The prestigious ABCD Award is given out by the GJSD Board of Education to acknowledge employees of the District who go Above and Beyond the Call of Duty to make a difference in the lives of our students and help them succeed. Employees are nominated for the award by the school community – colleagues, students, families and community members – and recipients are selected by the members of the Board of Education.
BOE and District Administration recognized two outstanding ABCD Award winners for the final trimester of the 2021-2022 school year. The following information was gathered from each of the recipients’ nominations:
MEGHAN OARE is a teaching assistant at Johnstown Junior Senior High School, where she starts every day greeting each student at the door, by name, with a welcome and a smile. For the remainder of the day she is in perpetual motion and rarely sits still. Her wide ranging tasks include providing advocacy for students; providing coverage for fellow staff members; tutoring students in study halls and monitoring their progress; and providing social and emotional support, with an uncanny ability to temper the correct amount of compassion versus discipline. At the end of the school day she serves on the attendance committee, offering insight as a staff member and a student mentor, while reconciling data for the team. During the evening Mrs. Oare can be found supporting our students and community, utilizing her musical talents to help prepare students for NYSSMA, or providing accompaniment for musical groups during concert performances. Mrs. Oare’s energy, dedication and talents seem endless and she goes Above and Beyond the Call of Duty every day, with unparalleled positivity and commitment.
ANDY LACOPPOLA is an instrumental music teacher at Johnstown Junior Senior High School, as well as the director of both Jazz Band and Marching Band. While encouraging his students to explore and pursue their musical talents, Mr. LaCoppola also goes out of his way to ensure they are doing okay with other subjects and are getting the help they need. He has been known to reach out to parents if his students are struggling in any aspect of their schooling, not just in his class. He has also provided a guiding hand to the student-led initiative known as “Music for the Mind,” designed to educate the public on the realities of living with depression and breaking the stigma associated with mental illness. Mr. LaCoppola takes time to instill in his students the importance of honoring past and present military members through participation in Johnstown’s annual Veteran’s Day service and local Memorial Day parades. Mr. LaCoppola’s students have said that he has a heart of gold and goes Above and Beyond the Call of Duty to make sure they reach for the stars and follow their ambitions.