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Teacher and Employee of the Year

Rocky River Board of Education member Jean A. Rounds (left) congratulates 2015 Teacher of the Year Sara Ziemnik.


The 2015 Teacher of the Year, Sara Ziemnik, epitomizes all of the qualities and strengths of a classroom professional. 

Intelligent and energetic, passionate about teaching, dynamic in the pursuit of new methods, techniques, and strategies that motivate and inspire students, our honoree has been with the Rocky River Schools since August, 2000.

Early in this teacher’s career, students used words like “talented,” “skillful,” “knowledgeable,” “creative,” “enthusiastic,” and “fun” as descriptors. 

Also a leading professional in her field, Mrs. Ziemnik is well-known in the Cleveland historical community and is highly successful in the Advanced Placement Program. 

Having long been involved in the Center for Public History and Digital Humanities through Cleveland State University and its Teaching America History Project, she has adopted a personal engagement in the creation and preservation of oral history.  Her colleagues recognize her for providing an extraordinary personal touch on history as she has earned many major awards and has presented at the national level including the National Council on History Education. 

Mrs. Ziemnik is a James Madison Foundation Fellow, and last year, she was honored with participation in the prestigious Gilder Lehman Summer Seminar at Stanford.

At the same time, Mrs. Ziemnik has become a marathon runner and tri-athlete, is engaged in many charitable endeavors including The Village Project, and has done professional international travel.  She and her husband are raising two wonderful children. 

The Rocky River City School District is most fortunate to have this teacher with us in our ranks.  Holding degrees from Miami University and Cleveland State, she has been powerful in positively affecting the lives of her students by bringing history alive! 

Rocky River Board of Education member Kathleen Goepfert (left) congratulates 2015 Employee of the Year Geza Vandra.


The 2015 Employee of the Year, Geza Vandra, has worked for the Rocky River City School District since 2003.

Often referred to as the “quiet storm”, Mr. Vandra has an unwavering work ethic that has earned him the respect and admiration of all who have had contact with him.

Mr. Vandra accomplishes countless important tasks daily with a polite, measured and focused demeanor.  His high standards, extreme knowledge of district operations and seemingly tireless pace exemplify his reputation across the district.

Adjectives used to describe the 2015 Rocky River School District Employee of the Year include: polite, dependable, kind, honest, responsive, tireless, dedicated and loyal.

Mr. Vandra began his career with the Rocky River City School District in 2003 as a part-time custodial worker. He was quickly recognized for his efforts and earned full time status the following year.

In 2010, through hard work and dedication, Mr. Vandra earned a Maintenance Repairman position, where he continues to contribute daily to the mission of the team.