North Royalton City Schools recognized the Teacher of the Year and Support Staff Person of the at the North Royalton Educational Foundation’s reception on April 24.
The Teacher of the Year is Kriste Smith, who is a school counselor and department head at North Royalton High School. She is also a member of the Western Cuyahoga County School Crisis Counseling Team. “Kriste leads by example, works hard, and puts in extra time when needed, which is always,” said Superintendent Greg Gurka, North Royalton City Schools. “She is constantly trying to improve how the counseling department services students and their families while balancing the amount of time students are out of the classroom. She is a true example of all the fine teachers, counselors, psychologists, and therapists in our district.
Smith is a graduate of North Royalton High School and earned her Bachelor of Science in Business Education from Ohio State University. She received her Master of Education in Adult Learning and Development from Cleveland State University. She was initially hired as an aide at North Royalton Middle School in 1991. She resigned in January of 1992, to teach at Parma. For the fall of 1992, Smith returned as the North Royalton High School business teacher. For the 2005-2006 school year, Smith was the North Royalton High School interim counselor and a full-time counselor for the 2006-2007 school year.
Smith also coached high school girls’ volleyball and track, coached high school girls' soccer, and was an assistant cheerleading coach. In her time with North Royalton City Schools, she was the advisor of the freshmen, junior, and senior class, advisor of the Teen Institute, Chemical-Free, Key Club, STAND, and Mock Trial. She also was an evening school instructor.
“Kriste is the consummate professional who looks at each child as an individual and deeply cares about them and their well-being,” said Gurka.
The Support Staff Person of the Year is Bob Rodriguez, who is the head custodian at Valley Vista Elementary. “Bob demonstrates outstanding qualities in his work ethic, dependability, attitude, and knowledge, but most importantly in his relationship with people and his dedication to the North Royalton City School District,” said Principal Jeff Hill, Valley Vista Elementary. “Bob has no problem working past his work day to ensure everything is in its proper place and all of his endless jobs are completed. Valley Vista gets nothing but compliments for its cleanliness and attention to detail. Bob’s to-do list is never-ending, and when he feels we are in a great place, he works harder to make things even better.”
“The last few years, Bob has helped the district by taking the lead in the summer cleaning program at the elementary buildings,” said Assistant Superintendent Jim Presot, North Royalton City Schools. “All of our buildings now have the ‘Bob touch to them’ each year, and our other building principals and staff have noticed the difference. He is known for going the extra mile to make sure things are done right, and he does not take shortcuts in the process. No matter how long it takes or the effort involved, Bob is someone you can count on.”