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Bry, Schmisek Receive Employee of the Quarter Awards

News Release  

For Immediate Release

November 15, 2022

Bry, Schmisek Receive Employee of the Quarter Awards

GRAND FORKS, N.D. – Sarah Bry and Cassandra Schmisek have been selected as the classified and certified employees of the 1st quarter at Grand Forks Public Schools.

Bry (certified) and Schmisek (classified) each received a plaque from the Grand Forks School Board. In gratitude for their impact on the school system and students, they also received a $200 monetary award from the Grand Forks Foundation for Education.

Created in 2019, the purpose of the award program is to recognize excellence as accomplished by certified and classified employees. To be considered for the award, the employee must be a valuable asset to the school community by completing their job duties to the highest standard and displaying a commitment to students/parents/guardians, as well as the school/program/school system.

Bry is an instructional coach (IDC) at Lewis and Clark Elementary School. In his nomination, Principal Loren Hoheisel said, “Sarah somehow always knows just what others need for support without being overbearing. Being an IDC, Sarah strives to see things through the lens of teachers, students, and families to best understand where support is needed and how to assist. She takes initiative to help with academic and instructional needs, social-emotional needs, technology needs, school needs, district needs, family needs, and any and all other needs that surface. In a separate nomination, colleague Jamie Toutenhoofd said, “Sarah goes above and beyond in her role. She is a mentor, a facilitator, a confidante, and a role model. She helps complete curriculum-based assessments, provides small group instruction, mentors new and veteran teachers, and is very skilled at each of these things. She wears many, many hats at Lewis and Clark, and does each job very well.”

Schmisek is a special education paraprofessional at Grand Forks Central High School. In her nomination, colleague Summer Quamme, said, “There are many examples of Cassie’s commitment to her students, but I will share one of my favorites. She works with a young man who is non-verbal. However, he does use some sign language to communicate. Cassie immediately started teaching herself signs so that she could try to communicate with the student. She even made a Grand Forks Central T-shirt with the letter signs under each word so that the student could possibly understand her shirt.” Colleague Marie DeMarce Garner shared in her nomination, “Cassie has stepped up in every way we have asked since she was hired. She has been an invaluable asset to our department and all of our students, both special education students and any other student in a classroom she has supported. She has a wonderful ability to connect with students and build relationships with them. Cassie works incredibly well with any staff member she is paired with. She has been diligent about providing regular updates and information, often immediately.”

The nomination period for the Certified and Classified Employees of the 2nd Quarter will open on December 19, while nominations for the Grand Forks Public Schools’ Teacher of the Year will open on November 28.