West Ridge MS EANESpiration Winners, 2023
Those who display leadership and commitment to the district by making a positive, noticeable and significant impact.
Nancy Caballero, Teen Skills/Technology Applications Teacher
Nancy is a truly exceptional teacher with a clear commitment to the district by making a positive and significant impact on her students whether it is in French class or her new endeavor this past year as the Teen Skills/ Technology Applications teacher. She took on a brand-new role because she is always willing to take on a new challenge. She has motivated and inspired her students to learn how to cook, sew and create amazing products with technology. We know she is making an impact when the students go home and want to recreate a dish for their family that they learned how to make in Teen Skills!
Mike Ciccarelli, Science Collaborative Teacher
The science department would not function without Mike Ciccarelli. Through eight years of working with the science department, Mike has become a 7th-grade science expert who does an incredible job supporting students and helping them understand complex processes such as the flow of blood, genetics, and cellular respiration. Mike goes above and beyond for all students, is an excellent communicator with parents, and plays an active role in PLC to ensure the science curriculum meets the needs of all students. Mike, thank you for being part of the 7th-grade science dream team, we couldn't have made it through without you!
Megan Cisneroz, Social Studies Teacher
Megan has high expectations of her students; not only academically, but behaviorally. She helps build their character through their daily journal and by keeping up with current events. In addition, students participate in a class meeting each day where they discuss the class mantra and the quote of the week, and students share the good things going on in their life. Keep up the good work Megan! West Ridge is so lucky to have you!
Kena DiNardi, Special Education Teacher
Kena displays leadership and commitment to the district in too many ways to count. Her dedication to her job and her continued drive to further her education is admirable. She makes genuine connections with her students that last for years, speaking to the significance of her ability to impact her students’ lives. Her knowledge of behavior strategies is extensive, and she can apply those practices in a skillful, seamless way. Her lessons are always well planned and thoughtful with the aim to impact her students both in the moment as well as for the rest of their lives. Kena has a remarkable ability to work with her students’ parents and provide them with strategies and guidance that have changed their lives as well. Kena is a team player and is always willing to help spread her passion and her knowledge with her team. She is an inspiration!
Jeremy Donalson, Coach & PE Teacher
Jeremy Donalson goes above and beyond to lead the Girls Athletic Department at WRMS. In addition to creating a meaningful developmental program for all athletes, he makes sure the girls and teams are acknowledged weekly in both communication to the parents as well as announcements for the school. He holds his athletes to high standards and builds confidence in them along the way. Coach Donalson takes the time to help each student know their potential and inspires them to work toward their goals.
David Finkelstein, Latin Teacher
David is an excellent leader and does an outstanding job teaching his students and encouraging them to challenge themselves. He recently took his Latin students to the Certamen Finals. All the players from Mr. Finkelstein's team are eligible for Nationals. Notably, his students are all middle schoolers competing against High Schoolers. David has been taking his students to tournaments for years and the results are always positive. He dedicates so much of his own time to getting these kids ready and spends countless weekends with them, helping, encouraging, and building their confidence. It's clear his passion for Latin is an infectious and motivating force for his students. He is making an impact in our district and the lives of each of his students.
Robin Jander, Health & PE Teacher
Robin Jander’s Health course is a high school course where she teaches roughly 240+ kids each year. The impact she makes each semester for all the students is truly incredible to watch. They love her! She is teaching one of the most important middle/high school subjects and utilizes diverse teaching methods to do it. The kids get to wear "Drunk Goggles” and have those difficult yet vital conversations during this class. All the while the kids are eager to learn about the human body because of how Robin explains the details clearly and efficiently. We thank her for her dedication to the students and supportive friendship with her staff members.
Zoe Jones, Science Teacher
Zoe has brought a lot of energy to 6th-grade science this school year. She is passionate and energetic, constantly bringing her new ideas for science to our PLC and thinking of ways to inspire and engage these emerging young scientists. Zoe helped organize a Star Gazing Party in the fall for the entire 6th grade during the space unit. She invited members of the UT Astronomy Club to bring their advanced telescopes and share their knowledge and passion for the stars. The WRMS field was full of students, parents, siblings, and teachers that night, spread out on blankets and learning about the stars. It was an amazing event and hopefully, one that will become a new tradition here at WRMS.
Rosie McAlonen, Science Teacher
Rosie is an incredible science teacher who brings her extensive biology background to life with innovative and engaging lessons, which her students love. Rosie is a learner at heart. She looks for opportunities to discover a new way of teaching so her students can get the most from her class. She has helped bring the 7th-grade science curriculum to the next level and supports all students in helping them to grow in their confidence and love of science. She is an incredible asset to WRMS.
Yi Wei, Chinese Teacher
Yi is an exceptional teacher that goes above and beyond to provide special learning opportunities for her Chinese language students. She makes a positive impact on her classes by providing special events to enhance their journey by immersing them in Chinese culture. They learn how to make special dumplings, take a field trip to eat in an authentic Chinese restaurant, celebrate the Chinese New Year and all its customs and even learn Martial Arts from a special instructor. She inspires her students to learn more than just the language so that they have a genuine interest to continue in the class for years to come.
Those who perform an outstanding achievement that brings prestige to Eanes ISD, or do something that goes above and beyond the call of duty.
Pedro Cuero, Annie Lopez, Patricia Ortega, William Ortega, Luci Velazquez, Custodial Staff
Our whole custodial staff has been our heroes this year. They have been working down one person all year long and have done so with a smile and genuine joy that is inspirational to everyone they encounter. In addition to their usual responsibilities during lunches, they have taken the initiative to help by acting as monitors as well. They have gone above and beyond to build relationships with kids and staff. It is next to impossible to leave an interaction with them without a smile on your face. Each of them is a model of what we should all strive to be - kind, compassionate, hard-working, dedicated, and joyful team players.
Toy Saldaña, Principal's Secretary
Toy is remarkable...Not only does she handle all of the usual duties associated with her position such as handling all department’s orders and budgets, but she also helps to organize holiday gift-giving drives, is a "Best Buddies" rep, helps with the staff appreciation events and never says no to anyone asking for help with anything! If you look up a picture of a hero, someone who goes above and beyond the call of duty, Toy's picture would surely be there.
Vicky Santos, Cafeteria & Custodian
Depending on what time it is during the day, Vicky is either in the kitchen as a member of our cafeteria staff OR out and about helping our custodial staff. Vicky moves through this world with tremendous warmth and joy. She truly cares about everyone she encounters. She embodies every "good human" quality we all strive to display. It is clear she cares deeply about all our kids and staff and that she takes great pride in helping our school be the best that it can be.