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Teaching & Learning Coordinator Named 2020-2021 CHPS Employee of the Year

Columbia Heights Public Schools (CHPS) Research & Assessment Coordinator Disa Fabeck has been named the 2020-2021 Employee of the Year. Fabeck is the twelfth recipient of the award.

“Fabeck exemplifies the mission and core values of CHPS,” said Superintendent Zena Stenvik. “She is knowledgeable, customer service oriented and a delight to work with. I appreciate that she approaches her work with a scientific and analytical mindset.”

“My first reaction when I heard I had been selected as the Employee of the Year was of gratitude,” said Fabeck. “This past year has required a high level of flexibility and collaboration and I have been fortunate to work with a wide variety of staff. CHPS has some of the most creative, solution-seeking staff I have ever been a part of. It is a true honor to receive this recognition among the coworkers I have.”

In her coordinator role, Fabeck leads the data analysis to support the Teaching & Learning Department. She is responsible for training staff on test specifications and procedures, coordinates district-wide assessments, serves as the District’s liaison to the Minnesota Department of Education and other consortiums with respect to assessment data, and more.

Prior to her work in CHPS, Fabeck worked as a high school science and AVID teacher, club advisor, and district curriculum writer in the Anoka-Hennepin School District and then at the postsecondary level at Saint Mary’s University.

Nominators cited Fabeck as “exemplifying what a strong work ethic really is.”

“When Disa comes to assist or lead a meeting, her demeanor and overall outlook on school is positive plus,” nominators said. “Disa has welcomed assisting any staff member with Zoom meetings, preparing for testing, and helping with professional development. [She has come through] when all seems futile or lost and has positively approached situations with a glass half full attitude.”

Fabeck described how the District’s mission statement’s inclusion of “all belong, all succeed” resonates with the philosophy she brings to her role. “Every conversation and decision needs to be viewed in conjunction with what is best for our learners. We have talented, intelligent adults working daily to ensure that each and every student and family experience the opportunities and access needed for academic success and enrichment,” she said. “My goal in the work that I do is to establish a practice of excellence in equity because our community deserves it.”

“There has not been a rock she has not polished to shine blue and gold,” nominators noted. “There is not enough space or time to tell of all the great things Disa has done for CHPS.”

“Disa’s focus on creating opportunities for students is evident in her leadership with Advanced Placement, Gifted, and Assessments,” said Director of Teaching & Learning Tara Thukral. “She is dedicated to the students, staff and families of CHPS.”

“My favorite thing about working [in CHPS] is the people and the clear, equity-driven mission,” Fabeck said. “Student and family voices are encouraged in the decision-making process, staff utilize multiple data points to ensure students are getting exactly what they need to thrive, and the diverse student body is celebrated. It is because of this positive, collaborative climate that I truly enjoy being a Hylander.”

This year, 16 nominations were received for the annual recognition. To be eligible for the Employee of the Year award, individuals must be a current employee of the District, have worked at least three full years and not received the recognition before. A committee reviews the nominations and makes a selection based on criteria including work ethic, demonstration of “Heights Pride,” exemplary performance and more.