HOWARD LAKE, WAVERLY, WINSTED, MN Anyone who has spent time in a Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted (HLWW) school in the past several decades has undoubtably crossed paths with Christina Kittock.
Kittock’s lengthy dedication to the district recently earned her the Central Minnesota Conference’s Distinguished Service Award.
HLWW is home
Kittock attended district schools in her youth, and graduated from Howard Lake-Waverly High School in 1990.
When her own children were young, she enjoyed volunteering in their HLWW classrooms.
“I loved it so much I decided to apply for a job,” she said.
Kittock officially came back to HLWW Schools as a paraprofessional in 2005. Through the years, she became an extremely familiar face at many extracurricular school activities, too.
Scott Berning, HLWW’s activities director, praised Kittock’s efforts. “Christina is always willing to help out our activities department in a variety of ways,” he said. “She can be seen during all seasons at events. She has taken tickets, worked at game tables for scoring and scoreboard, and helped organize drama ticket sales, just to name a few.”
Berning was so impressed with Kittock’s consistent contributions that he recently nominated her for the Central Minnesota Conference’s Distinguished Service Award.
Kittock earned that award, and it was presented to her by HLWW Superintendent Brad Sellner at a recent school event.
Kittock said she has been humbled by the whole thing. “There are so many other people deserving of this award, but I am honored to be receiving it,” she said. “I am proud to be a part of the school community where I grew up.”
Jen Olson, principal of HLWW’s elementary schools, is another person who firmly believes Kittock’s award is well-deserved.
“Regardless of her assignment, Christina tries to get to know the students first and understand who they are, where their interests lie; and build a relationship with them,” Olson said. “Even in some of the most challenging of situations, Christina finds the positive, and takes on the challenge to improve upon it.”
Olson also praised Kittock’s frequent presence at school events.
“She often volunteers her time for other school events, which is always appreciated, Olson said. “Christina is a valued team member at Humphrey Elementary and in our district!”
Kittock said she enjoys volunteering at HLWW games and activities. She truly appreciates working as a paraprofessional, too.
“I absolutely love my job working in special education, and working for this school district,” she said. “It is such a fulfilling feeling when you can see the progress these students make over the years.”
Kittock said her efforts at school are supported by her family: husband Cork, and children Mikayla, 22, and Connor, 21.
It sounds as though people attending school events in the future can plan to meet Kittock there.
“I call Waverly my hometown,” Kittock said. “I have no intention of ever leaving.”