North Royalton City Schools News Article

Crystal Starfish Award Recipients Announced

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

On January 14, 2022, North Royalton City Schools announced the winners of the first semester’s Crystal Starfish Award presented by First Federal of Lakewood.

At North Royalton High School, 11th Grade Intervention Specialist Tennille Haugh was presented with the Crystal Starfish Teacher Award.  Besides the award, she also received a $250 Professional Development Grant from First Federal of Lakewood. Haugh was nominated by many colleagues and parents.

Excerpts of her nomination state:

Mrs. Haugh is amazing. She is fully invested in helping her kids succeed in any way. Even kids not on her caseload. It’s wonderful to have a teacher who does not put her students in just one box. She understands each child is different and has different needs and potential. She is a wonderful caring teacher.

Tenille goes above and beyond for each and every student.  Tenille's desire to educate and help with the individual needs of each student stands out.  Not only does she attend to each and every need during class time but she is also open to helping students and their families outside of class time.  She has taken the initiative to form study groups with students via Zoom on the night before an assessment in other content areas and when students are absent, she will visit each of their teachers to get their assignments and communicate with the student so that they do not fall behind.  She doesn't have to do all the extras but she does.  She has taken a load of stress off of students and families by being someone who cares for the whole person and is so thoughtful and invested in their overall well-being.  

She has gone above and beyond to help me with the clubs that I am advising. As a first year teacher, she has been a person I knew I could turn to if I ever had any questions. She has a positive and compassionate attitude that I appreciate every time I talk with her.

Ms. Haugh does not just support my child in English language arts, but she follows up with him to make sure he understands his other subject as well.   She has had group study sessions with him and other students before economics tests, she is easily reachable for when my son has questions and has shown that she truly cares that he is successful in everything he does.    

Tennille goes above and beyond for all of her students, both on her caseload and past students. Specifically one student, she has not only made a difference in the classroom, but she has also made sure he always has food to eat, clothes to wear, and checks on his overall well-being.

I wish I could nominate the entire North Royalton High School Special Education Department, including our top-notch paraprofessionals.  You will not find a more dedicated, collaborative group working to make a positive impact on the lives of children! Since that is not an option, I would instead like to nominate Tennille Haugh, one of my fellow Intervention Specialists who goes well above and beyond her job responsibilities to make sure her students and colleagues feel loved and supported. A few of us lovingly call her "superwoman." Mrs. Haugh, who is also a wife and mom to three young children, goes out of her way every single day.  Mrs. Haugh organizes extra study sessions, drops off needed books/supplies to students' homes, connects students and families in need with meal providers or other community groups, and helps students order flowers or make reservations for homecoming, just to name a few of her extra acts of love! On top of her everyday teaching and parenting obligations, she coaches her children's sports teams, restarted the Sunshine Committee at the high school, and still finds time to leave students and colleagues uplifting notes and goodies to brighten their day! Through my many years as an educator, who has been extremely fortunate to have worked with many, many first-rate colleagues and staff members, Tennille is one of the kindest, most selfless individuals I have ever met.  I am a better teacher, and more importantly, a better person because I have been lucky to call Tennille a classroom roommate, colleague and friend these past few years! I know she will claim that she does not deserve such recognition, but she absolutely does, as she is a true asset to the students and staff of North Royalton!  

Tennille is hands down the most genuine person I have ever met. Genuine as a mother, a friend, a co-worker and a teacher/Intervention Specialist.  I often state, to others, and then back to myself... that Tennille Haugh cannot be human. Her dedication as this applies to every aspect of her life is unstoppable. Tennille will take on and conquer any task no matter what it might entail and make it look easy... and then ask for another task. The love and dedication that she shares with her students, and co-workers is contagious. After working with Tennille you believe in yourself, you feel prideful, you do not quit and you feel like a winner! To her students, Tennille is an angel as she is always watchful and will always be there to support and help. (Tennille does not sleep.. ever) To her co-workers she is positive. Tennille will not let you waste one second on negativity.  As my friend, Tennille has been my mentor and ironically enough I should be hers. Tennille has passed down to me her wisdom as it pertains to our career, literally her caregiver, to my child along with a wealth of knowledge on how to be the best mom. To her children and husband, Tennille is a rock star. They are so lucky to have her!  

Sandy Stergios, activities secretary at North Royalton High School was the recipient of the Crystal Starfish Support Staff Award. Various colleagues nominated Stergios.  

Excerpts of her nomination state:

She has gone above and beyond to help me with the clubs that I am advising. As a first year teacher, she has been a person I knew I could turn to if I ever had any questions. She has a positive and compassionate attitude that I appreciate every time I talk with her.

Sandy Stergios has made an incredible difference in the lives of students throughout her entire career here at North Royalton High School. Although not in this position now, I still have conversations with colleagues who talk about what an incredible classroom aide she was. In fact, this happened today! In her current role, Sandy and I have worked closely for many years now. I've been able to see her learn and master a very complicated position with so many facets to her job. Throughout these years, she has been so successful while she radiates positivity into the lives of those around her. Sandy definitely interacts with more kids on a daily basis than most anyone in the school. During these brief conversations, Sandy makes students feel special, valid, and important. No student is ever turned away with a negative feeling or an unanswered question or request. Sandy will go out of her way to solve a problem that might not even be close to an activity's concern. The care she gives to all students is inspirational. It's the cherry on the sundae of the high school. She's done so much work over the years to successfully maintain the Activities department on a daily basis. Given challenges such as a COVID prom and two vastly different and complicated COVID graduations, Sandy has aided in planning some of the most memorable events the students will have for their entire lives. As activities director, working with Sandy has been an absolute blessing and one of the most cherished engagements of my career. I appreciate everything she does for me and mostly importantly, the students of North Royalton High School. Her service to the District is immeasurable but can be seen on the face of even the most distraught student who leaves a conversation with Sandy. She has empowered and inspired students for decades.

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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