End of Year Staff Recognition Reception



Honored retirees included

  • Pam Maxey is retiring after 11 years. She served as a 6th grade Special Education teacher, District Process Coordinator and for the past three years she was the Director of Special Services.
  • Crystal Parson is retiring after 29 years. She taught 5th grade for 24 years and for the past 5 years she’s been a first grade teacher at the Pleasant Hill Primary School.
  • Cindy McManis is retiring after 38 years. She joined the District in August 1981 and has served as the Art teacher for the Pleasant Hill Middle School.
  • Troy Wickman is retiring after 29 years. He served as a Foreign Language teacher at the High School since joining the District in August 1990.
  • Penny Cole retired in January after 19 years. She served as a paraprofessional for the District.
  • Margaret Kosfeld retired in March after 24 years. She served as the Lead Custodian and day custodian at the Pleasant Hill Intermediate School.



Chamber Teacher of the Year

Congratulations to High School Counselor, Jessica Janis for receiving the Chamber of Commerce Teacher of the Year. She was recognized by the Pleasant Hill Chamber of Commerce in an award ceremony back in January. Congratulations again for this well deserved honor!


Rookie Awards went to staff members who have completed their first year with the Pleasant Hill School District. They included:

Tyler Bruns, Jessica Cagle, Heather Camuso, Amanda Carpenter, Jaime Clodfelter, Rachel Cole, Jacob Corcoran, Elizabeth Donaldson, James Evans, Kaitlin Farr, Steven Gant, Jackie Green, Nick Hanzivasilis, Nicole Hartman, LeAnn Hauck, Mikala Hays, Michelle Kearfott, Katherine Keith, Katelyn Land, Staci Logan, Sue Manion, Abbey Manning, Amanda Myers, Rob Parker, Weslee Pearce, Pamela Pressley, Alec Rentschler, Jillian Schleiden, Melissa Sebree , Candy Shanley, Marla Stone, Kelsey Urioste, Jacob VanSlyke, Mandie Wesley, Lori Williams, Sherry Woodward-Beck, Daniel Yung




The Excellence in Education Award is designed to recognize an overall contribution to education by an educator. Candidates should have the ability to inspire learning, should show genuine concern for students and should be active in their profession and/or community. (A ‘certificated’ recipient was recognized from each building. Each building’s Excellence in Education Award recipient then competed for the District honor of Teacher of the Year)

  • The Primary School Excellence in Education Award went to Kindergarten teacher, Danielle Wenger. Danielle was selected because passionate and positive are 2 words to describe her. She truly cares about each of her ‘nuggets, as she lovingly refers to her students. She has a strong desire to see every one of them succeed and despite the many challenges and the variety of needs of her students, she has managed to find a way to meet the needs of Every student, Every day in her classroom, moving kids from Below Basic and Basic on Fastbridge testing to Meets Expectations and Exceeds Expectations. Helping her kids to be successful requires a lot of extra time and work but she goes the extra mile every day to ensure her students are achieving at the highest level. She is highly respected and we are lucky to have her as part of our staff, Congratulations Danielle! 

  • The Elementary School Excellence in Education Award went to Special Education Fourth Grade Co-teacher, Abbey Manning. Even though this is her first year in the District, you would never know it. She does what is best for the students by always putting their needs first. She takes time out of her day to build a connection because whether or not students are in her classes, she can be found talking to or helping them. Not only is she helpful to students, she is also a wonderful support to the PHES staff. She is a wealth of ideas and is willing to share, teach and model for others. She helped train the staff on our RTI Program and was busy sorting and organizing all the materials needed. She is an excellent co-teacher and partner and a wonderful role model for our staff. Congratulations Abbey, on this honor.

  • The Intermediate School Excellence in Education Award went to 5th Grade Science and Social Studies teacher, Dana DeMoure-Umscheid. Dana was selected because she teaches with great passion and enthusiasm. She is a kind and compassionate teacher and her love of government definitely shines through with her unique lessons that engage her students. To make learning as authentic as possible, it is not unusual for her to dress the part of a historian or to bring in items (such as animal organs). She will often stay late to help students work to improve grades, to reteach a missing concept or to catch up a student who has been absent. She sponsors several after school clubs to connect with students. These opportunities provide outlets for many students and are often packed with both 5th and 6th She is truly an amazing teacher who believes in growing professionally and will take risks, Congratulations Dana!

  • The Middle School Excellence in Education Award went to Self-Contained Special Education teacher, Kayla Heishman. Kayla was selected because students in her classroom are learning and finding a new love of learning due to her enthusiastic approach. Due to the diverse needs of the students in her classroom, it is not uncommon for her to be providing instruction in 2 to 3 subjects per hour. This takes an amazing amount of planning and organization to pull off so seamlessly and she does so daily. Her special education paperwork is always up-to-date and she is well prepared for IEPS and evaluation meetings. She models respect, determination, caring and positivity in every interaction with students, staff and administrators. She truly embraces the motto of Every Student, Every Day, Congratulations Kayla!

  • The High School Excellence in Education Award went to High School Assistant Principal, Celia Davidson. Celia was selected because she is a tireless advocate for our students. Her job includes enforcing attendance and discipline policies, making her an intimidating figure to many students. But her ability to comfort, nurture and ask the right questions, allows students to trust her to get to the heart of the academic and attendance challenges our students face. She is passionate, knowledgeable, fast-paced and her abilities do not end with the administrative side. As a coworker she promotes team spirit and is always one of the first to bring food for a celebration or drop what she is doing to help a staff member, student or parent. Her ability to find the right balance between the students wants, what a parent needs and what is practical for the building is indeed a skill.   Congratulations Celia on this honor!  

  • The Educator of the Year went to Dana DeMoure-Umscheid. Dana loves her students and will work above and beyond to help them be successful. She devotes countless hours outside of the school day (and often during each weekend) preparing for her lessons to make them rich learning experiences. To quote Maya Angelou “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel, this is how Mrs. D’s students feel when they leave her. Congratulations to the Educator of the Year, Dana DeMoure-Umscheid!


The ABC award is presented annually to a classified staff person who has given outstanding service to the school district.  We look particularly for the person who has significantly contributed to the mission of the school and to the overall educational climate.


  • The ABC Award goes to Early Childhood Special Educational paraprofessional, Jennifer Meiries. Jennifer was selected because she inspires students to think, take risks, meet new challenges and achieve new skills. She goes above and beyond to find whatever strategy it takes to assist each student in meeting their IEP goals and developing their skills. She searches for engaging ways to teach different skills and concepts of our curriculum by finding and incorporating new educational ideas that assist the students in learning the different concepts. She seeks out the kiddos who are having a rough day and does what she can to work with them and make them feel special. Her kind words and actions are what the kids see and hear each and every day. Her lap is never empty at circle or story time, as the students know she will provide a secure spot to learn, Congratulations Jennifer.


1st Semester Perfect Attendance (July through Dec. 2018)

Primary School

Victoria Caskey, Kaitlin Farr, LeAnn Haack, Katherine Keith, Pam Pressley, Cerine Proudfit


Elementary School

Michelle Carey, Amanda Cook, Kristine Faitz, Mindy Halfmann, Jessica Ladd, Melissa Sebree


Intermediate School

Kari Barger, Brook Filis, Linda Greve, Amanda McNealy, Erin Werges


Middle School

Tonya Pearce, Tammy Prewitt, Kate Zrust


High School

Sean Berry, George Creason, Celia Davidson, Karen Dollins, Johna Geist, Tina Kemerling, Jim Oliver, Daniel Yung




Photos provided by Betty Beason