You Make a Difference

You Make a Difference

The You Make a Difference Award is presented to staff members whose exemplary actions support students, colleagues and the mission of Salina Public Schools. Recipients of these awards receive a lapel pin and a handwritten note personally delivered by a board of education member. 

May 11, 2021

Donella Geist, Custodian
Central High School

Donella is a force of positivity in the halls of Central High. Much loved and respected, she goes out of her way to connect with students and check how things are going for them. No matter the task, she wears a smile, easily shares a laugh and has a bounce in her step. Thank you, Donella for making a difference!


Marilyn Arnold, Special Education Teacher, High Incident
Oakdale Elementary School

Recently, while a colleague was on an extended absence and no regular substitute was available, Marilyn stepped in to help. She wrote IEPs, created lesson plans, and communicated with support staff. She saw a challenge that was not easily solved and became the solution.  Thank you for making a difference, Marilyn!


Jessica Owens, School Nurse
Coronado Elementary School

The health and well-being of every student and staff member at Coronado is but a starting point for Jessica. Her support spans from medical to social-emotional and beyond, including trying to make others’ jobs easier when possible. Thank you, Jessica, for going the extra mile and making a difference!


Mollie Paredes, Paraeducator
Heusner Elementary School

Mollie provides extra support at Heusner, often bringing treats and gifts for students and coworkers. Her creative and crafty touches help keep spirits high by brightening halls and workrooms. She makes fun face masks for staff, most recently raising autism awareness. Thank you for making a difference, Mollie!


Tiffany Cooper, Paraeducator
Lakewood Middle School

Whether working with special education students, her cheerleading team or her colleagues, Tiffany gives 110% to everyone. She is a master at focusing on students’ needs and extending her compassion and kindness to help students feel safe and loved. Thank you, Tiffany, for making a difference!