ACE Coordinator receives state award

ACE Coordinator Roxana Kozem received state honors when she was named Top Site Coordinator for cycle 6 earlier this month at the Ace Convention in Austin. Kozem, the coordinator for Gutierrez Middle School, was one of two individuals to be awarded from her cycle.
A total of six individuals were selected from the state of Texas. The award is given to individuals that display excellent leadership skills; produce innovative ideas for an active program that will attract students while making sure their campus activities are meeting grand objectives. She has been with the ACE Program for three years.

Her co-workers nominated her for the award and received positive support from the schools administration.

“Roxana has worked tirelessly at creating opportunities for students and parents to become full partners in our school community,” said Gutierrez Principal Marsha Gramley. “Her passion and purpose lies in helping our children and helping others reach their full potential. I believe that she epitomizes the vision of this award and is most worthy of this honor.”

Although receiving such a high honor, the recognition from her co-workers and administrators was just as equally as prestigious.

“It was really exciting just to be nominated because I know my co-workers played a big role,” Kozem said. “For them to think highly of what I do means a lot to me and because of that I am truly honored to receive this award.

In addition to her individual award, Kozem along with the ACE Coordinator’s from the four middle schools in Harlingen were awarded for the Most Innovative Activity In Family Engagement for the Family Fishing Day they held during the summer.

“It was really a group effort, everyone worked hard to put that event together and we received so much positive reception from the families that participated that we couldn’t have imagined things getting better,” said Kozem.

Kozem has been working throughout summer on activities for the upcoming year. She hopes to hold a birding festival. The birding festival would allow students to lead the festivities themselves and learn about different species indigenous to the Rio Grande Valley. She also intends to educate students about Texas plants.

The mission of the ACE Program is to prevent students from dropping out of school before graduation. They provide students with after school activities in a safe environment to decrease the opportunity for them to get into trouble. The Texas 21st Century Skills Grant funds the program, which is a government funded grant.

The ACE Program will begin on September 4. and is available at every middle school in Harlingen in addition to Bowie and Rodriguez Elementary. The program is free for all students and they are encouraged to sign up any time during the school year. Applications can be found at the campus’ administration office.

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