GRANDVIEW - It has been two years since the Grandview Chamber of Commerce has hosted its annual community awards banquet.
Last night, however, several educators, students, first responders and community members were honored for their efforts at improving the lives of those around them and making Grandview a better place to live.
Chamber President Lonnie Hendrickson and Cookie Shannon emceed the event, introducing the principal of Grandview High School, Mike Closner, first.
Closner presented Dr. Margaret Hue with the GHS Teacher of the Year award for her efforts to involve parents, students and staff members in a number of activities.
"She organizes cultural fairs," Closner read from a nomination form submitted by another educator, Melanie Manship.
Hue serves as the high school's Key Club advisor and teaches Spanish. She was instrumental in organizing a fundraiser for the purchase of a permanent veterans memorial at GHS.
The student of the year for GHS is Danielle Charvet, who is busy with a multitude of activities, including the Miss Grandview court.
Closner said Charvet's yearbook advisor, Brad Charvet, nominated the active Grandview High School senior. Mr. Charvet wrote, "Dani doesn't ever quit anything."
McClure Elementary School Principal Jose Rivera had the privilege of naming his daughter, Ejah, as that school's student of the year.
He said her teachers nominated her because "...she leads by example."
Rivera, reading the nomination form, said the younger Rivera has made a remarkable difference in the classroom, caring for other students and helping whenever needed.
"She gives 110 percent," Mr. Rivera said, noting his daughter even deals with the pressure of being the principal's daughter well.
He named special education teacher Joyce Clark as the school's teacher of the year, noting "she embraces new ideas."
Clark has been teaching students in the Grandview School District for 20 years and will retire at the end of this school year.
"She has rolled up her sleeves and engaged in the work as she understands her students will learn as a result," said Rivera, stating Clark's colleagues recognize her kindness and dedication to providing a quality education to the students at McClure Elementary School.
Harriet Thompson Elementary School's student of the year is Leyla Gonzalez, who was recognized as a student who helps everyone at the school.
Her classmates recognize Gonzalez for being a well-behaved student and the educators say her actions speak louder than her words, according to Principal Julie Wysong.
Named teacher of the year was Michaela Lyendekker, who is "...special in our hearts," according to Wysong.
Lyendekker, said the principal, is known for being committed to the students and goes beyond the classroom to show her support for those she teaches.
Jared Lind, principal at Smith Elementary School, presented Isabella Arriaga with the student of the year award from his school.
He said the youngster arrives early each morning to help staff prepare for the day. "She goes above and beyond," said Lind, noting Arriaga is involved in the school's morning show and is a "...born debater."
The Smith Elementary School employee of the year named last night is Mary Saenz, who is a member of the school's classified staff.
She was recognized for doing her job and doing it well. Lind said Saenz needs little direction and cares most about helping children learn.
Grandview Middle School Assistant Principal Carol Bardwell next introduced her school's student of the year, Felix Medina. She said the youngster was nominated by Cheryl Lindsley, who believes Medina serves as a role model in the classroom and as an athlete.
"He takes risks and does so with tact...he is a true gentleman," Lindsley wrote in her nomination form.
Grandview Middle School Readiness to Learn Case Manager Petra Morales was presented with the award for employee of the year.
Bardwell said Morales willingly steps in to find ways to help the students at Grandview Middle School. She enlists the support of her family when collecting donations, as well.
Compass High School Principal Brian Anderson next introduced the student of the year for his school, Dominick Wolfe-Jarvis.
The Compass senior serves as ASB treasurer and is a member of Future Business Leaders of America at the school. He also tutors students after school.
"Academics only tell a part of the story," said Anderson.
Fidel Castro Jr. was named employee of the year at Compass High School.
"Students trust and confide in him...he's an asset because of his rapport with the students," said Anderson, noting Castro believes there is good in everyone and he shows that belief through his actions.
Naming the Kiwanian of the year was Mitch Fairchild. He presented the award to Lorri Gilmur-Dillman, who was stunned by the announcement.
Gilmur-Dillman began a Builder's Club at Grandview Middle School and "...is the first to volunteer when it involves the kids," said Fairchild.
Named next was the outstanding police officer of the year. Grandview Assistant Police Chief Kal Fuller presented the award to Kevin Glasenapp, who was nominated by his peers for the award.
"He's always willing to go the extra mile," Fuller said of Glasenapp.
The outstanding firefighter of the year, presented by Grandview Fire Chief Pat Mason, is Erubiel Clara. He, too, was nominated by his peers for going above and beyond the call of duty in pursuit of helping the community.
The top responder, who has been working for the Grandview Fire Department since last June, is Joseph Barrientes. There were more than 300 calls for service during the seven months Barrientes has worked in Grandview, according to Mason. He said the top responder was at 179 of those calls.
The Orrin Dybdahl Youth Award was next presented to Gene and Kathy Iwami.
Cookie Shannon said several nominations for the couple were received because of their dedication to providing youth in Grandview with a safe place after school, the Extra Mile Student Center.
"They took a dream and made it happen," Shannon read from one nomination form.
Terry Daniels was presented the volunteer of the year award for serving as Santa during Cocoa and Carols, as well as for his efforts at keeping the rose garden clean and tended.
The Grandview Chamber of Commerce president's award was presented by past president Tony Sanchez. He named Mary Barrett for the award, noting her efforts at tending the flowers planted throughout downtown Grandview.
The person of the year award was presented to Andrea and Lonnie Hendrickson.
The couple was recognized because the Hendricksons annually construct the haunted house at Halloween and help construct the Grandview community float each year. They have also organized Cocoa and Carols and will be in charge of the Miss Grandview program upon the departure of Shannon, who plans to move from Grandview later this year.
"They see a need and figure out how to do it," said Shannon.