Spring is a very busy time within a school district as we approach graduation and the end of the school year. It is also the time of year when awards and recognition take place. At school board meetings we take time to publicly congratulate those students, staff, schools, and programs that have recently won awards or recognition.

At the February 19 meeting we presented certificates to several of these groups and individuals:

  • The Palm Desert Rotary Club, CalFire, and the cities of Indian Wells and Palm Desert were recognized for the mini musters they present at five of our elementary schools. Students to learn about fire prevention, safety, and protection.
  • This year three of our teachers were recognized at the Coachella CUE conference for their amazing work in the classroom. Teacher Allison Cyr from Lyndon Johnson Elementary School was awarded the Coachella CUE Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award; Teacher Karen Flaherty from Desert Ridge Academy was awarded the Coachella Cue Technology Leader of the Year Award; Teacher on Special Assignment with our technology team, Katie Stephens, was awarded the Coachella Cue Making it Happen Award. Also recognized was Amelia Earhart teacher Jennifer Dean who won the Outstanding Teacher of the Year award in 2018.
  • Riverside Medical Clinic Charitable Foundation each year recognizes those who help to eliminate bullying though their anti-bullying institute. This year, one DSUSD administrator and three students have received these awards. Desert Ridge Academy’s Assistant Principal Mandy Wiltrout for the introduction of the program at her school;  Amelia Earhart Elementary School 4th grade student Ryan Johnston for living the message of anti-bullying and inclusion; Payton Ramirez a 5th grader at Abraham Lincoln Elementary School who serves as an unofficial role as an ambassador of goodwill throughout her school; and Megan Murano, an adult transition student at Indio High School who takes it upon herself as a personal mission to educate everyone and inspire everyone to understand acceptance, understanding, and tolerance.
  • Both the district Head Start program and the Palm Desert Early Childhood Center were recognized Riverside County Office of Education for receiving Tier 5 ratings during the Quality Rating Improvement System (QRIS). This is the highest score given to any early childhood education center. Awards were presented to teachers Marina “Mercy” Alvarez and Lorena Eudave.
  • Kelly May-Vollmar, Ed.D., the district’s Chief Innovation and Information Officer was recognized for winning the ACSA Region XIX Administrator of the Year for Technology Administrator. ACSA is the Association for California School Administrators.
  • Awards, Applause, Recognition at DSUSD

    Superintendent Scott Bailey

    Superintendent of Schools Scott Bailey has been selected as a “Superintendent to Watch” by the National School Public Relations Association. We all agreed that he truly is a superintendent to watch and that his efforts in communication are trend setting. Scott’s award will be presented in July at the NSPRA annual conference and his profile will be featured in an upcoming NSPRA publication.

  • Awards, Applause, Recognition at DSUSDTheodore Roosevelt Elementary School is a California Green Ribbon School at the Bronze Level. The award recognizes schools for environmental and demonstrated achievement in ways to reduce environmental impact and costs, improve the health and wellness of students and staff, and provide effective environmental education. Fewer than 20 California Green Ribbon schools are selected each year.
  • Lynette Wohlmuth, career guidance specialist at Palm Desert High School, recently received the Empowering Students Award from One Future Coachella Valley for her leadership in making the regional college fair a reality.
  • La Quinta High School guidance counselor Ashley Schantz was recognized by the College Board as a 2019 College Board Counselor of the Year.
  • Awards, Applause, Recognition at DSUSDThe Desert Sands Unified School District’s School Attendance Review Board was recognized by the California Department of Education. SARBs are composed of representatives from various youth-serving agencies. They help truant students and their families solve school attendance and behavior problems through the use of available school and community resources. DSUSD is one of only 23 California school districts recognized with this award.



Image Sources

  • Scott Bailey: DSUSD
  • DSUSD Theodore Roosevelt: DSUSD
  • Absenteeism Conference: DSUSD
  • Lynette Wohlmuth, DSUSD: DSUSD