Image of four Pillar Award recipients holding their Awards.

Celebrating Staff at the FBC Pillar Awards 

To Cap off a great Teacher Appreciation Week, Foundation for Blind Children hosted our annual Pillar Awards to honor the wonderful teachers and staff that make this place so special. Showing the people who dedicate themselves to supporting our students how much we appreciate them is important to us. The Pillar Awards are just one small way we can give back to the teachers, paraeducators, and staff that make FBC what it is.  

Please congratulate the winners, and thank all the educators and staff that do the vital work to support FBC’s students and clients. 

Check out the full list of award winners below.

School-Based Services  

The amazing teachers, paraeducators, therapists, and administrative staff who work in our school do amazing things every day. They give our kids the support, motivation, and tools they need to achieve their full potential.  

  • Team Player Award — Kassandra Kulus 
  • Extra Mile Award — Martha Vazquez 
  • Spotless Sally Award — Kim Anastasi 
  • Data Ninja Award — Nicole Rice 


Itinerant Teacher Awards 

Our Itinerant Staff travel around the state to serve students in their local schools. They provide amazing support to their students, giving them the opportunities they need to be independent and to keep up with their sighted peers.   

  • Whatever It Takes Award — Joseph Odekerken 
  • Extra Mile Award — Cristina Mandry Campbell 


Early Intervention 

Our Early Intervention Program gives families the head start they need to successfully raise a visually impaired child. Our teachers and counselors work with families to make sure they know the best ways to teach their children. They also make sure the families are supported in whatever way they need.  

  • Speed Racer Award — Jillian Salasek 


Adult Services 

FBC’s dedicated Adult Services staff work with our adult clients on everything from helping them learn orientation and mobility skills to job training. Whether it’s helping someone use a screen reader to navigate a spreadsheet, or showing someone how to make a home-cooked meal without vision, these professionals give people the skills they need to be independent.  

  •  Rising Star Award — Tessa Young 
  • After Hours Award — West Lee 
  • School Spirit Award — Matthew Bullis 


Media Center and CATT  

Our Braille and Large Print Library is the largest of its kind in the country, and our staff are who make that possible. They make sure every student in Arizona has equal access to the educational materials they need to be successful in school. Our CATT team offers assistive technology training to students, parents, teachers, and other providers, so students can navigate the digital world independently.  

  • Jedi Award — Michelle Barney
  • Hidden Gem — Katie Eromae 

FBC Staff Pillar Awards

Finally, we recognized staff who go above and beyond to fill gaps, support their teams, and impact those we serve.  


  • Family Engagement — Cody Alvarez 
  • Leadership and Development — Cassidy Smith  
  • Professional Growth — Itzel Nieto 
  • Student Progress — Tinisha Gammage 
  • Professionalism — Nitsa Maraskes 
  • Educator of the Year — Kelly Wilson 


You Are all Pillars of Our Community. And we thank you!


None of these talented and caring staff could do all they do without the support of our community. When you give to FBC, you help us provide more resources to our teachers and staff, so they can have everything they need to impact the lives of their students. 

Images from the Event