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Jennifer Castellano, October Support Staff of the Month
Posted On:
Tuesday, January 19, 2021
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It is with great honor that I introduce the David E Norman (DEN) Elementary nomination for Support Staff of the Month for October, 2020, Ms. Jennifer Castellano.  

Ms. Castellano is going on her second year with White Pine County School District.  She took over a VERY needed position as a second Administrative Assistant at DEN.  She has not only provided support in a very busy office, but has expanded the position making her work essential for the betterment of students at DEN.  She works with Ms. Danner to cover ALL aspects of the DEN front office, however, I would like to bring to the forefront her involvement in two very complex and important areas.

The first area that Ms. Castellano has taken over is attendance.  During the COVID-19 changes, attendance has taken on new meaning as we have students who are attending school fully online, fully in-person or others enrolled in person but attending online while at home during short times of personal or family illness.  To emphasize this complexity, due to the rigorous health safety procedures set in place over the first 4 weeks of school, we have sent over 100 students home for periods of time.  Ms. Castellano keeps track of these students (and staff members) their homework collection and attendance changes as needed.  New codes have been created, new procedures put in place, and Ms. Castellano has been learning with other White Pine County School District Staff and WPCSD Nurse during this process.  She works very closely with District staff to update and change Infinite Campus as needed and works very closely with the District Nurse to ensure the proper people are in school or not in school for health safety reasons.  She helps parents navigate through this maze of bewildering rules to keep their students learning and healthy.  She does this with a positive attitude, helping parents, students, and staff understand and “focus on what unites us rather than what divides us” as written in our District Values.  

She also has taken over the Earn to Learn program.  Formally we used this program to honor students with perfect attendance.  This year, we are focusing more broadly on Students of the week.  In the end, one student from each class will earn a bicycle for citizenship based on a combination of their grades, attendance, behavior, and more. 

We are blessed to have Ms. Castellano at David E Norman.  Her loving personality seeks first to understand as she works with students and uplifts and encourages both students and staff at DEN.  Thank you, Lion’s Club for providing this opportunity to honor her.