Cones for Excellence


Cones for Excellence in Building Strong Student Pathways

In the Holyoke Public Schools, we are recognizing a deserving team member who embodies our values, lives up to our equity commitments, and works diligently to ensure our students are prepared for success in school and beyond. 


  • We encourage bold thinking
  • We explore all possibilities for student success
  • We embrace all students & families as our own
  • We empower school teams to impact change
  • We engage in meaningful feedback

Equity Commitments:

  • We ensure that the students, families, and staff who need the most get the most.
  • We incorporate the voices of those impacted.
  • We promote access and inclusion for all students, families, and staff.
  • We reflect and embrace the greater diversity of our students and families.
  • We work to be an anti-racist, inclusive and culturally-responsive community.

Graduate Profile:

At HPS, we work to build and grow our students’ ability to: effectively communicate, think critically, productively engage as community members and become mindful individuals.

More About the Award:

These deserving staff members will be surprised with a construction cone that displays the words: “Awesome,” “Well Done,” and “Great Job”, a lapel pin that displays the words: “HPS Champion” to attach to their lanyard, and a piece of Holyoke Swag in recognition for their outstanding work.


Congratulations to these winners who are focused on providing a high-quality educational experience and offering multiple pathways for students to succeed:

  • Ms. Rhyz, a music teacher at Kelly School
  • Julie Griffin Pluta, Expert Teacher/Instructional Coach, Sullivan School

  • Haley McCormick, a 2nd grade teacher at Lawrence School

  • Marilyn Ramos, a translator and interpreter in the district’s Language Access Services department
  • Elizabeth Lisboa, speech-language therapist assistant
  • Ms. Digna Hernandez, a teacher at Peck School
  • Mike Bennis, Jr. Network Administrator in our Technology Department
  • Cynthia Marquez, Dean of Students, Sullivan School
  • Jessica Askew, BCBA, and Kimberly Longe, Special Education Team Leader from McMahon School
  • Whitney Anderson, Maintenance Administrator at Central Supply
  • Patty Dunn, Data Clerk, Holyoke High School North
  • Alison Gonzalez, Special Education Teacher at Kelly School
  • Korri Flynn, a math interventionist at Lawrence School
  • John Greany, Jr., a custodian at Metcalf School
  • Sara Mirolli, a Rise Teacher at Sullivan School
  • Heidi Salmela Ramoth, an ABL paraprofessional at EN White School
  • Christine Perez, ELA Teacher at Peck School
  • Mario Feliciano, ESL Teacher at Holyoke High Dean Campus
  • Mary McAndrew, ELA Instructional Coach/Expert Teacher at Kelly School
  • Luis Breton, CTE Assistant for Advanced Manufacturing, Dean
  • Tara Bronner, SETL, Metcalf School
  • Christine Perez, 6th and 7th Grade ELA Teacher at Peck school
  • Emily Beebe and Chris Wenz who are Data Analysts in the Central Office
  • Mr. Todd Schaier, Behavior Support Team Member at Holyoke High School North
  • Maria Dejesus, Enrollment Specialist, Central Office
  • Lauren Barnard-Kurtz, First Grade Teacher, McMahon School
  • Jennifer Gonzalez-Morales, Coordinator for Families in Transition, Central Office
  • Cynthia Carbone, Director of Health, Wellness, & Nursing, Central Office
  • Sarita Graveline, Principal, Peck School
  • Sam Garcia, Executive Assistant to the Superintendent, Central Office
  • Tiarra West, Finance Auditor, Central Office
  • Stefany Garcia, Family and Community Engagement Coordinator, Donahue School
  • Ms. Andrea Magaña, Veritas School Science Teacher
  •  Julie Diaz, Lawrence School EL Teacher 
  • Carlos Quiles, HPS IT Department
  • Corrine Moguel, STEM Adjustment Counselor
  • Richard Rodriguez, HHS North Adjustment Counselor
  • Kara Theriaque ABA paraprofessional at E.N. White
  • Brittany Morin Makowski, ABL teacher at Donahue
  • Jenn Self, Occupational Therapy Assistant
  • Central Office Team: Virginia Roche, Michelle Macklin, Brian Harris, Jacqueline Escalera, Kelly Curran, Chris Noel Labieniec, and Amanda Smith.
  • Ms. Jessica Neihmer, Kindergarten teacher from Sullivan School
  • Ms. Ruell, Kelly School special education teacher
  • Molly Maturo, special education teacher at Peck School
  • Luis Morales, Food Service Delivery Supervisor
  • Judy Taylor, Director of Communications
  • Joseph Corrales from Food Services
  • Middle School ABL Team at Donahue School: Judy Rodriguez, Michelle Brazinsky, Elsa Pagan, Miguel Rodriguez & Melissa Nestor
  • Caitlin O’Hare, support paraprofessional at McMahon School
  • Gidella Cabrera, bus driver for Sullivan and STEM
  • Jessica Bresnahan, long-term substitute at Sullivan School
  • Kimberly Longe, ETL at Metcalf & Lawrence
  • Ramon Cosme, Holyoke STEM Academy
  • Glenda Curbelo, Lawrence School Office Manager
  • Nestaz Vega, Senior custodian from STEM/HHS Dean Campus
  • Emily Shankle and Alexis Finn, Special Education Teachers at Holyoke STEM Academy
  • Jessica Santana, Instructional Assistant
  • Crystal Ortona, Morgan School Kindergarten Teacher
  • Dustin Rose, Kelly School STEM teacher
  • Rebecca Lamb, Enrollment Center Manager Central Office
  • Kate O’Donnell and Axelmma Martinez, E.N. White Dual Language Kindergarten Teachers 
  • Melissa Lawson, McMahon School Art Teacher
  • Corrine Thomas, Donahue School 4th-Grade Teacher
  • Kathryn Lorenzi, Kelly School Kindergarten teacher
  • Chris O’Connell, Holyoke High School North Campus Adjustment Counselor
  • Mayra Rodriguez, Holyoke High School Dean Campus Adjustment Counselor
  • Maricely Negron, Metcalf School Paraprofessional
  • Lisa O’Neil, McMahon School Special Education Teacher 
  • Gerry Lane, Peck/Veritas Schools Senior Custodian 
  • Ilka Rivera,McMahon School Registered Behavior Technician
  • Rosie Serrano,  Human Resources Central Office
  • Marilyn Colby, Donahue School Nurse
  • Yessenia Lopez, Veritas Prep ELA Teacher
  • Jerry Serrano, McMahon School Cook
  • Heather Roberts, Districtwide Physical Therapy Assistant
  • Ryan Dearing, Kelly School Counselor
  • Elena Danek, Sullivan School ELL teacher
  • Angela Morales, Opportunity Academy
  • Lisa Destefano, Morgan School
  • David Rudzik, Metcalf School
  • Darlene Henshaw, Holyoke High School Art Teacher
  • Ms. Casey Doreums, Lawrence School
  • Frederick Caswell, Peck School
  • Tammy Cato, E.N. White 5th-Grade Teacher
  • Roberto Vicente
  • Jariela Cruz Caliz, Middle School Alternative Teacher
  • Trish Wilson, Donahue School
  • Odalis Acevedo, Metcalf School
  • Amy Nill, Peck School
  • Dr. Laura Chiaravalloti, Holyoke STEM Academy
  • Laura Vazquez, Holyoke High School North Campus School Counselor