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April's G.E.M. Award Recipient


Abby Ross, GEM Award Recipient, Tim Winter Mary Kaye Siebert, Amy FlinnCongratulations to Abby Ross, Title 1 Teacher at West Elementary, April’s G.E.M. Award recipient.


I’d like to nominate Mrs. Abby Ross for the USD 320 Gem Award.  Mrs. Ross is a Title 1 teacher at West Elementary.  She definitely goes the extra mile for the students and staff alike.  Her upbeat personality is contagious!  It is really hard to have a bad day when Mrs. Ross is around. She is everyone’s cheerleader.  Her positivity encourages her students to be the best they can be.  She has high standards, and her students rise to her expectations.  They know she wants what is best for them. 


Mrs. Ross builds relationships with all of our students at West Elementary by consistently greeting them in the hallways, at breakfast, and outside after school.  She spends one on one time with students in need.  They are open with her because they trust her.  She also lends a listening ear to all staff and offers assistance to anyone in need by sharing materials, giving instructional advice, or just giving a boost in spirit! 


By putting in countless hours learning new technologies and assessments, she not only helps her students build their reading skills, but she also efficiently measures their progress.  She is very effective in sharing her instructional and assessment knowledge with staff. She is responsible for coordinating the testing for the whole school and puts together the reading assessment materials for every grade level. 


Mrs. Ross’s presence around the school makes everyone feel good about being here.  She is warm and accepting to everyone she meets.  These reasons, and many more, are why I believe she deserves the GEM award.  Thank you for your consideration.


“It makes me smile to see children leaning over a table, dig into a book, solve problems, and construct meaning. These precious children are becoming lifelong readers and experiencing the excitement of getting lost in a book”. This quote is a true statement for Reading Specialist, Abby Ross. On a daily basis, Abby goes above and beyond her expected duties to make West Elementary a safe, warm, and inviting place for all students and staff.


Abby’s dedication to literacy and reading instruction is evident; she spends not only school time, but personal time preparing lessons that are interesting and engaging for students. She creates lessons for all grade levels at West Elementary and is strategic at reading and keeping up on the latest research and best practices for students. With her passion for teaching, enthusiasm, and the joy she brings each day instills the love of reading with her students.


Abby’s heart is with not only the students she teaches, but with students she has taught in the past. She stays current with how all her students are reading, both present and past, and is in constant contact with the classroom teachers. She has a unique talent to build personal relationships with her students. Her students feel “at home” in her classroom and know they will get positive feedback from her as they give their best efforts.


Abby also prepares and coordinates all the testing for the whole school and is in constant communication with classroom teachers on how to implement the tests. She puts in countless hours learning new technologies and assessments that will efficiently measure the student’s progress and determine how to improve her instruction on how to best meet the needs of her students. She is always willing to share her instructional knowledge with fellow teachers and also have a conversation on how to change instruction so each student is having success as a reader and a writer.


Abby sets an example of what an educator should be: a team player, positivity, enthusiasm, and unconditional love that impacts and makes a difference in students’ lives. Her passion for teaching is contagious, her joy she shows to all of her students, and her upbeat attitude personify what a teacher should be. USD 320 is a better place because of Abby. These and many more reasons are why I am honored to nominate Abby Ross as a true definition of what a GEM is and should be.


Thank you to our sponsors:

Gene’s Heartland Foods

Paramour Coffee

Friendship House

Short Stop

Spirits of 76

Brown’s Chevrolet Buick

Columbian Theater

Gambino’s pizza.

Sparrow Specialty Coffee

Daylight Donuts