On December 19, North Royalton City Schools announced the winners of the first semester Crystal Starfish Award presented by First Federal of Lakewood.
At North Royalton High School, intervention specialist Amy Vance was presented the Crystal Starfish Teacher Award. Besides the award, she also received a $250 Professional Development Grant from First Federal of Lakewood, a $50 gift certificate to Cleat’s restaurant and flowers from Independence Flowers and Gifts. Vance was nominated by a parent.
Her nomination states: Her enthusiastic, lighthearted personality has decreased anxiety and opened my son up to learning. She spends many overtime hours improving my son’s social skills. She enabled him to join the track team by setting him up with a buddy and walking him to practice after school. She recognizes his strengths and potential. She challenges him to do his best. He thrives under her instruction like no one else. She is proactive and can anticipate a problem and diffuse it before it occurs. She is a creative thinker and develops her curriculum to best fit the students. Her repertoire of experience enables her to react quickly and obtain the most progress in the school year. She thinks outside the box and is not afraid to try new things. She has made a difference in our lives as my son is now going out on his own making friends, has a passion for something, participates in track and is talking to people without fear. I actually see him laugh. She has taught him how to enjoy life and actually make a joke. It has changed my life because I see what Mrs. Vance always saw in my son: the ability to do more, to always learn and grow.
Vikki Rodriguez, the cafeteria manager at Royal View Elementary was the recipient of the Crystal Starfish Support Staff Award. Along with the award, First Federal of Lakewood presented her with a $50 gift certificate to Cleat’s restaurant and flowers from Independence Flowers and Gifts. A colleague nominated Rodriguez. The nomination states, “Vikki is one of the sweetest and most welcoming members of Royal View. For the past two years, she has treated me with respect and kindness. She makes time for every teacher, staff member, parent, and student in the building, and she would be the first person to offer her help if anyone ever needed.
“Both Amy and Vikki are deserving of this recognition,” said Superintendent Greg Gurka, North Royalton City Schools. “Our vision of identifying individual student needs and providing support for those needs is exemplified in what Amy and Vikki do each and every day!”
The First Federal of Lakewood Crystal Starfish awards are presented to support staff members and teachers who make a difference in their schools and go above and beyond in all that they do. “Every day, teachers and staff of North Royalton City Schools are making a difference,” said Branch Operations Manager Endia Small, First Federal of Lakewood. “Our bank is honored to partner with the District, enabling these special individuals to be recognized publicly for their contributions.”

Contributing Writer