Special Programs & District Office AAA

Special Programs and District Office Achievement Above All
Posted on 05/19/2022
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In the final Achievement Above All event of the 2021-2022 school year, the Glendale Union High School District Governing Board celebrated one teacher, one student, and one support staff member from specialty programs Next STEP, GUHSD Online Learning Academy, and Northern Academy. In addition, one support staff member from the District Office was honored at the May 18 meeting. These individuals were recognized for their outstanding contributions to their program and the district.

Described as an advocate and a motivator, Lisa Czaja is Next STEP’s Teacher of the Year. Next STEP is a program that teaches interns how to work and live independently. Czaja teaches in the classroom, in work-based labs, online, and the community. Next STEP Administrator Stephanie Slover says, “No matter the location, Czaja has done a phenomenal job meeting students exactly where they are on their journey to employment and providing the individualized support they need in order to be successful.” Czaja is also the teacher in charge of city bus training. She spends hours with interns on Google Maps, at transit stations, and on city buses throughout the year. Czaja is currently enrolled at Grand Canyon University for Admin Leadership.

When asked what makes Czaja passionate about teaching, she said, “I am passionate about teaching students that no matter what their disabilities are, they can become successful and productive adults in society.”

Lisa Czaja

Roderick Mixon is Northern Academy’s Student of the Year. Mixon is a role model for other students on campus. Former Instructional Assistant at Northern Academy Ms. Crawford says, “Roderick has many traits that the world needs more of. His smile can light up any room, his sense of humor brings laughter into others’ lives when they are down and you just can’t be in a bad mood when Roderick is in class.” As a senior, Mixon has recently decided to expand his resume through the Next STEP program for the next school year. Outside of the classroom, Mixon spends time with his friends, playing video games, watching anime, and playing basketball.

When asked about his future plans and goals Mixon says he plans to work full-time.

Rodrick Mixon

Online Learning Academy Principal Steven Ducey says Support Staff of the Year Cynthia Massingill has the heart of a teddy bear, the drive of a grizzly bear, and the character of a solid, genuine human being. For the past four years, Massingill has been an Instructional Aide at the Online Learning Academy. English teacher Elaine Boggs says, “Although Cindy’s official title is ‘Instructional Aide’, she fulfills many more roles and wears many more hats here at Online Learning Academy. She is the ‘Swiss Army Knife’ of our staff. Anything that she needs to be done, any help that needs to be given to anyone–staff or students–Cindy is there.” Massingill is considered a great asset to the Online Learning Academy.

Massingill will be retiring at the end of this school year. She says she plans to RV travel across the country.

Cindy Massingill

With over 9 years of service in the district, Daisy Perez is GUHSD District Office Support Staff of the Year. Perez works as a Dispatcher for the Transportation Department. Perez is well informed about each vehicle that is assigned. The district has 78 buses and 56 white fleet vehicles. Just last year Perez organized over 3,000 trips. Transportation Supervisor Hilma Gustafson says, “What could be total chaos, Daisy waves her magic wand and turns the busy activity trip weekend into a well-executed success.”

When asked what her goals for the future are, Perez said, “My goal for the future is to grow professionally and lead the Transportation Department one day.”

Daisy Perez