Manalang wins Game Changer Award

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To recognize the work of district staff, the Game Changer Award launched in September 2018.

The awards are a district badges program that acknowledges two winners every month of the school year.  Winners receive $100 from the Schools First Federal Credit Union, recognition by the school board, and are covered in the local newspapers Around Alhambra and Monterey Park Cascades. Created by Director of Human Resources Stacie Colman-Hsu, the program aims to award digital badges to district employees nominated by various stakeholders.

“AUSD feels that colleagues recognizing other colleague at various [sites] and programs will promote a positive culture of looking for the good,” Colman-Hsu said. “There are so many classified employees and teachers that work hard everyday, and this program was a vehicle for acknowledging them.”

Social science teacher and BTA lead teacher Nicole Manalang was awarded with the badge in November. Nominated by environmental science teacher Jennifer Wright, the award made Manalang realize her hard work.

“[Teachers] just do what we feel we want to do,” Manalang said. “When we’re acknowledged for it, it kind of takes us by surprise, you know? I think it’s nice to hear the acknowledgement, because I think we forget as teachers that we do do a lot of work.”

Students, parents, and staff are able to nominate people at <www.ausd.us/badges/>. Click the Recognition tab at the top of the page, then select the desired badge: “Above and Beyond the Call of Duty” or “Spotlight.” From these nominations, the Game Changer Award winners are chosen by a committee.

Principal Debbie Stone said the awards will positively impact the school campus.

“[I] love it,” Stone said. “It boosts morale of teachers and acknowledges staff [and] counselors. It motivates us to do our work.”

Manalang only knew of the awards because of her nomination. This knowledge prompted her to continue the chain of staff recognition.

“I actually nominated the counselors this month, because I feel the counselors do a lot of work,” Manalang said.

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