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Honorary Service Awards Prior Years

2019-2020 hsa award recepients

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 outstanding leadership. He calls every parent on his team to ask them for feedback and ensures that the sports program gets enough community support. He sets the bar high for himself and his team and encourages others toward excellence for the benefit of the students. He puts in more than 100 percent. He also gives back to his community 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 to be inclusive for her students. She deserves recognition, and it’s not easy to be a high school teacher for special needs students. 

Ms. Megan Manley - DVHS English Teacher

She is not only an exceptional teacher, and 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 tremendous 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 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. We funded several outdoor games through his work, 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 our DVHS kids' shoulders, 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 Committees at DVHS. She sees our students' health and wellness as a chief concern and has taken a methodical approach to advance the cause and work to make a meaningful and long-lasting difference for students. She is working closely with the DVHS Counselors and staff, the new DVHS Wellness Center staff, Mr. Litten, and many others to help 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, and the PTSA, and the 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, and 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 allowing students to have a positive interaction with law enforcement, which helps inform future businesses 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 student who takes advantage of the opportunity; she works around the clock to provide college information, give feedback on college essays, bring speakers, and support students. She takes time to listen to 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 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 with the ups and downs of their tumultuous high school years. One has to 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 are invaluable and incomparable. She is a guidance counselor for their academics and a great therapist and excellent 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, and 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 more donations and active participation. Tessie brings together the coaches, the athletics program, and the parents 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 a 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 two games are going on, she makes sure students in advanced sports med are there watching, and both make rotations when watching the game and making sure athletes aren't hurt. When an athlete is injured, she is right by your side in a flash and quickly 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 cares for every 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 countless ways to build a positive culture for both her students and colleagues. Ms. McCombs has a unique ability to connect with every one of her students. She goes out of her way to be sure her students have the academic skills they need to be successful and 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 our students' health and well-being. 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 staff, Mr. Litten introduced “mindfulness” to DVHS staff, which then permeated 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!


2018 HSA Awards

The 2019 DVHS PTSA Honorary Service Awards recipients have gone above and beyond in making a difference in our children's life every day. The DVHS PTSA HSA committee collected nominations from the DVHS community and final winners were selected and awarded at the May 21st PTSA meeting.

On behalf of the DVHS community, the DVHS PTSA is proud to recognize the hard work of the hundreds of teachers, staff, volunteers and community supporters for all of their hard work, contributions, and together, many thousands of volunteer hours that benefit the DVHS students and extended community. Please also join us in congratulating the DVHS 2019 HSA recipients for their service!

Very Special Person Award:

Debbie Butler and Alagu Subramanian

Honorary Service Award:

Cathy Sanchez and Jenny Abdelmelak

Continuing Service Award:

Peggy Thomas 

Outstanding Teacher Award:

Annie Nguyen, Colin O'Haire and Rachel Decker

Outstanding Administrator Award:

Dave Kravitz

Golden Oak Service Award:

Rajee Subramanian

2018 HSA Recipients

The 2018 DVHS PTSA Honorary Service Awards recipients have gone above and beyond in making a difference in our children's life every day. The DVHS PTSA HSA committee collected nominations from the DVHS community over the last few months and final winners where selected and awarded at the May 15 PTSA meeting.

On behalf of the DVHS community, the DVHS PTSA is proud to recognize the hard work of the hundreds of teachers, staff, volunteers and community supporters for all of their hard work, contributions, and together, many thousands of volunteer hours that benefit the DVHS students and extended community. Please also join us in congratulating the DVHS 2018 HSA recipients for their service!

Honorary Service Award:

Subha Subramanain & Renata Price

Outstanding Teacher Award:

Linda Pon

Outstanding Administrator Award:

Kim Vaiana

Continuing Service Award:

Jenifer Shuen 

Very Special Person Award:

Karen Glavee & Sarah Campbell