Kate Kotlyar staff writer
Three faculty members from BHHS were named Apple Award winners in a ceremony on May 5.
The district named Physiology and Environmental Science teacher Sue Yovetich, special education teacher Stephanie Deibel and Mild Moderate Special Education Instructional Assistant Carol Courneya as Apple Award recipients for their hard work throughout this school year. Certified and classified members can only be awarded the Apple Award once in their career. The ceremony took place during Teacher Appreciation Week and Classified Staff Appreciation Week. The School Board, the Beverly Hills City Council, the fire and police departments, BHEF, PTA leadership and members of the community all attended the virtual ceremony.
Yovetich was “shocked” to receive the award and considers it a “great honor.”
“Sometimes I don’t realize that I’m going to my job, it’s just part of my day and it’s what I love to do. It’s just such a pleasure to see all of the students that I’ve watched grow up as they walked into Beverly Vista and see them flourish at the high school,” Yovetich said. “I have always lived by the practice of always striving to be a better version of myself and in my job I try to model that each and every day to our students and leave them with that message.”
Yovetich also attributes her 15 years of service at Beverly to why she received the Apple Award. Assistant Principal Jill Hunt claims that it’s Yovetich’s dedication to advocating for students’ needs.
“Sue really is what we would call a champion for all students,” Hunt said in the Board meeting on May 11. “She has consistently advocated for students’ needs related to the school bell schedule, social emotional support and encouraged more humane testing practices. She has always been pro-kid and really, in many ways, was just a natural PBIS leader before PBIS was even on our campus.”
Deibel, who has worked in the district for 22 years, was “completely shocked and humbled” by her win.
“I believe I won because I recently transferred to this teaching position from the main campus as the special education teacher for Algebra, Geometry and Algebra 2 to a challenging but unique classroom,” Deibel said. “It requires a blend of discipline, humor, understanding, limit setting, flexibility, tenacity and perseverance.”
Principal Mark Mead called Deibel a “valuable member” of the school because of Deibel’s vision for a student-centered Counseling Enriched Classroom. Mead also thanked Deibel’s instructional assistants, Farriba Rabbani-Far and Elisa Ibarra, for their hard work.
“Ms. Deibel and her team have created a learning environment marked by a careful balance of tough love and patience, as well as individualized counseling and student support,” Mead said. “In a perfect world, Ms. Deibel’s Counseling Enriched Classroom represents a microcosm of Beverly Hills High School: a place where students are supported, challenged and nurtured.”
Courneya has worked in the district for over 24 years and works in the Special Education Resource Program at Beverly. She felt “honored” to receive the Classified Apple Award.
“I love working in special education. I work with an amazing, supportive special education team and a wonderful team of administrators that support our program and are always there for me and my team when challenges arise,” Courneya said. “I feel incredibly lucky to work at BHHS and to be of service.”
School Board President Rachelle Marcus congratulated all the Apple Award recipients in the School Board meeting on May 11.
“After being in the district for so many years, unfortunately I did not have the pleasure of working with any of you as a teacher, which is unfortunate because I hear what fabulous people you would have been to work with, so for that I’m very sorry,” Marcus said. “You are the apple of our eye, you are amazing to the core and you are the pick of the crop.”