Hall of Fame

Induction into the Jostens Renaissance Hall of Fame is the highest honor that an educator can receive from Jostens Renaissance. It recognizes the successes and achievements of the nation’s finest educators. Data and documentation along with recommendations support and validate all winners.

2014 Hall of Fame Inductees

Tina-Dietrich-Head-Shot

Tina Dietrich
School Counselor/Renaissance Coordinator
Fountain Woods Elementary School
Burlington, NJ

What has Jostens Renaissance impacted the most at your school(s)?
Definitely the culture and climate. We actually have parents cry on the last day of school when they know their kids are leaving to go to the next building. Ask anyone who has been around the district and they will tell you there is a completely different vibe when you walk into Fountain Woods. People feel welcome and the energy is positive.

What the best piece of advice you’ve received?
To ignore the negative people who want to bring you down. For every parent that complains in our school their are 879 other ones that are happy! That’s who to focus on.

What’s the best piece of advice you would give to a new teacher?
RUN! Just kidding. I think it is important to get to know your students if you are going to teach them effectively. Someone recently asked me what I teach and I said “I used to teach Spanish”. Their response was “no you didn’t, you taught children.”

What’s the best piece of advice you would give to a student?
Our Renaissance theme always incorporates the word BELIEVE.  I tell them if you BELIEVE in yourself everyone else will too!

What is the funniest thing that’s happened to you as an educator?
I had a group of 9 year old girls in my office recently and one said if another girl kept acting how she was acting she was going to grow up and be a crazy cat lady and never live with a boy.

How has Jostens Renaissance impacted you, personally and professionally? What role has it played in your life?
My Renaissance Program is my heart and soul. From the first time I visited fellow hall of fame member Steve Bollar’s school to find out what Renaissance was, I was hooked. I knew our school needed this program and that it could make a difference. With my job, I get to deal a lot with the negative. Renaissance keeps me grounded. Nothing is sweeter than the reaction of a student who is not expecting to be recognized get excited. Or a student who worked to earn a recognition and finally did. Their excitement is contagious and it keeps me going. It makes the negative stuff during the day disappear. I can’t imagine working with kids and NOT having Renaissance. It’s rewarding to be a part of something that “matters”. I feel like this is what I was born to do.

Jennifer-Gates-Head-Shot

Jennifer Gates
Principal
Clifton Middle School
Monrovia, CA

What has Jostens Renaissance impacted the most at your school?
A change in behavior campus wide both academically and socially and an increased level of motivation for students to improve grades and attendance.

What the best piece of advice you’ve received?
Do not let what I cannot control consume me. Focus on what I can control and keep on keeping on.

What’s the best piece of advice you would give to a new teacher?
Never forget how much you can impact the lives of students. Sometimes you will not feel the impact of this until years later but never let this alter your level of commitment and motivation geared towards making a difference.

What’s the best piece of advice you would give to a student?
Life is about opportunity: the harder you work, the more opportunity lies ahead and this will allow you to find your passion.

What is the funniest thing that’s happened to you as an educator?
Being mistaken for a student my first year teaching 8th grade (I didn’t think I looked like I was 12 years old)!

How has Jostens Renaissance impacted you, personally and professionally? What role has it played in your life?
Jostens Renaissance dramatically changed who I was personally and who I was as a teacher when I committed to beginning the program at Monrovia High School eleven years ago. It allowed me to see the small accomplishments in people and make the effort to recognize them no matter how big or small both in my classroom and personal life. I truly believe the exposure to Renaissance restored my faith in people and affirmed that relationships and human connections are one of the most important aspects of life. I knew this movement would be contagious if I gave my all to create a system that focused on these relationships to find the good in people and to give them a moment to shine for all of their efforts. Renaissance became an integral part of my life and I am so proud of all of the students and teachers who believed in the vision and worked so hard to create the many rituals and celebrations in existence today. I have many students who are grown up and have taken the principles of Renaissance and incorporated them into their professional careers. This for me, is the biggest reward of all time!

Previous Hall of Fame Inductees

2013

Tom Nichols North Stafford High School Stafford VA

2013

Jennifer Sasai Walker Junior High School La Palma CA

2013

Doreen Schaefer Sequoya Middle School Holtsville NY

2012

Ron Ward NW Hendricks School Corp. Lizton IN

2012

Valerie Vera-Mineer Canyon Hills Junior High School Chino Hills CA

2012

Judy Gore Highland Regional High School Blackwood NJ

2011

Beverly Buffington North Hall High School Gainesville GA

2010

Dwight Carter Gahanna Lincoln High School Gahanna OH

2009

Bernard Saiz Los Lunas Schools Los Lunas NM

2009

David Sanders Boiling Springs High School Boiling Springs SC

2008

Lisa Owen Sterling High School Somerdale NJ

2008

Jennifer Duston Foothill Technology High School Ventura CA

2008

Dr. Mark Petersen McDuffie County Schools Thomson GA

2007

Lisa Schreiner Logan Middle School Lacrosse WI

2007

Steven Bollar Hartford School Mount Laurel NJ

2007

Charles Gerald Moore Boiling Springs High School Boiling Springs SC

2006

Robert Smith Soddy Daisy High School Soddy Daisy TN

2006

Frank Forster Bethel High School Bethel CT

2006

JoNan Holbrook Lanier County Elementary Lakeland GA

2005

Frank Rudnesky Belhaven Middle School Linwood NJ

2005

Wayne Hironaka Grant High School Sacramento CA

2004

Judi Riley Cortland City School District Cortland NY

2004

Dr. Robert Schoewe

2004

Connie Creech

2003

Steve Morris Stephen Decatur Middle School Clinton MD

2003

Jim Fish Sherwood High School Sandy Spring MD

2003

Bob Casper Las Palmas Middle School Covina CA

2002

Denise Hitch Oakdale High School Oakdale CA

2002

Steve Woolf Tonganoxie Jr High School Tonganoxie KS

2001

Shirley Kilgore Booker T. Washington High School Atlanta GA

2001

Elizabeth James Laurel High School Laurel MD

2001

Connie Weeks Don Antonio Lugo High School Chino  CA

2001

Dale Freeman Cherokee Elementary Cedartown GA

2000

Larry Schmidt Lafayette High School Wildwood MO

2000

Marge Congress La Sierra High School Riverside CA

2000

Al Nuness Jostens

1999

Alison Olzendam Mead Middle School Mead WA

1999

Bill Cheney Ontario High School Ontario CA

1999

Keith Bell Gahanna High School Gahanna OH

1999

Dr. John McEwan Silver Lake Regional High School Kingston MA

1999

Alan Chmiel Bethel High School Bethel CT

1999

Frank Palatucci Jr. Highland Regional High School Blackwood NJ

1998

Larry Biddle

1998

Richard Parkhouse Charter Oaks High School Covina CA

1998

Thomas T. Evans Atlanta GA

1998

Vicki Dunaway Powell High School Powell TN

1998

Dr. Dan Edwards Lafayette High School Wildwood MO

1998

Tom Parizo Oxnard High School Oxnard CA

1998

Judy Cox

1998

Larry Price Wilson County Schools Wilson NC

1998

Thomas Whitman

1998

Leon Beckerman
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