North Royalton City Schools News Article

Crystal Starfish Award Recipients Announced

On January 26, 2023, North Royalton City Schools announced the recipients of the first semester’s Crystal Starfish Award presented by First Federal of Lakewood.

At North Royalton Elementary School, preschool teacher Lori Pekare was presented with the Crystal Starfish Teacher Award.  Besides the award, she also received a $250 Professional Development Grant from First Federal of Lakewood. Pekare was nominated by a colleague and a parent.

Excerpts of her nomination state:

A parent wrote…Mrs. Pekare was my son's teacher in 2019-2020. An example of her thoughtfulness is that she sends all the parents an email on the first day of school to let them know how their child's day was. My son went from super shy and nervous to loving school. I am currently a long term substitute working as her co-teacher. I can see how much she cares for her students. Even though she has taught the same ages for years, she is always trying to find new and fun activities for them. She has shown that she really understands the age. She is super positive and friendly all day, every day to students and staff. She has high expectations for all students and is able to remain calm and positive even in more difficult situations. She makes the classroom a fun place to be for students and staff alike. I am grateful that I have been able to be part of her class.

Another parent wrote…She has helped tremendously with his speech and getting him to open up. She’s very involved and my son loves telling me what Mrs. Pekare and him did that day at school.

Kim Arbogast, an aide in the science department at North Royalton High School was the recipient of the Crystal Starfish Support Staff Award. Various colleagues nominated Arbogast.  

Excerpts of her nomination state:

Kim goes above and beyond helping students. She readily makes herself available to students, and is willing to help teachers in every way possible. She is essential to a classroom full of students with varying needs, and the science department is lucky to have her.

Mrs. Arbogast works tirelessly to keep students on track in the biology classes that she supports.  She builds relationships with all of the students so she can hold them accountable at the same time she is cheering them on!  She works tirelessly to keep kids on track and supports the teachers in ways beyond her job description.  We are lucky to have her in the science department, and it shows in student successes!

Kim Arbogast is an absolute pleasure to work alongside.  Over the years of working with Kim, she has gone above and beyond her call of duty each and everyday for each student at North Royalton High School.  Her passion for education and caring nature for all of her students is apparent by her commitment and positive attitude that she brings to the building each and everyday.  Her willingness and eagerness to assist all students in any capacity is admirable and worthy of this nomination!  She is an absolutely amazing individual who is there for the students each step of the way!

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.”

Crystal Starfish Winners



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