A 17-year veteran Douglas school teacher and two relative newcomers from Jacks Valley Elementary School won Dr. F. Gregory Betts Education Foundation awards.
Each of the three women received a $1,000 award on Tuesday, presented by Betts’ wife, Doris, and son, Chris Betts.
“We are honoring you hard work and dedication to continue your education, with both families and a job,” said Chris Betts, a 1983 Douglas High School graduate.
Montana Hammond has been teaching math in Douglas County since 2004. She started out at Carson Valley Middle School for 11 years before moving to Douglas High, where she teaches geometry and algebra.
She is seeking a master’s degree in technology in secondary education with a distance learning focus.
“I chose this major to be an expert in EPIC teaching and learning and to be a leader in 21st Century teaching.”
A South Lake Tahoe Viking, Sarah Caro is a Jacks Valley Elementary School special education paraprofessional. Caro already has a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Davis.
She worked as a teacher in a special education preschool and held a similar position in Wyoming.
“After working in this classroom, I knew I wanted to pursue a job in special education with the school district and was hired as a paraprofessional,” she said.
After returning to Western Nevada, she was hired at Jacks Valley.
She is seeking a masters of science degree in school psychology and hopes to become a school psychologist in Douglas County.
Jacks Valley Elementary playground aide Allison Kirkwood has been working for the district since 2020.
She is pursuing her bachelors of science degree in elementary education, with the ultimate goal of becoming an elementary school principal.
Kirkwood is familiar to parents at Trinity Lutheran Child Care where she worked. She has four children.
Betts was the Douglas County superintendent of schools from 1979 to 1992. During his tenure, he founded the first Professional Development Center.
Betts was a staunch believer in the power of continuous improvement for teachers and instructional leaders.
Betts’ family began the scholarship to support the efforts of district employees, who are working to attain either a doctorate or master’s degree in curriculum and instruction.
The honorarium has been awarded annually.