Portage Health Foundation (PHF) was recognized with the area-wide Education Leadership Award on Tuesday, May 18, 2021 by the Copper Country Association of School Boards (CCASB). The award is an incredible honor for the foundation as it recognizes years of partnership between local school districts and PHF. Below is a description of why PHF was received the recognition.
CCASB Area-Wide Award: Portage Health Foundation
Every year, all local schools get together to select a person or organization that has made an impact on all the schools and present them with the Copper Country Association of School Boards’ Area-Wide Award.
COVID provided many challenges to all local schools. The Portage Health Foundation understood these challenges and stepped in to help, by donated money to all local schools to use towards masks, cleaning supplies or computers for students to use for on-line options. The Portage Health Foundation also paid for Professional Development, called “Capturing Kids' Hearts.” This was offered to every school. Though some schools did not take advantage this past year, they will be offered the professional development opportunity again this upcoming year. The Portage Health Foundation has provided grants to many schools for individual school projects. The Portage Health Foundation also donated a large sum of money for Career & Technical Education before the millage was passed to help show that if the cost to send students was lowed, more students would take advantage of these programs. The Portage Health Foundation has demonstrated year-after-year their commitment to all our local schools. This past year, more than ever, the Portage Health Foundation did all they could to help schools through the COVID crisis. For this year and all the prior years, the CCASB is proud to present the Portage Health Foundation with the Area-Wide Service Award.
In addition to Portage Health Foundation being recognized, four individuals were also recognized.
Maya Dove, Senior at L'Anse High School for the Student Leadership award.
Maya has been a part of the CTE culinary arts program for both her junior and senior year. Throughout those two years, she has consistently shown initiative in the class and gladly takes the lead for class or group projects. She is one of the go-to's for ideas and suggestions and always takes the time to support her fellow classmates that may be struggling.
Maya is driven to contribute to her community after the community showed up so strongly for her and her family after her childhood home tragically burned when she was in the 8th grade. She has always felt proud "paying it forward" after feeling so taken care of by the people around her. She volunteers regularly at her local church with lunches, holidays, with adoration and with other donations. She enjoys participating at events like Toys for Tots and anything else she can give back to other local families in need. Maya has taken a lot of her time to improve on the idea of fundraising while keeping a positive attitude about helping. Maya’s CTE teacher, Megan O’Connell states Maya sets very high standards for herself and the company she keeps around her. For all that has been mentioned, the Copper Country ISD is proud to present Maya Dove with the CTE Student Leadership Award.
Quinn Aho, Senior in the High School Mild Cognitive Impaired Classroom
Each and every day, Quinn comes to school with a positive attitude and is excited to learn! No matter what task we do, he “loves” it! Worksheets, tests, Kahoot, task cards, etc. Whining or complaining is not in his make-up.
Quinn is a leader in our classroom and at Hancock High. He is the person who is called on to get things done in our building. He sets up the gym for basketball, and volleyball games. He stacks chairs in the commons area every afternoon. He also moves paper for the High School office as needed.
Quinn takes responsibility seriously. He always turns his work in on time. He reminds classmates of our work based learning schedule. If someone is absent or unable to do a job, he volunteers to complete it. Quinn also has a near perfect attendance record.
Quinn is a social butterfly at Hancock Central High. Quinn’s gen ed peers want to hang out with him and they make a point of checking in with him each day. He is also a favorite among staff members. Quinn is quick to compliment others and praise their accomplishments.
Quinn is a well-rounded young man who will be missed by all at Hancock High School when he graduates. It is because of Quin’s ability to positively impact others that he is receiving the CCASB Student Leadership Award
Ed Semmens, Outstanding Employee
Ed Semmens, is the Copper Country ISD’s head of maintenance and transportation supervisor. Ed is extremely hardworking and wants everything done right. Ed has to deal with requests from more staff than probably than any other person within the CCISD. Not only does Ed have to take care of the main ISD building, the CTE building and the bus garage, he also takes care of issues in all the ISD run classrooms in 6 different buildings throughout the Copper Country. Ed is always creative and willing to make or modify things so students are able to access their environment. He can fix just about anything that needs to be fixed (and that is a lot around here sometimes). Ed has a good relationship with students and is a positive role model. Ed never says no to anything, and it's always done sooner than he says. He always finds a way to get it done, and with a smile. It is because of all that has been shared, that the Copper Country ISD is honored to present Ed Semmens with the Employee of the Year Award.
Gwen Stockwell, School Service Award
School Psychologist Gwen Stockwell was hired at Copper Country ISD in March of 1997 and retired in January of 2021 with almost 24 years of service.
Gwen was an original member of the Learn to Read committee which formed in 2005. The purpose of the committee was to explore ways to help improve reading instruction in CCISD schools. Gwen wrote the original CCISD Response To Intervention document which introduced districts to the foundational ideas of what we now call Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) .
Gwen was part of the CCISD MTSS committee when it started in 2012 and always volunteered to take notes for the group. She was a key provider of the training sessions for teachers and served as a Coach for several districts. Her patient direction and encouragement along with her deep knowledge base and calm demeanor moved CCISD districts’ implementation of MTSS forward.
Gwen was also one of the founding members and long term secretary of Simple Kindness for Youth (SKY), which provides grants to students across Baraga, Houghton and Keweenaw Counties. SKY grants are used to pay for things like clothing, books, extracurricular activities, and much more for students who cannot otherwise afford them.
Gwen has been a much admired member of the CCISD staff. When asked to reflect on working with Gwen, colleagues shared qualities she possesses that they admire including kindness, compassion, thoughtfulness, generosity and humbleness. Staff shared that they deeply appreciated her knowledge, dedication, professionalism and commitment to her job. Many staff mentioned that Gwen puts the best interest of students and families first. Gwen is friendly, relatable and cares deeply for others. She has been missed since her retirement earlier this year.
It is because of Gwen’s years of dedication to our local schools and her overall positive impact on students, parents and colleagues that we award Gwen Stockwell with the CCASB Service Award.
Learn more about CCASB Awards
- CCISD Announces CCASB Award Winners, via Daily Mining Gazette