What is a Sparkle Award? A Sparkle Award recognizes individuals and student groups whose support of Rochester Community School students with special needs is exemplary. Love your child's bus driver? Nominate him! Is your child's para beyond compare-a? Nominate her! Every nominee will be recognized and receive a Sparkle Award at the Special Education Appreciation Evening ceremony. In addition, one nominee from each general category (i.e., Early Childhood, Middle School, Post-High School, etc.) will receive special recognition.


Who May be Nominated? You may nominate an individual or student group who has provided service to one or more Rochester Community School students in special education this school year. Besides RCS staff you may nominate a student peer!

ECSE team accepts Sparkle Award

Introducing the 2022 Sparkle Book

The 2022 Sparkle Book is a compilation showcasing this year's 350 Sparkle Award nominations accompanied by photographs of those who sparkle brightest in our district. We hope that these stories brighten your day and add a little sparkle to your life, just as the nominees have brightened the lives of our special education students and families. 


Our Sparkle Book can be viewed using the digital viewer below or downloaded as an interactive PDF. 




ECSE - Donna Giles

ECSE - Libby Hoffman

ECSE - Tara Karelian

Elementary - Hendrix Hall
Elementary - Kristina Nichols-
Elementary - Kari Kocher
Elementary - Bea Savoy Ferreira
Elementary - 
Miss Vallee’s Kindergarten Class 

Middle School - Jennifer Bland
Middle School - Toni Bisaro
Middle School - Abby Pudlo

High School - Cathy Gittner
High School - Paul Bernard
High School - Peggy McKinney
High School - Melissa Perkins

Post High - Dennis McDermott
Post High - Heather
Post High - Genet Haise



ECSE - Katie Schervish, Andrea Barry, Mary Kate Dawood, Cathy Welch & Anne Fossen

ECSE - Julie Lalik

Elementary - Delta Kelly 5th Grade Students

Elementary - Beth Winters

Middle School - Jacqueline Wood

Middle School - Laure Reinke

High School - Kim Filips

High School - Rochester High School Peer Mentors


Post High - Dennis McDermott

Post High - Katie Cloos


ECSE - Laura Washer

Elementary - Nicholas Aulph

Elementary - Laura Nazione

Middle School - Heather Poirer

High School - Gavin Kaiser 

High School - Mr. DoughRay Jr.


Post High - Kristi McAllister



Elementary - Lara Cornish
Elementary - Paula Kenny

Elementary - Dr. Amanda McKay

Elementary - Alexis Schwartz

Middle School - Sadie McCutcheon

High School- Elizabeth Bulat

High School - Alicia Perkins

High School - Corinn Rittner

Post-High - Peggy Dona


ECSE - Tara Karebian

Elementary - Yumi Matsushita 

Elementary - Jane Walsh

Middle School  - Paul Diegel

High School - Reilly Herman

High School - Alissa Miller 


Post High - Amy LaPorte

Post High - Tim Leader

Post High - Dennis McDermott

Post High - Brian Retzler


ECSE - Amanda Wald 

Elementary - Laura Hartner

Elementary  - Gina Belcastro

Middle School - Haley Sornig 

High School - Kelly Harper 

High School - Nick Schram


Post High - Julie Mielnicki



Early Childhood - Debbie Zimmerman

Elementary - Dawn Blackburn

Middle School - Matthew Aboud

High School - Sarah Mueller

High School - Rawaa Kareem


Post High - Dawn Heiple


Early Childhood - Chris Sundt

Elementary - Beth Booth

Elementary - Genet Haise

Middle Schoo l- Andy Jaracz 

High School - Amy Cosentino 

High School - Aaron Mize


Post High - Amy Chamberlain