2022-2023 Governor’s Educator of the Year Winners

Please join us in congratulating our 2022-2023 Governor’s Educator of the Year Winners!

Educator of the Year:

School 1 - Joann LaSala

Charles Olbon - Alyssa D'Amico

Beatrice Gilmore - Pamela Yesonosky

Memorial School - Katherine Elman

Services Professional of the Year:

School 1 - Tina Masefield

Charles Olbon - Jamie Partridge

Beatrice Gilmore - Charlene Nyenhuis

Memorial School - Nicole Espinosa


Joann LaSala – School 1 Teacher of the Year

Mrs. LaSala is a hard-working, dedicated professional who has a good rapport with her students and staff. She has created an atmosphere of happiness and makes learning fun in her classroom environment. She is often seen laughing and showing a love for learning with her students. Mrs. LaSala has a great sense of humor and will make you laugh. 


Tina Masefield - School 1 Educational Services Professional of the Year

Mrs. Masefield exhibits a positive and professional working relationship with staff members, students, and families. She is always eager to increase her knowledge and professional growth. Ms. Masefield is often seen implementing techniques to help students grow and learn. She has a pleasant and friendly personality.


Alyssa D'Amico - Charles Olbon School Educator of the Year

First grade teacher Ms. D'Amico is an outstanding educator and colleague. She is helpful, kind, and collaborative. She is knowledgeable and passionate. She makes learning fun and accessible to her students. Her positive energy radiates in any room she is in.


Jamie Partridge - Charles Olbon School Educational Services Professional of the Year

School Behaviorist Ms. Partridge is an excellent educator and an asset to the school community. She goes above and beyond to support students with different behavioral needs and challenges. Ms. Partridge offers resources to staff and parents. She is knowledgeable, dedicated, and passionate.


Pamela Yesonosky – Beatrice Gilmore School Teacher of the Year

Ms. Yesenosky’s recommendation was from a colleague who began as her mentor and now feels inspired by her contributions. Ms. Yesenosky is a team player, always looking out for others and going the extra mile. During COVID, she led the charge in transitioning the school to Google Classroom, often creating Screencastify videos for the staff, students, and parents.

Ms. Yesenosky continues to be at the forefront of new initiatives and is involved now with memorializing the great work her team has been doing. In addition to being actively involved with the fourth grade team, Ms. Yesenosky was instrumental in reviving the middle school plays. As her colleague shared, “Pam’s musical and theatrical approach to instruction keeps students fully engaged and inspires me to remember the joy in teaching and in learning on a daily basis.”

Students regularly return to visit Ms. Yesenosky, a true indication of the impact she has had on the many lives she has touched.


Charlene Nyenhuis – Beatrice Gilmore School Educational Services Professional of the Year

Ms. Nyenhuis begins each and every day with a big smile, which remains on her face throughout the day. Ms. Nyenhuis puts the needs of her students first. She never hesitates to adjust her schedule to ensure their needs are met. She is patient and understanding. She understands the routines of the classrooms and steps up in the absence of the classroom teacher to ensure all students are on task and academically engaged. Ms. Nyenhuis’ love of working with and guiding students is also exemplified during her work in the after school-program. She is an example to be followed for all paraprofessionals.


Katherine Elman – Memorial School Teacher of the Year

Ms. Elman is one of the most caring and helpful individuals in Memorial Middle School. She has taught for over 10 years, five of which have been for Woodland Park. During her time here, she has made an impact on the lives of students both inside and outside of her classroom. She has experience working with a diverse population of students with various needs and abilities. As their teacher, Ms. Elman creates engaging and multi-sensory lessons, uses her knowledge of ABA therapy to create behavior plans, and differentiates to meet the needs of each child. Ms. Elman works closely with the families of her students to build a strong home-and-school relationship, and to help the child to the best of her ability. Ms. Elman is dedicated to making a difference in the lives of these students, not only in the academic setting but within the community as well.

Ms. Elman’s work does not stop at the end of the school day; she is extremely involved within our school community as an ambassador for students, parents, and fellow teachers. She is the first to volunteer her time and always goes above and beyond to make an impact. She truly cares about Memorial School and wants to help make our school a better place for students and staff.


Nicole Espinosa - Educational Services Professional of the Year

Ms. Espinosa is an exemplary speech therapist. She has worked in the Woodland Park School District for five years. Ms. Espinosa often provided therapy directly in the classroom as well as class trips in the community as determined by the student's needs. Ms. Espinosa not only works with students on their verbal communication but also on some students’ non-verbal communication through electronic communication devices.

Ms. Espinosa is patient, kind, and passionate about her work with her students. She is dedicated to meeting the needs of all of her students by teaching to their different learning styles, implementing hands-on lessons to engage her students, and incorporating her students’ interests within her lessons. Ms. Espinosa uses motivation systems such as a punch card for students to be able to earn rewards for working hard during their speech sessions.