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North Royalton City Schools News Article

North Royalton City Schools Honor Two Dedicated Staff Members with the Crystal Starfish Award

On December 13, North Royalton City Schools announced the winners of the first semester Crystal Starfish Award presented by First Federal of Lakewood.

At Royal View Elementary School, Response to Intervention Specialist Cathy Rush was presented with the Crystal Starfish Teacher Award.  Besides the award, she also received a $250 Professional Development Grant from First Federal of Lakewood, a $50 gift certificate to Cleat’s restaurant and a cookie basket from A Cookie Jules.  Rush was nominated by a colleague.

Her nomination states: “Cathy has worked as a teacher in the North Royalton City School District for almost 30 years. She is an amazing teacher, colleague and friend. Cathy is a friendly face in the building for students, fellow teachers, staff members and parents. Students love working with her, and she works hard to help close the gaps in areas that students are having trouble in math or reading. Cathy also works hard to make connections with her students in other aspects of school, through running the intramural sports teams at RV, making morning announcements lively and fun for the students, and providing a helping hand during bus duty when students miss the bus. Cathy has a huge heart and not only is she an amazing mom to her five children who all went through North Royalton City Schools or are currently attending school in our District, but she also has lots of room in her heart for all of her students and works hard to help on a daily basis. She is the definition of an educational leader and she deserves to be recognized for the countless hours she has dedicated to serving our students.”

Sharon Capadona, a paraprofessional at North Royalton Middle School was the recipient of the Crystal Starfish Support Staff Award. Along with the award, First Federal of Lakewood presented her with a $50 gift certificate to Cleat’s restaurant and a cookie basket from A Cookie Jules.  Several colleagues nominated Capadona.  

Excerpts of her nominations read:

Sharon Capadona is truly an asset to the classroom environment. She works well with students and treats every student with respect and care to ensure every student is learning in different ways. She has a calm, caring demeanor. She has been the intensive paraprofessional since 2012, but has impacted the lives of many students in various roles across the District. Sharon goes out of her way to get to know the students by helping them in the classroom and attending their sporting events. 

Sharon is one of the most caring individuals I know.  She treats all of the students that she works with like they are her own grandkids.  She always has a listening ear for the kids and is willing to help them with any problem or project that comes along.  She is an amazing role model and a positive influence in the lives of her students and all the people she works with.  

I’ve seen her do everything and anything to help the students succeed and always with a smile. With all due respect, it’s like having your favorite grandmother always looking out for you.  As a coworker, she is always the voice of reason and calm. Nothing flusters her and there is no lesson she can’t come up with in a pinch. Anyone who has ever been in Mrs. Kish’s room knows you need to be able to shift gears and go a different direction in a second. Cap always has a plan...and a good recipe for a cooking lesson!

“Both Cathy and Sharon are deserving of this recognition,” said Superintendent Greg Gurka, North Royalton City Schools. “Our vision of identifying individual student needs and providing support for those needs is exemplified in what Sharon and Cathy do each and every day!”

The First Federal of Lakewood Crystal Starfish awards are presented to support staff members and teachers who make a difference in their schools and go above and beyond in all that they do.  “Every day, teachers and staff of North Royalton City Schools are making a difference,” said Branch Operations Manager Endia Small, First Federal of Lakewood. “Our bank is honored to partner with the District, enabling these special individuals to be recognized publicly for their contributions.”

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