top of page

Paw-sitive Cougar Award

The “Paw”- sitive Cougar award is an opportunity for any adult in the community to recognize a student or staff member for being an excellent citizen and living up to our values of taking care of yourself, taking care of each other, and taking care of this place.  Parents and staff can nominate someone from our community by clicking  HERE.


Shavannah Powers:  She always go above and beyond at home and at school

Mr. Johnson:  He is always there to listen to what i say , and gives the best advice in difficult situations. He is like a father figure to me.

Pam Ahrens:  Mrs. Ahrens goes above and beyond to make sure her students succeed. She never gives us or shies away from a challenging situation. Her hard work radiates positivity through the entire SCHS math department! We are all lucky to have her.


AJ Simms:  AJ is my ROCK in the front office. His support is greatly appreciated and I try to never take him for granted. AJ is the real magic behind getting subs signed in and classes getting covered in addition to everything else he does. I hope staff will never pass up the chance to say THANK YOU to AJ! He deserves that and so much more! THANK YOU AJ FOR ALL YOU DO!

Stacy Achenbach:  I appreciate Stacy for many reasons! Probably most of all for how she loves our students. She really cares about them, always puts them first, and always makes herself available. Stacy is also our FIRST RESPONDER when we are short on subs. Her willingness to help gives me peace when we are concerned about getting classes covered. THANK YOU STACY FOR ALL YOU DO!

Joe Gelaro:  Coach Gelaro was my son's JV soccer coach. He not only coached with great soccer knowledge and a competitive attitude, but most importantly, he coached with exemplary character. Coach Gelaro's calm demeanor was the greatest example to these young boys, displaying to them the importance of sportsmanship and teamwork. My son felt cared for as a player and person by Coach Gelaro. He gave my son confidence to continue growing as a young man of character. Thank you Coach Gelaro for all the time, effort and encouragement you gave to the Steele Canyon Boys JV team!

Pam Sigmon:  For so many days, in so many ways, she keeps us happy and healthy.


Shannon Johnston:  She is always so kind when working with our department, which can be difficult at times due to some complex issues. Her organizational skills are admirable and so on point. She inspires me to be better! I know that she thinks of the school first and wants the school to succeed over everything else. She is so deserving of this award.


Aimee Carman:  Aimee is wonderful advocate for our students and she is great to collaborate with as a colleague.

Mr. Cely:  For being a positive and activate member in our department. Also, for making a difference in students' lives. Lastly, for teaching AP Spanish for years and for helping AP students achieve great results.

Tatjana Thorson:  Tatjana is a ray of sunshine. She is a patient, kind, and inspiring teacher who cares deeply about all the students she serves, especially the challenging ones! In addition, she is a friend to all. Over the years she has made it a point to stop by the business office to thank our team for all we do and we appreciate her thoughtfulness. Simply put, she is a kind human being. She has a wonderful Cougar Spirit!


Sergio Garcia:  Sergio is such a well rounded person! He helps his peers whether he is asked to or not and always does so with a smile. He is so genuinely compassionate and kind to everyone around him, making everyone's days brighter!

Sydney Wolfe:  While I can't speak to her work in the classroom, I can attest that whenever she's near the office she always has a smile and seems to be enjoying being on campus every day -- makes us all feel good.

Deputy Abril Sroher:  Her presence on campus is a calming influence on students and staff.

Mike Spears, Bill Dunning, Peter Ruiz Jr, Eileen Schramm, Brandon Johnson:  They perform an amazing service in keeping students and staff safe.

Brandon Johnson:  Brandon has such a wonderful personality, and a down to earth attitude, smiling, and attending games with a great vibe. He should be recognized for his exceptional services, as well as the value it carries with other staff and students.


Claire Eisenberg:  Ms. Eisenberg spent countless hours outside of class tutoring my son. She showed tremendous care for my son. Ms. Eisenberg offered different learning methods and she showed great patience with him. Her encouragement motivated him to do his best in a difficult subject and he finished the class feeling cared for not just as a student but as a young person. Thank you Ms. Eisenberg! You are an awesome teacher!

Ron Richards:  he helped me so much when i was going through a really rough time mentally and at home and i think that he's also a really good teacher

Ron Richards:  he's a very good teacher.

Penny Cody:  If you got hired, if you get paid, if your benefits are current; then you can thank Penni Cody!  She is the one who handled the phone calls and paperwork to make these things happen expeditiously and correctly.

Anne-Marie Warren:  She works long hours and is very dedicated to Steele Canyon and her students.

Kevin Brew:  Kevin provides invaluable wisdom and a much-needed sense of humor to the 11th Humanities team. His leadership and curriculum knowledge are crucial for the department to run efficiently and effectively. Occasionally Kevin, who is also a professional karaoke singer, will perform a song and dance routine to lift the spirits of his colleagues at the department meetings. The last performance he did was a duet with Assistant Principal Paul Battle, where they performed a Hall and Oats favorite "You make my dreams." They performed in full costume, down to fake mustaches and wigs.

Krissy Toon: Krissy is very accomplished at dealing with students, parents (and Assistant Principals) with patience and tact.

Chelsea Yoshinaga:  Thank you for carrying the spirit of all that is wonderful about the school we love, SCHS. Additionally for remembering and going out of your way to appreciate the efforts of individuals and the power of genuine collaboration that has occurred in our journey to this point. While some of those ventures have come and gone, your passion and dedication have been uncompromising. You inspire me and countless others!

Our Assistant Principals: treating staff, students and parents with respect and support regardless of the circumstances that created the interaction.

Alexa Jones:  Alexa has an amazing and youthful energy. She is training to become a teacher and I am 100% sure she will be great at it. She is caring, compassionate and incredible when it comes to supporting students!

Kelly Bañaga:  Kelly is amazingly intuitive when it comes to fulfilling the needs of the students. She has a heart of gold, tremendously positive energy and she radiates kindness. She is energetic and has brilliant ideas!

Nancy Herrera:  Nancy was my student years ago and she was always concerned about the well being of people around her. One can tell she is tender and caring when helping students achieve their goals and improve their attitude.

Isabel Cortez:  Isabel uses her own life experience which was filled with adverse situations as an example to empower younger students to understand the importance of education and having a good attitude when facing difficulties. She is amazing with the kids. We are lucky to have her.

Callie Goins:  Callie turned in a lost cell phone, and looked at the email notifications on the lock screen to identify the student's name and turned it into me because she knows I have seniors!

Mynerva Ponce:  Mynerva did the right thing by getting help for a friend in need. She represents the best of Steele Canyon High School.

Helen Bell:  Helen really stepped in and had to not only cover all of her daily duties but also covered mine as well. I am sure it was a very exhausting/stressful experience for her. I do appreciate all she did for me while I had to be away. Thank you also to all the staff that stepped in to help.

Charlotte Turrubiartes:  Charlotte provides calm, confident, and positive support to all staff on all things Technology. Every request we have she knows how to solve AND ACCOMPLISH in the most creative and and caring way.

Mathew Duclos:  Mathew stood up for what was right on social media and helped educate some younger students!

Judith Kuykendall:  Ms. Kuykendall is a knowledgeable voice of reason and a consummate source of support for her students.

Scott Parr:  Mr. Parr has made a difference for so many, but, to steal from a Winston Churchill quote, "...never have so many (ed. staff, students, parents), owed so much (ed. again, too numerous to mention), to so few (ed. Scott)."

Gary Stathas and Pat Connolly:  They have coached here for years and has made such an impact on kids as a teacher and coach. This past weekend they won a League Championship at both the JV and Varsity levels. Their team is moving on to CIF this Saturday!

Ruben Martinez:  Ruben is the biggest fan for all activities on this campus. If we could seriously have him as a mascot without it being totally ridiculous, it would be an apt way to describe him. He supports so many programs, cheers for groups successes, and works to make his program better as well. He tries new things, without fear of failure, to see if it makes things better. Sometimes it is amazing, and sometimes not, but this is another reason why he deserves this award. He isn't afraid and this is what education needs.  Mr. Martinez showed up to our band competitions several times, driving over 2.5 hours to state championships, just to be a supporter, a fan, and a comfort to the students and staff. If there was one individual who deserves praise, it is him.

Al McTrusty:  Al offers his time each week to lead a yoga class for staff, which is SO APPRECIATED and is creating a greater sense of community on campus. Thank you, Al!

HELEN BELL AND DONNA WALZ:  I appreciate you ladies for taking care of our 2000+ students and 4000+ parents/guardians concerning their lates, absences, early releases, etc with skill and patience.

Julie Uto:  Julie is a true "one-armed paper hanger" for Athletics, ASB, Staff and the School in general.

Vicki Ordway:  Ms. Ordway is a "Jill" of all trades to CEO/Principal and all staff members and students. She makes this place the "family" that it is.

Yaselle Mendez:  Yaselle found and turned in a wallet at 2:30 pm on 11/05/19. Thank you Yaselle for doing the right thing!

Mrs. Fuentes, Mrs Loprell, Mrs Whaley and Mr. Coronado:  Each teacher contributed tremendously to the design, development and implementation of curriculum for our students enhancing their educational experience and enriching the cultural and linguistic exposure students receive.

Laura Boehmke:  Laura has been instrumental in the development of student programs that have benefited the student body throughout the years. Her leadership and commitment to education are commendable.

Heather Luck:  Ms. Luck displays unconditional and relentless support to students and their personal growth in music and in life.

Jenny Serban and Jillian West:  Each teacher trained 40 new Safe school ambassadors last Thursday and Friday. They are amazing!

Grant Shackelford:  He found a wallet on 10/25 at 6:50 am and turned it in to the attendance office.

Crystal Woods:  Support might just as well be Crystal's middle name! At the beginning of the year (after Sarah left and before Jenna and Kelly were hired), Crystal stepped up and unofficially filled both of their roles as well as her own. Crystal acted as a point of contact for Integrated Math 1C and helped support hundreds of students in their effort to get acclimated to the expectations of high school math. Thank you Crystal for all your hard work & for going above and beyond your job description. Steele Canyon is lucky to have such a dedicated, patient person helping guide students through the Cougar XL support class! We math teachers don't know what we would have done without you.


Brook Meiers:  She found a 20 dollar bill and turned it in to the attendance office. Thanks to her honest actions, the student who lost a 20 dollar bill was able to recover his loss. He actually came to the attendance office during lunch asking if someone turned in a 20 dollar bill.


Nicole LaBella:  Ms. LaBella leads with kindness and has earned the respect of all of us and the community. Through her leadership, our drama department has earned several awards in the county including Best Musical with Broadway San Diego, and Best Ensemble for Les Miserables with the National Youth Awards. Her students receive several nominations for their performances and one of our students even traveled to New York as the winner of the Broadway San Diego Awards to represent Steele Canyon at the National Jimmy Awards.Every night she spends hours planning to make use of her time in front of her students. She has the same mindset as me in that she doesn't want to waste the students' time because she needs to think through something. Because of this, she always sacrifices her personal time and sleep to plan for her productions and class time.


Jacob Morgan:  He recently used the Heimlich maneuver he learned in my ENS class to save the life of his neighbor.


Emma Pizzuto:  Welcoming a student with special needs. Trying to be nice even if the response was not a normal response.

Screen Shot 2020-02-13 at 8.04.58 AM.png
Screen Shot 2020-01-29 at 3.34.45 PM.png
Screen Shot 2020-01-10 at 1.59.43 PM.png
pasted image 0.png
Screen Shot 2019-11-15 at 2.24.43 PM.png
pasted image 0 (1).png
bottom of page