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Kirsten Hapsas, Kayla Gewirtz Named May Employees of the Month

Employees of Month May
From left, Superintendent Peter Livingston, school board president Jessica Risler, board members Tom Courtney and Chelsea LaGrange, Kirsten Hapsas, Kayla Gewirtz, school board members Jason Hansen and Jim Harvey. Photo by Olga Fisher
Lucerne Valley Elementary School teacher Kirsten Hapsas and district accountant Kayla Gewirtz were named district Employees of the Month during the  Thursday, May 11th meeting of the district’s Board of Trustees.
With staff members and supporters looking on, Superintendent Peter Livingston presented the awards. 

Certificated- Kirsten Hapsas

“Kirsten has taught at LVES for 2-1⁄2 years now and since the beginning has been a ray of sunshine for our school,” the superintendent said, quoting her nominators. “She came on during COVID and always had a strong desire to do what was in the best interest of our kiddos. She always has a smile on her face and her kids love her. 

“Kirsten started as a 3rd grade teacher and easily fit right in with our school and her grade-level team. She is collaborative and always willing to work on ways to consistently provide high quality lessons to our students. You will always see Mrs. Hapsas working with students when you visit her room. She ensures that all students get the appropriate levels of intervention or enrichment they need to be successful in a safe and caring environment.”
At the start of the school year, Principal Joanna Mora and Assistant Principal Suzie Manley needed to create a combo 2nd/3rd grade class. “Kirsten volunteered to take that on. Once again, she fit right into a new grade-level team and became the bridge needed between both levels, even taking a new teacher under her wing and providing support, guidance, and mentorship.”
Mrs. Hapsas is one of the school’s two Sunshine Committee members and she makes sure that all staff members feel celebrated on their special days. She also makes sure that staff who endure heart break know how much the LVES family cares by providing cards and care packages when they need them the most. 
“We are grateful for Mrs. Hapsas’s willingness to take on new challenges and to be a mentor and collaborative teammate to both our 2nd and 3rd grade teams. Her commitment to our students, her teammates, and our overall school culture is what led us to choose her as May’s employee of the month!”

Classified Management- Kayla Gewirtz

“Kayla’s role as an Accountant has been exemplary, and her performance has exceeded expectations in every way possible,” said Superintendent Livingston, who nominated her for the award. “Her exceptional achievement is a testament to her hardworking nature, dedication, and outstanding skills in accounting that have demonstrated her ability to handle complex financial matters. Kayla has played a crucial role in ensuring that the school district's finances are managed efficiently, and that the students receive the best possible education resources especially while we were going through transitions within our business office.
“As Employee of the Month, we wish to express our gratitude for your efforts. We hope that you will continue to excel in your role as an Accountant, and that your success will inspire your colleagues and students in the school district to reach greater heights of excellence. Congratulations on this well-deserved award. We are proud of you and thank you for your contributions to our school district.”
Photos by Olga Fisher
May Certificated
May Classified