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BISD STRONG - Spring 2022

BISD STRONG Spring 2022

Congratulations to the winners of the BISD STRONG Award. 

The BISD STRONG Award honors the district's guiding principles of STRONG MINDS, STRONG HEARTS, STRONG COMMUNITY.



Hans Griesser, Math Teacher

  • Hans addresses all learning styles in his classroom through a variety of teaching strategies, and he is determined to help each student see the relevance of math plus feel successful.
  • Hans brings real-world relevance into the classroom. He shows students through visual representations, drawings, and explanations and encourages students to take risks so that they can learn from their mistakes. There are no "silly questions." 
  • Hans is also sensitive to his student population and designs assignments and assessments accordingly. He is available to all students for help and welcomes both students and staff into his classroom.
  • Hans works before and after school to be available to students for support. He believes we are born with a knowledge of math (and music) that just needs to be unlocked. He inspires students to look beyond numbers and shapes and see math in the real world.
  • Words used to describe you include: resourceful, patient, brilliant, wise, creative, tenacious, caring, and encouraging.

Rilla Hughes

Rilla Hughes, Counseling Secretary 

  • Rilla is the glue to the counseling department. Without her, we would be absolutely lost (no joke)! She does SO much for counselors, teachers, and students and does countless other tasks that many do not know about.
  • She is highly organized, dedicated, and someone who I can lean on for help professionally and personally. I cannot imagine a world without her in it!
  • Rilla will drop anything to help. Whether it's finding a space for a student in crisis, troubleshooting Parchment issues, making sure our sparkling water is stocked or running the P223, she does everything efficiently and with a smile. 
  • She takes time to get to know every student that comes into the counseling office and makes everyone feel welcome. 
  • Rilla is the friendly face of the counseling department whose presence is valuable to the BHS community.
  • Words used to describe you include: energetic, friendly, diligent, helpful, patient, knowledgeable

Max Richards

Maxwell Richards, 10th grader

  • I always feel happy when I see Max enter the classroom. He has a warm smile and is always excited about whatever we are doing that day.
  • Max is all about how he can support the BISD community.  He has a particular interest in leadership, gardening and technology.  He's a longtime member of the school's ASB leadership, founded the Gardening Club and has created a student technology advisory and support position.   
  • Max is really curious about things and asks great questions.  He's always thinking about how learning could be improved and shares his wonderings with staff members in a positive way that often leads to change.
  • Words used to describe you include: kind, compassionate, caring, helpful, joyous, curious, thoughtful, analytical, hardworking and knowledgeable


Enrique Chee, Teacher & Robotics Coach

  • Nine years ago, BHS Spartronics Team 4915 was built with the goal of not just building robots but using the robot-building process to teach students how to work together as a team and effectively communicate with each other, mentors, and our community.
  • Coach Chee serves as a constant example of effective communication. He is always showing students how to communicate with each other and with mentors to speed up the robot-building process and promote a shared understanding of what the team is doing.
  • Coach Chee's deep expertise in mechanics and electronics has been essential to our team's success. His leadership was key to our team earning three trips to the World Championships in 9 years. 
  • Mr. Chee has been teaching physics at BHS and, within his class has made students change the way they perceive the world through physics. By broadening our perspectives, he’s continued to create more open-minded students. In class, he has always shown his passion for teaching and allows students to draw their own conclusions and learn from their mistakes.
  • Words used to describe you include: passionate, thought-provoking, energetic, hardworking, entertaining, funny, engaging, good leader, brilliant, caring, honest, flexible and understanding

Woodward Middle School

Makena Crosser

Makena Crosser, 8th grader

  • Makena is not only a hard-working, kind and conscientious student but has also been an outstanding member of Builders Club for the past two years. 
  • Makena joined Builders Club in 7th grade when it was a weekly club that met over Zoom. She has consistently demonstrated interest, enthusiasm and passion for the community service projects that we've done in Builders Club. In addition to our projects, this spring, as the war in Ukraine was unfolding, Makena expressed a desire for Builders Club to try to do more for people halfway around the world. She has such a caring heart and goes out of her way to do good things for others.
  • Words used to describe you include: compassionate, introspective, kind, and driven


Lisa Hagerman, Food Services

  • Lisa models the very best of teamwork and has a student-centered, positive approach to her work.
  • Lisa is a most positive, dedicated, thoughtful staff person - always willing to help; Lisa has filled in as the Kitchen Manager at Woodward this year and has led the team to record meal counts, exciting classroom partnerships and created a smooth-running kitchen.
  • Lisa is a great "trainer" of new staff while offering support and encouragement to her team and to students every day.  
  • Lisa creates special menu items for her students with food sensitivities.
  • Words used to describe you include: positive, friendly, hard-working, flexible, patient, creative, supportive


Betsy Carlson, Teacher

  • She is super cheery, bright, and very wise if you ask for help with anything and is always there for anyone.
  • She asks her students how we were doing and if we were overwhelmed. When some of us said we felt like we had a lot of tests going on all the time, she asked us to talk about it more and ways she could talk to the other teachers to help make a better schedule for us. 
  • She has always been a good example because she is very wise and reflects with us on what we can do better without only telling us we did something wrong. 
  • She puts in the time and the work to make sure all her students are doing well and tries to help and advocate for her students in any way she can. 
  • Words used to describe you include: strong, reliable, warm-hearted, friendly, considerate, wise, funny, a trusted advocate, calm, reasonable, caring



Katie Gregerson, Teacher

  • Ms. Gregerson has changed our student’s academic and social trajectory.  As parents, we will look back and say she was one of those teachers that made all the difference. 
  • Her confidence in her students is contagious.  She proactively works to create more excitement and positivity around learning.  
  • She puts in extra time and thought for class seating, and group discussion to foster greater engagement.  She checks in with students to facilitate independence. She makes an extra effort to help her students connected, seen and heard which builds a greater willingness to learn! Ms. Gregerson has been a game-changer.
  • Ms. Gregerson truly sees her students, understands them, meets them where they are, and shifts as they shift.
  • Words used to describe you include: kind, dedicated, thoughtful, resourceful, contagious optimism, caring but firm, empathetic, fun, energetic, knowledgeable

Commodore Options

Liz Finin

Liz Finin, Teacher

  • I am always so amazed at what a hard-working, fun, creative and engaging teacher she is.  She uses every minute of her instruction time carefully, reading the mood of the class, and knows how to pivot and adjust her plans to keep her students focused and learning!  
  • She is a truly gifted teacher and very clearly represents the qualities of BISD STRONG.  
  • Liz makes positive connections with all her students, as well as with our Odyssey family community.  She knows her students' interests, their after school activities and keeps up with what's going on in their lives.
  • Liz promotes kindness and caring attitudes in her classroom and is quick to redirect her students when necessary.  Her students feel accepted, valued and respected. 
  • Liz always remains very patient with her students and always seems to understand their struggles. 
  • Liz spends a lot of time working to meet the individual needs of her students.  And Liz does it all with such poise, grace and humor!  Just ask her students ... she knows how to make them laugh with a good "dab" gesture.
  • Many of her former students come back every year to see Liz.  She has clearly touched so many of their lives in wonderful ways!
  • Words used to describe you include: funny, creative, engaging, caring, hard-working, a team player


Deliah Hubbard, Paraeducator

  • Deliah is such a positive person and everywhere she gets involved, she lifts up the people around her. She's a caring paraeducator, a sunny presence at Commodore, and a skilled artist and art teacher in the community. 
  • Deliah goes above and beyond every day working with students. She is always calm and honest and respectful towards the students. They see her as a trusted friend who believes in them. Her students are very lucky to have her in their lives!
  • She always has a smile, a wave, and a moment to share a kind word. She's the type of person that notices slumped shoulders or a sad expression and steps in with kindness.
  • Deliah has a spring in her step and brightens every room she enters. 
  • Deliah is hardworking and reliable. She connects with her students in a very real way and cares for them as she would her own children. She is funny and optimistic. 
  • Words used to describe you include: funny, artistic, creative, authentic, loving, patient, easygoing, resilient, brave



Janna Esarey, Bus Driver

  • Janna is a true gem! She makes the ride to and from school extra special for her lucky group of special kids. They listen to podcasts, tell silly stories, pick a book from her curated book basket, and listen to music. 
  • She adeptly handles the challenges that inevitably present themselves with this audience: suggesting and coordinating alternate drop off schedules to allow the ants-iest of the bunch to get home quickest, kindly but firmly bringing attention to any out of line behavior and helping develop a plan to correct it, allowing a fidget to live in her glove compartment so it’s ready for the ride home, and even bringing her family’s own beloved, falling apart, held-together-with-bandaids frog stuffy as a comfort toy for any kid who needs it. 
  • My absolute favorite was when my son came home so inspired by the 9-decker bus he had invented with Janna over that he decided to draw it -- complete with a swimming pool and restaurant -- and proudly showed her the next day. I honestly feel that this was the beginning of his love for drawing!
  • Janna gives these kids so much more than just a ride to school. We truly love her and feel she is very worthy of recognition.
  • Words used to describe you include: Creative, compassionate, fun, flexible


Ingvar Carlson, Bus Driver

  • Ingvar performs his job with so much heart and humor!  He is even able to keep things light-hearted and fun when kids need to be corrected.  The ride home from school is the cherry on top of the school day.  It means a lot to me as a parent to have my kids get off the bus in great moods.   
  • Driving a bus of rambunctious children and teens is no easy task!  Somehow he is able to take what could be a stressful experience into something that my son looks forward to daily. I'm grateful to have such a warm-hearted person in our community.  
  • For a short period, I was picking my kids up from school.  My elementary student begged to ride the bus again, specifically because he missed Ingvar. 
  • Words used to describe you include: playful, good-natured, unflappable 

Students, staff members from the seven schools and district office (which includes maintenance, transportation, food services, etc.) and BISD volunteers are eligible to be nominated for a BISD STRONG AWARD. 

It's easy to nominate -- simply fill out this form