LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Lori Rinkoff

Position: Administrative Assistant
School: Mesa Elementary School
School District: Westminster Public Schools
City, State: Westminster, CO

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Lori Rinkoff was nominated by her colleague, Stephanie Baer.

"Lori brings it all to Mesa and WPS! When I think of Lori, I am reminded of all the great customer service she provides to students, families, staff, and visitors," said Baer. "The one quality that shows up routinely is 'giving.' Lori is giving all day long to students, parents, staff, and visitors. What does Lori give? She gives her time and full attention to each person."

Ms. Rinkoff personally stays behind at school until all children are accounted for. She efficiently communicates with parents and family about school events and opportunities. Her excitement and enthusiasm for WPS activities goes beyond Mesa, and she is actively involved in programs at the middle and high school. Ms. Rinkoff is an excellent cheerleader for WPS and the community. She can absolutely do anything! She is so efficient.

The students all love her because of her caring spirit. They know they can always count on her. When Ms. Rinkoff is not working as Mesa' customer service agent with students, families, and staff, she is responsible for helping the office operate efficiently. She is super organized! Ms. Rinkoff is Mesa's School Assessment Coordinator: she is super organized and schedules and manages ACCESS, Scantron and CMAS.

"In our kitchen, our favorite saying is 'Lori knows all!,'" said Baer. "If she doesn’t know, she will find out for you. She will help anyone in any part of the school. I am the kitchen manager, and she has been so helpful for the 20 years I have been here."

Ms. Rinkoff strives to create and maintain a positive district culture through clear communication and a demonstration of competency, self-accountability, mutual respect, and collective efficacy. She demonstrates respect to the community through culturally responsive communicative practices. She treats each student as a unique individual. Ms. Rinkoff attends district functions and serves on many committees.

She works to improve achievement in WPS by making personal connections with students and families at Mesa and at Westminster High School. She understands the unique qualities that each student and family brings to Mesa and the district. By making kids feel good about themselves, Ms. Rinkoff is able to help them make positive choices in behavior and academics.

She helps with technology, promotes perfect attendance, creates certificates for level movers, and talks and visits with at risk kids. Ms. Rinkoff is a problem solver!

Ms. Rinkoff collaborates with teachers to design and create awards for Mesa students. She is the Chromebook go-to-person at Mesa; all staff and students go to her for tech support. She goes above and beyond to make students and teachers feel special.

"I have seen her buy food and clothes for needy students," said Baer. "Lori also likes to know what is happening in our district, so she attends Board of Education Meetings and student sessions. She does a lot of work off the clock to keep things running smoothly at Mesa. She also organizes the citizenship awards for students with the best behavior. When I need help with handing out cookies at lunch in the kitchen, she finds a parent that will do that for us. I could go on and on."

Ms. Rinkoff does so much more! Each day during CMAS testing, she writes encouraging notes to the teachers and gives them small treats. Each CMAS testing day, teachers look forward to their message from Ms. Rinkoff.

For the past several years, Ms. Rinkoff has also organized the Mesa Homecoming Float, assisted at Mesa's monthly family nights, volunteered to help at the high school (football games, Prom, sewing costumes for Tarzan, The Musical). She also tutors WPS students in the neighborhood.

"I could go on for days about Lori Rinkoff. I have never seen a more caring, thoughtful, and efficient person," said Janelle Stastny, Mesa Elemetnary's principal. " I look forward to seeing Lori every day. She gives all of us a calming influence and grounds us in our work with students. Lori provides insight into the student world when we are searching for a way in. Lori is Mesa. Lori is Westminster Public Schools."