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Hopkins Foundation honoring USD 253 teachers

Students at local schools are fired up about Wednesday's Hopkins Foundation Star Performer and Wow Award winners.

At Riverside, physical education teacher Steve Pletcher won $1,500.

At Logan Avenue, instructional strategist Judy Giger won a $1,500 Star Performer award. Also, library aide Rhonda Stone received a $1,000 Wow Award.

Emporia Middle School had vocal music teacher Kelly Barrett and literacy teacher Colleen Mitchell win $1,500 Star Performer awards, while teachers aide Alicia Herrarte won a $1,000 Wow Award.

Maynard Early Childhood Center para-educator Maria Rico won $1,000.

District staffers winning $1,000 were purchasing and inventor specialist Dan Freeman; electronic media resource engineer Dave Leiker; migrant student and family resources specialist Patricia Reyes and student and family resources specialist Heather Wagner.

Additional awards are coming Thursday.

This is the 12th year for the program recognizing Emporia teachers, and it's the first time the district is splitting the awards over two days. This also follows announcements last week by North Lyon County, South Lyon County and Emporia's parochial schools.

The Hopkins Foundation has been handing out cash awards to teachers and support staffers exemplifying the best in education. This year, the foundation decided to cap teacher payouts at $1,500 and staffer awards at $1,000, hoping to honor more teachers through the program.

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