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Difference Maker: Cathy Stickler

This month, we are excited to honor Cathy Strickler for her years of service to the youth in this community. Since 1990, Cathy has been an important member of Eagle County Schools, serving in roles of At-Risk Coordinator at Gypsum Elementary and Registrar at Eagle Valley High School. Cathy has not only seen students through their scheduling needs, but she’s also created safe and positive spaces for them, including being the faculty advisor for the Devils Against Destructive Decisions (DADD) Club. For this month’s Difference Maker article, we’ve asked members of the community to share their kind words about Cathy to honor her as she begins her much-deserved retirement. The following is a patchwork of their reflections.

I have never met a more caring and sincere school leader as I’ve found in Cathy. She has opened her heart to every student who walks into the school and embraced them for who they are and the positive power they hold. She remembers every detail of conversations; she is authentic in her relationships, going above and beyond to be there for her students.

Cathy Strickler was one of the first people that welcomed me to EVHS when I started here six years ago. She was kind, caring, and truly showed interest in getting to know me. She treats everyone she meets like a friend, especially students. When students come back to visit, years after they graduate, Cathy's desk is almost always their first stop. She seems to know almost everyone in the community. She has built relationships that will last a lifetime. She is always available for a laugh, a hug, or some stern advice when I need it. She is the epitome of a Difference Maker and has made a lasting impact on the EVHS community.

I have been a school counselor at EVHS for the past three years and have worked closely with Cathy in many ways. She always greets staff, students, and families with the warmest smile and kindest words as they enter our counseling office. She makes new students and families feel welcomed, at ease and excited about EVHS and our community. Her roots run deep within the EVHS culture and our students.

I have spent many, many hours with this amazing lady who is more than a coworker but an amazing friend. I have watched how much time and energy she has dedicated to not only our office and students/families but to the DADD group, Musical/Plays, and always pitching in to do various other activities with the students. With the DADD club, she brought in a Multi-Media show, won numerous awards for the Teen Seatbelt Challenge, contributed to the Victims Panel in various ways, organized the “Safety Fair,” and had numerous fundraisers while always keeping the students in the forefront and coaching/mentoring them along the way.

As a former student member of DADD (Devils Against Drunk Driving) in the late '80s & early '90s at EVHS, it was so great to see that DADD was still an active club at EVHS and had been updated to its current name of Devils Against Destructive Decisions. Under the leadership of Cathy Strickler, it was refreshing to see such an active student group determined to keep fellow students SAFE and aware of safe driving, destructive decisions, and more. Working with Cathy now in my professional role and with community partners was an honor, and I would like to wish Cathy all the best in her next adventures.

I am going to be lost without Cathy Stickler at Eagle Valley High School. She has been such a great partner in bringing traffic safety education to the school and her students. The DADD group has been such a joy to work with over the years. My favorite meetings in my job have always been with Cathy and her students. Not only has Cathy been a great partner, but she has also been a wonderful friend over the years. I wish her all the best on her new journey in life.

Cathy is one of the most encouraging, thoughtful, and kind people I have ever met. She has taught me so much with how she puts people first and goes above and beyond to form a lasting relationship with them!! I just can't say enough about what she has done and been to our school.

She has always been my "go-to" person whenever I have a question about something or need clarification and is the glue of our counseling department. Honestly, we wouldn't be half of who we are as a department without Cathy.

Cathy has done so many things with and for students and made a massive difference in so many students' lives that it is impossible to list all that she has done. However, the common theme that makes the most difference is her ability and sincere, genuine, and personal relationship with each student. The rapport and strong relationships she builds with students make all the difference in the world in their lives. Every student knows she values them, and I feel this every day from her as well!

Not only is Cathy a valuable asset to our school, department, and community, but she's become a fantastic friend. She has the kindest heart, always makes me laugh, and gives the most amazing hugs - which will be missed the most!

To Cathy, we share these words: It has been an honor and joy to serve with you over the years. Your commitment to your student’s success is phenomenal, and I am [we are] continuously amazed by the amount of energy you pour into your work. You are a positive light for those lucky to be around you. Wishing you a delightful retirement- you will be missed!

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