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Support Staff of the Year Announced!

DENA RENINGER, TORTOLITA MIDDLE SCHOOL, COUNSELING DEPARTMENT SECRETARY

People who lead with both their heads and their hearts are rare indeed. Dena Reninger is one of those people and the impact her caring heart, brilliant mind, and commitment to service have had on the Tortolita Middle School campus is extraordinary. Over the past several years, Dena Reninger has literally transformed Tortolita Middle School’s counseling office in a multitude of ways. Mrs. Reninger is an extremely positive, cheerful, and friendly person, and her welcoming ways make new students and their families feel comforted as they prepare to join the school community.

It is just a matter of time before everyone finds their way to Mrs. Reninger’s desk for assistance with a problem, some helpful advice, or a cup of coffee and conversation. She is selfless, kind, and creative. Dena reaches out to new staff members on campus, and like a hotel concierge, welcomes and encourages them. Ms. Reninger also willingly takes on mentoring duties with students, and makes it a priority to find students who need additional support. She becomes an advocate for these select students and helps them to succeed academically and socially. Not only does she connect, but these students often go on to thrive behaviorally and academically as they move on to the high school.

Mrs. Reninger is exceptional at creating efficient new systems and no task is too small or too big for her to take on – always willingly, with enthusiasm and a student-centered focus. She recently started the Healthy Cougar Club on campus, which raises money to buy bottled water and healthy snacks for the Student Office, Health Office, the SRO's office and the Counseling Office to share with students who are in crisis for any number of reasons. Her gift at connecting with others inspires all to work harder and do more for students. In addition, she helps at school wide events like honor roll recognition dinners and other student recognition events. She is a member of the school-wide PBIS committee, and takes a leadership role in this capacity. Mrs. Reninger also organizes the school’s annual Career Day event, reaching out to many school and community members to make this important event a spectacular success. After she assumed her current position, Dena also continued to perform the duties of our registrar until a replacement could be hired.

Mrs. Reninger is highly cherished by her school community and is an exemplary role model to everyone who has the privilege of knowing her. Congratulations!