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MUSD Names 2023 Employees of the Year

MUSD 2023 Employees of the Year are:

  • Teacher of the Year: Charlie Proper, PE Teacher, Roadrunner Elementary School, 8 years in MUSD.
  • Support Staff of the Year: Alvin Ramsey, MUSD Bus Driver, 20 years in MUSD.
  • Exempt Employee of the Year: Michelle Bergeson, MUSD Instructional Coordinator, 24 years in MUSD.

The Marana Unified School District annually recognizes dedicated employees who possess outstanding work abilities, motivate and inspire students and colleagues, possess leadership qualities, and contribute to colleagues and students in ways that go beyond the usual expectations of their job.

In addition to being recognized at their work site, Employees of the Year will be recognized by the Marana School’s 2340 Foundation during the Marana Schools’ 2340 Foundation Celebration of Excellence luncheon on Friday, March 3, 2023, at the Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain. The MUSD Governing Board will also honor the Employees of the Year during their school board meeting scheduled Thursday, May 11, 2023.

Teacher of the Year Mrs. Charlie ProperTeacher of the Year: Mrs. Charlie Proper
PE Teacher, Roadrunner Elementary School

Mrs. Charlie Proper has built an incredible PE program that Roadrunner scholars love and look forward to every day. Her program embodies physical activity while promoting a healthy lifestyle and goal-setting, and she creates opportunities for students to participate in additional physical activities such as Skipper of the School Competition, lunchtime running club, district track meet, competing for school fitness records, and more.

She is aware that many Roadrunner students have limited exposure for sports outside of school, and she pursues community and district collaborations to bring role model athletes to students. For example, she arranged for the Marana HS golf team to teach students golf, and the Tucson Roadrunner hockey team visited and taught students how to play hockey. Her leadership extends beyond the incredible PE program, and she has made several additional contributions to Roadrunner Elementary School:

  • As the student council advisor, she worked with students to lead assemblies and fundraise at community events. Her students helped raise funds for a GaGa pit for the playground, which Mrs. Proper’s family helped construct.
  • As a 21st CCLC before and after-school programs coordinator – and teaching several of the classes herself, she launched programs that now involve 2/3 of the student population. She has introduced a variety of activities including archery, dance, tumbling, gardening, and more.
  • She actively pursues grant funding which have contributed to the school campus –a mural painting in the cafeteria, purchasing PE and recess equipment, and preparing healthy food choices such as smoothies or fruit and yogurt, served at school and community events.
  • She created a “Nailed it” baking competition as a way to stay connected during remote learning. It was a huge success and has since become an annual tradition.
  • Mrs. Proper’s passion for fitness led to the creation of an after school and summer workout program for staff, promoting physical fitness.

Overall, Mrs. Proper motivates and inspires others through her dedication and actions. A lifelong learner, she is currently working on National Board Certification and regularly attends conferences for PBIS and CCLC. A natural leader in the community, she participates in every community event and willingly supports school-wide efforts and goals. As an invaluable member of the Roadrunner community, she embodies all of the qualities that make her an exceptional Teacher of the Year!

Support Staff of the Year Alvin RamseySupport Staff of the Year: Alvin Ramsey
Bus Driver, Marana Unified School District 

Mr. Alvin Ramsey is described as a ray of sunshine and a happy individual who is helpful to new drivers. A veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, he is proud of his service and willing to step up to any task, whether it is cleaning a bus, coordinating a last minute field trip, taking on an extra route, or moving equipment. He doesn’t discriminate the route, the job, or the school – he is just happy to be able to help.

As a longtime bus driver of 20 years, Mr. Ramsey is wonderful. He gets to know his students, their stops and their habits. He really cares about students’ safety, and has been recognized for his safe driving skills. Parent often request him as a driver for field trips or outings. His heart for students is not limited to school hours. When students have not made it home, he assists with the physical search, driving neighborhoods and checking parks – until they return home safe.

Mr. Ramsey is someone who always steps up to the plate. Every summer or school break, he welcomes working in the garage. He stays busy fixing damaged bus seats and helps run buses to shops or dealerships for warranty or repair. He shares information, tips and knowledge with fellow bus drivers, and helps new employees learn the basics – routes, fueling, and directions.

A colleague shared that “Mr. Ramsey is so dependable you could tune a watch to him.” He goes above and beyond in all capacities of his job, and prioritizes connecting with students and fellow drivers. A true leader in the transportation department, his fellow drivers immensely respect him, and former students remember him fondly. An MUSD parent said it best: “My boys are 24 and 26 now and will still talk about Alvin with a warm heart. He truly impacts the lives of the students he interacts with.”

Exempt Employee of the Year Mrs. Michelle BergesenExempt Employee of the Year: Mrs. Michelle Bergesen
Instructional Coordinator, Marana Unified School District 

Mrs. Michelle Bergesen has played an integral role at MUSD for more than 24 years and she is outstanding in her role as Instructional Coordinator. Foundationally, her work impacts every new teacher at MUSD – more than 100 each year! Realistically, her work impacts every teacher and leader within MUSD, and in turn, every student.

Inherently focused on others, she knows that leading is about investing in people and is committed to building strong relationships. Working new teachers, she greets them by name, knows where they are teaching and honors their time. She thoughtfully designs and modifies the district’s teaching induction program, differentiating for levels of experience, and enhancing existing knowledge and practice of veteran teachers.

Mrs. Bergeson not only provides professional development and just-in-time support systems for new teachers, she also engages in ongoing research and learning focused on areas of school climate and culture, literacy, and PLC recalibration. She regularly leads data dialogues with leadership and collaborative team leads at the site level, so teachers may be data-informed and responsive to what they learn. A key advocate of the district’s literacy efforts, she develops and guides the ILT, providing deliverable instructional pieces, developing teachers’ confidence, and mentoring site administrators, coaches and teachers, to help them best plan and deliver content.

As a great relationship builder, she prioritizes connecting and staying in touch with all of her coaches. She provides additional support for first and second-year coaches to problem solve and dive deeper into instructional coaching practices. She focuses on individual strengths to stimulate personal and group excellence. Her leadership relies heavily on “relationshipping,” as she calls it, which makes people feel indispensable. She creates a safe place for coaches to act boldly and do their best.

Mrs. Bergesen’s tireless contributions have helped make MUSD what it is today. She leads the District leaders. She guides coaches in introducing, implementing and maintaining district initiatives. She inspires students by empowering their teachers’ instructional practices. She is a pilot of positive change in MUSD, and we are so lucky to have her as a leader, advocate and champion of Marana Schools.