The Union St. Journal: Cherry Creek High School's official news source

Union St. Journal

The Union St. Journal: Cherry Creek High School's official news source

Union St. Journal

The Union St. Journal: Cherry Creek High School's official news source

Union St. Journal

Four Creek Staff Members Receive Prestigious Awards

Quinn Rudnick
Creek staff members were recently selected for prestigious education and contribution awards. English teacher Lesley Philipps and Spanish teacher Jaime Hoffmeister were selected for Educator of the Year, and security specialist Joseph Rosales and admin assistant Abby Clark were selected for the All Star award.

The All Star and Educator of the Year awards recognize school staff for their contributions to the community. This year, four individuals from Creek received this honor.

Educators of the Year

Teachers are first nominated to be Educators of the Year by students, parents, or staff. Then, a committee consisting of three seniors, two parents, two teachers, and Principal Ryan Silva review the nominations and make the final decision. This year, 47 teachers were nominated. Out of 47, English teacher Lesley Philipps and Spanish teacher Jaime Hoffmeister were selected.

Silva, the selection committee, and other admin staff all go present the award in-person to the selected teachers.

“It’s probably one of the highlights of the year for me,” Silva said.

English teacher Lesley Philipps recalls the moment she was presented this honor with a smile. She remembers students, parents, and admin flooding into her classroom, flowers in hand. Several of them gave short speeches about Phillips’ impact on their experience at Creek.

“I was like, ‘don’t cry,’” Philipps said.

Philipps teaches some CP courses, an Honors course, and a Bruins Academic Center class, which focuses on student strength building.

“Throughout the day I teach … different types of kids [with] different backgrounds and different experiences,” Philipps said. “So it’s pretty cool.”

Philipps enjoys this unique position that she’s found herself in over the years. Now, she’s past her 20th year teaching at Creek, and is grateful to be selected for this award.

“I can hardly even put words to it. It was such an incredible gift to be…recognized in this way with all these other teachers who have come before me,” Philipps said.

Philipps started teaching at Creek around the same time as Spanish teacher Jaime Hoffmeister, the second 2023-2024 Educator of the Year. 

Besides being a teacher, Hoffmeister is also the Language department coordinator. In that role, she regularly checks in with her colleagues and has built close relationships with them. 

Hoffmeister believes the honor of Educator of the Year belongs to her colleagues as well.

“I’m super excited to have [the language department] recognized,” Hoffman said. “I hope everyone in the department sort of feels a sense of ownership to have the award.”

All-Star Awards

The All Star award recipients are classified employees, which includes support staff, security staff, secretaries, Special Education paraprofessionals, and more. A CCSD committee receives award nominations from schools across the district, ultimately selecting around 20 to 30 honorees. This year, security specialist Joseph Rosales and admin assistant Abby Clark were among those who received the award.

Before becoming an employee, Rosales was a student at Creek. In high school, he found that he was passionate about working with kids after taking a MAL Science class, where Creek students teach elementary school students fundamental science skills. Now, Rosales is both a security specialist and the head coach for sophomore baseball. 

“My favorite part about interacting with kids is kind of being a mentor,” Rosales said. “I’ve been around long enough now that I kind of know what’s the good side and what’s the bad side of Creek, and how to kind of guide yourself through that process.”

Of his ten years working at Creek, Rosales spent many of those years working alongside his mom, who was a dean at the school for 20 years. After being closely involved with Creek for so long, the award takes on a heavy weight for Rosales.

“Knowing what that award means, I eventually was just very humbled,” Rosales said. “I think it basically tells me that I’ve done my job.”

Clark is also a Creek alumni and is both grateful for the community and happy to contribute to it.

“It’s nice to come back and be able to give back, you know, to the school in the community where my kids go and where I attended,” Clark said. “It’s nice to be recognized.”

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About the Contributors
Amanda Castillo-Lopez
Amanda Castillo-Lopez, News Editor
Hi! My name is Amanda, and I’m a senior at Creek this year. As the News Editor for the USJ, I've reported on many different events in our community and global circumstances that affect us. I've become particularly connected with and enlightened by a variety of people in my community through stories and interviews, and I'm grateful for the opportunity to continue expanding my writing skills and knowledge of the world around me through journalism.
Quinn Rudnick
Quinn Rudnick, Junior Editor-in-Chief & Sports Editor
Hello, my name is Quinn Rudnick, and I am a junior at CCHS - and this is my third year on staff at the USJ. This year, I am the Junior Editor-in-Chief and Sports Editor. I hold a strong passion for both journalism and photojournalism, and intend to pursue a career in political journalism. As a journalist, I strive to present information to the student body and beyond in a factual and digestible fashion. I write a lot about local and global politics, as well as local theatre and events around the school. You can find me at a lot of Creek sports games, fueling my passion for sports photography and reporting. Outside of the USJ, I follow Formula One racing, the Nuggets and the Avs, and I love snowboarding.

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