Retiring Grand County High School math teacher Ed DeFrancia was named the district’s Teacher of the Year. Receiving the Employee of the Year award was Mike McCue, who has worked as a special education para-educator for the past six years at Grand County Middle School.
In addition, Carol Hoggard was named the district’s 2013-2014 Friend of Education for her extensive volunteer work in the schools. GCHS math teacher Allison Brown also received the district’s “Rising Star” award.
DeFrancia, who was one of the keynote speakers at GCHS graduation on May 22, was lauded for his 17 years of service at the high school, as an educator and as a coach. He also briefly served as an assistant principal.
“The way [DeFrancia] teaches makes students want to become better at math and in life,” said Grand County Board of Education member Jim Webster. “He devotes many hours to help develop individuals to be prepared for life outside of school.”
“Grand County School District will be losing a great teacher, a great man, and a great influence with his retirement,” Webster added.
Hoggard was recognized for her many hours of service as a school volunteer. Her commendation, which was read by school board member Melissa Byrd, stated that Hoggard had logged 92 volunteer hours during the month of March alone, many of them spent reading with students at Helen M. Knight Elementary School.
“You can’t slow Carol down,” Byrd said. “She uses her artificial knee and rheumatoid arthritis as excuses for staying active.”
Hoggard also volunteers for Moab Solutions picking up trash and recycling along the Mill Creek trail, as well as for Seekhaven, Grand County Hospice, and the Canyonlands Care Center, Byrd noted.
McCue was commended for his willingness to “help with anything.”
“He is hard working and dependable,” said school board member Bryon Walston. “He’s positive and optimistic. He’s easy to work with and kind. He never complains.”
The district also introduced its new “Rising Star” award, and presented it to Brown, who just finished her second year as a GCHS math teacher. Brown was commended for her dedication and commitment, including many hours spent working with students in after-school tutoring sessions.
“She is the ultimate professional in every way,” stated Brown’s commendation, which concluded, “She is a superstar among teachers, and she doesn’t know it because it is not about her … it is about the kids.”
Retiring GCHS English teacher Richard Jenkinson was also honored during the meeting, as were various other employees who had reached five-year incremental milestones of service with the district.
“Have an enjoyable summer. Everyone get recharged and we’ll see you in the fall,” said Grand County School District Superintendent Scott Crane as the ceremony concluded.