Yetto, Whitman and Russo named ABCD Award recipients

Congratulations to our latest ABCD Award recipients for going Above and Beyond the Call of Duty to to make a difference in the lives of our students and help them succeed! Each of the honorees was recognized by GJSD’s Board of Education President, David D’Amore, at Thursday night’s regularly scheduled board meeting.

three men and two women pose in front of a t screen

L to R: Superintendent of Schools Dr. William Crankshaw, Angela Yetto, Jackie Whitman, Sean Russo and GJSD BOE president, David D’Amore.


a woman wearing a pink sweater and a white scarf sits in a chair in an officeANGELA YETTO  is a school counselor at Johnstown Junior High School, an advisor for the Class of 2024, and a Success Mentor. Not only does she work to assist students during school hours, her kindness and compassion extends to families struggling with life altering circumstances outside of the school day. Mrs. Yetto has been known to orchestrate help and share resources with families starting over after losses. As one appreciative parent has stated,  “It takes a special human to work at a school, it takes an amazing human to care outside of her role at school”. We are pleased to recognize Mrs. Yetto’s caring and compassion for Johnstown families, which  goes Above and Beyond the Call of Duty.  

a woman wearing glasses sits in an inflatable chair with elementary aged students posing around herJACKIE WHITMAN  is a special education teacher at Pleasant Avenue Elementary, where her colleagues say she is the first person to volunteer for anything, often asking how she can help and offering assistance to other staff members throughout the day. She also volunteers at many after-school activities, like “Literacy Night,” and goes the extra mile to ensure that special education students are fully included in the Pleasant Avenue culture and community. She is described by co-workers as kind, considerate, fun, engaging and knowledgeable. Jackie’s colleagues also say she has an ability to recognize student needs and behaviors and that she regularly uses this ability to transition children through difficult situations that arise during the day. Mrs. Whitman’s efforts to support the staff and students around her are truly appreciated as going Above and Beyond the Call of Duty.

a man wearing a green shirt with a tie stands in front of a purple wallSEAN RUSSO  is a social studies teacher at Johnstown High School and has served for several years as the volunteer advisor for the Johnstown Equality Alliance Club, creating another avenue for students’ voices to be heard. Among the many opportunities Mr. Russo provides for his students, each year he travels to New York City with a group of seniors from his  Advanced Placement Politics, Leadership and Economics course – otherwise known as APPLE, so they may compete in the “We the People Competition,” where students create speeches that answer rigorous questions about the U.S. Constitution, government and current events and then answer questions posed by a panel of judges. Mr. Russo spends months helping students prepare for this competition, which provides a college level experience. Mr. Russo’s persistent efforts to prepare his students for their futures are recognized as going Above and Beyond the Call of Duty.

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