professionalism is consistent and valued by your staff. Ms. Cooper shared, you always make sure that she is informed of all scheduled events and meetings, and you took time out of your busy day-- to answer any questions and to teach her how to operate any office equipment that she was unfamiliar with. You played a vital role in ensuring her assignment went smoothly. In all that you do daily, you exemplify and serve as a perfect example of everything CMSD, S.T.A.R.T with HEART and Respond with HEART represents."  Thank you for being a leader with a Heart and for leading with HEART.