Skip to main content

Honorary Service Awards

DVHS PTSA Honorary Service Awards

Honorary Service Awards

2019-2020 Awards - Congratulations!

Every year, PTA’s across the nation recognize teachers, staff, students, community members, local companies, and others that make a profound impact in the lives of our children by presenting the Honorary Service Awards as a gesture of thank you.

All proceeds from the purchases of the Honorary Services Award are used to fund the California State PTA Scholarship and Grant Program. This program provides scholarships for volunteers and educators to continue their education; Scholarships for High School Seniors to continue their education; plus grants to local PTAs to advance goals in areas related to outreach in translation, cultural arts, parent education, and healthy lifestyle. 

This program offers six distinctive types of awards:

Very Special Person Award (VSP) – This award is given to recognize an individual or organization for their service to PTA. 

Honorary Service Award (HSA) – This award is given to recognize an individual or organization for outstanding service to children and youth in your community, going above and beyond what is asked of them.

Continuing Service Award (CSA) – This award is given to recognize an individual or organization for ongoing or long-time service to children and youth, providing support year after year. 

Outstanding Teacher Award (OTA) – This award may be given to recognize a teacher for outstanding service to children and youth through PTA, school, or community.

Outstanding Administrator Award (OAA) – This award may be given to recognize an administrator for outstanding service to children and youth through PTA, school, or the community.

Golden Oak Service Award (GOSA) – This award is given to recognize, as the most prestigious of the Honorary Service Awards, an individual or organization that has made significant contributions to the welfare of children and youth in a school or community.

2019-2020 Recognition

Very Special Person

Mr. Roberto Clemente - DVHS  Football Coach/World Geo/History Teacher

As a coach he has gone above the call in making sure that not only his players get his attention but he sets a good example by including all the parents and community and staff at DVHS. He encourages his team and shows great leadership. He calls every parent on his team to ask them for feedback and also works to ensure that the sports program gets  enough community support. He not only sets the bar high for himself and his team, but also encourages others toward excellence for the benefit of the students. He puts in more than 100 percent. He also gives back to his community in ways by leading and coordinating the Relay for Life each year at DVHS

Ms. Katie Chinn - DVHS SDC Teacher

Ms. Katie Chinn is one of the most concerned and organized teachers in special education at DVHS. She communicates on a timely basis, keeping in touch with upcoming events so it will be inclusive for her students. She deserves recognition, it’s not easy to be a high school teacher for students with special needs. 

Ms. Megan Manley - DVHS English Teacher

She is not only an exceptional teacher, she is compassionate and caring. She goes above and beyond to support students and her colleagues. In her AVID class, she creates a community -- really a family of students, that support one another. She guides them academically, but more importantly, in how to be compassionate, resourceful people. Her creativity, enthusiasm and attention to detail are a huge asset to the DVHS community

Fernando Ortiz - DVHS Campus Monitor

As Campus Monitor, Mr. Ortiz has a rare view of what’s happening with the students outside the classroom. He saw that many students lacked the social interaction and connection that is vital to creating a more balanced and meaningful high school experience. After making these observations -- he did something about it! He wrote a teacher grant through PTSA proposing to help students have meaningful interactions with each other. Through his work, we funded a number of outdoor games, which he oversees, including corn hole, giant Jenga  and Connect Four and a large chess set. He also worked with the admin to get ping pong tables on campus and has more ideas, once we are back. With so much pressure placed on the shoulders of our DVHS kids, Mr. Ortiz’s goal is to remind them to have fun with each other during these high school years.

Claire Kahrobaie - DVHS PTSA Health and Wellness Chairperson

With three students in the Dougherty Valley, she has been an active volunteer and is keenly aware of the strong academic culture and pressure on students at DVHS. She enthusiastically signed on to be the Chair of the Health, Safety and Wellness Committee at DVHS. She sees the health and wellness of our students as a chief concern and has taken a methodical approach to advancing the cause and working to make a meaningful and long-lasting difference for students. She is working closely with the DVHS Counselors and staff, the staff of the new DVHS Wellness Center, Mr. Litten and many others to helping create an environment where students can check in mentally and emotionally and have other alternative outlets to the everyday academic pressure.

Honorary Service Award

Kerri Knapp - DVHS Teacher Librarian

She is an outstanding Teacher and Librarian. She is there to support the staff, the students, as well as the PTSA and families. She promotes such a positive environment in the library, goes above and beyond to find creative and innovative ways to ensure resources needed are there and works hard to help students feel safe and heard. Students remark they do not know what DVHS would be without Mrs. Knapp.

Katie Williams - Resource Officer 

Officer Williams is not only a San Ramon Police Officer, she’s an important part of the DVHS Family. She acts as our School Resource Officer, and is on campus most of her time. She takes the time to get to know students and staff on a more personal basis. She cares for the students wellbeing, health and safety. She plays an important part in giving students an opportunity to have a positive interaction with law enforcement, which helps inform future interactions in their lives. She goes beyond being a Police Officer and an integral part of the DVHS staff, she has also enthusiastically coached the Girls Varsity Golf team to the highest levels of success. Officer Williams is valued and appreciated by staff, students and parents alike! Thank you Officer Williams!

Jennifer Wright - DVHS College and Career Coordinator

Ms. Wright has been with DVHS for the last 2 years. She makes herself available to meet with each and every student that takes advantage of the opportunity; she works around the clock to provide college information, give feedback on college essays, bring speakers and supports students. She takes time to listen to each and every student who reaches out to her and guides them as if they were her own child - but without the battles, of course. She has hosted monthly meetings for all grade levels. She works closely with PTSA to provide an avenue for parents to participate and understand the college process and how they can support their students. DVHS is proud and fortunate to have Mrs. Wright as a key member of the team guiding our students toward their future.

Ms. Kelly Cushner -  DVHS Counselor

Ms. Kelly Cushner is one of the kindest, most approachable, and truly caring counselors that DVHS has. During the trying years of high school life, students need someone to be there for them, understand what they're going through and guide them through this confusing process. Kelly is that person for her students. She is genuinely invested in her students and helps them with tough decisions: dealing with bullies, picking the right courses, and coping up with the ups and downs of their tumultuous high school years. One has to just step into her office to see much she is loved. Her office is filled with sweet little notes, and touching thank you letters from her students, proof enough to show that she has truly made a positive impact in their lives. Kelly especially excels in working with kids going through anxiety and depression. The support and resources she provides for students and their families is invaluable and incomparable. She is not only a guidance counselor for their academics but also a great therapist and wonderful support system for families wading through these stormy seas. Kelly works tirelessly to ensure that she does her best for them.

Priyanka Marepally - DVHS PTSA Hospitality Chairperson

Priyanka has gone above and beyond in leading the Hospitality committee for the last 4 years. Priyanka is very passionate, dedicated. She goes out of her way to finish whatever she has committed to, even when she has been under the weather. She is easy going and a lot of fun to work with. We are so deeply grateful to her for leading this important PTSA function and for gathering a great committee to find ways to celebrate our staff!

Mr. Paul Rhodes - DVHS Orchestra Teacher

Mr. Rhodes has stepped in repeatedly to teach the DVHS orchestra classes. And finally, the week school shut down, Paul came on board as the permanent orchestra teacher! He provides the students with musical guidance and boosts their confidence as players.

Tessie Gonzalves - DVHS Athletic Boosters 

Tessie has not only supported the Athletic boosters for years, but she also leads them with grace and a positive attitude. Athletics can be a real challenge because it’s hard for parents to comprehend that athletics are not funded and require yet more donations and active participation. Tessie brings together the coaches, the athletics program and the parents to work to support and help create balance and opportunity for the students. Her willingness to jump in wholeheartedly whenever needed makes working with her easy and enjoyable. And as an added bonus, she took this year's crab feed to another level.

Continuing Service Award

Linda Pon -  Athletic Trainer and Sports Medicine Teacher

Ms. Pon is constantly there for all the athletes and non athlete students if injured. Any sport and any home game, she will always be there and if there are two games going on, she makes sure students in advanced sports med are there watching and they both make rotations when watching the game and making sure athletes aren't hurt. When an athlete is hurt, she is right by your side in a flash and easily makes you feel better no matter the situation. Ms. Pon even helps and heals the opposing teams players if hurt/injured. All the athletes call her our “sports mom” because she really does care for each and every single one of us. All the athletic staff and students admire her so much and she really does deserve this award. She has a funny side to her and knows how to make a student laugh when injured. Students know she knows what she's doing and we all trust her with our lives.

Outstanding Teacher Award

Trista McCombs - DVHS English, SDAIE, ELD, Teacher

Trista is DVHS’s English Language Development teacher. She is an integral part of our Dougherty community and a key collaborator in our English department, contributing in countless ways to build a positive culture for both her students and colleagues. Ms. McCombs has a unique ability to connect with each and everyone of her students and goes out of her way to be sure her students have not only the academic skills they need to be successful, but also the social and emotional support they need to feel at home in our school. Her classroom is more than a place where students learn; it is a home, a welcoming niche where students know they will be accepted and cared for by an amazingly talented educator and mentor. Ms. McCombs is a regular advocate for her students, reaching out to families and colleagues to help support her students in any way possible. Her sense of humor, kindness, and dedication to students truly make a difference.  

Outstanding Administrator Award

Charlie Litten - DVHS Assistant Principal

In the two years since joining the DVHS staff, Mr. Litten has become an outstanding and active contributor to the health and well-being of our students. He is genuinely invested in understanding the academic environment and “culture” of the school.  To create a more balanced and healthy high school experience for students and for staff, Mr. Litten introduced “mindfulness” to DVHS staff, which then permeated into the classrooms. He has also spent significant time working to understand and meet the needs of special needs students. And he has been actively involved in preparing for the opening of DVHS’ Wellness Center. Mr. Litten has partnered with PTSA and our Health, Safety and Wellness and Special Needs Committees, and he regularly attends the monthly association meetings to meet with our parent community. He recognizes the value and importance of the family-school/teacher partnership in raising healthy, young adults. We are so grateful to Mr. Litten for his leadership and support!

The DVHS PTSA is excited to announce that nominations are now open for Honorary Service Awards! Do you know someone in the DVHS community who is consistently going above and beyond? A teacher or other staff member? PTA or other DVHS group members (e.g., Athletics or Music boosters, Education Fund, Art program or any other person who supports DVHS)? Restaurant or other local organization? Show them how much you appreciate all their hard work by nominating them for an HSA Award!

Honorary Service Awards are a unique way for us to publicly acknowledge both individuals and organizations for outstanding service to children and youth in our community. These special members of our community provide thousands of hours each year to support Dougherty Valley High School. Please take a few minutes to review the selection criteria, and nominate one (or more!) of DVHS’s many hard working volunteers, teachers, support staff, community members, parents and/or students for an award.

Please submit nominations by April 28, 2020 (extended). Awards will be presented at the May DVHS PTSA Meeting.

Nominations can be made using this form

More information on the PTA’s Honorary Service Award Program can be found on the California PTA's HSA webpage.

DVHS is very fortunate to have wonderful Administrators, Teachers, Staff and Parent volunteers at our school. DVHS PTSA is proud to bring the California State PTA's Honorary Service Award program to our school for the first time in order to recognize the contributions of many outstanding honorees!

Honorary Service Awards ("HSA") are a unique way for PTA to publicly acknowledge both individuals and organizations for outstanding community service to children and youth in the community. All funds collected with this program are used exclusively to support the California State PTA scholarship and grant programs.

Please help the HSA nomination committee to recognize the well deserving individuals by completing the nomination form here.

---------------------------------