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Holly Hills Community and Cultural Liaisons honored as CCSD Heroes for supporting newcomer families


Superintendent Smith smiling with honoreesHolly Hills Elementary School has welcomed hundreds of newcomer students in the 2023-2024 school year. Their Community Liaison, Nadira Rami, and Cultural Liaison and Newcomer Academy Teacher, Jimena Ortiz Lozano, have ensured that each new student and family is given a warm welcome to Cherry Creek School District (CCSD). 

To honor their outstanding commitment to uplifting our newcomer families and supporting their school community, Rami and Ortiz Lozano were both awarded with Cherry Creek Hero Awards. 

“Nadira and Jimena, you both embody what it means to be a Cherry Creek Hero. Every day you come to work and make our students feel like they have a home here. Thank you for making our kids feel safe and loved,” Superintendent Christopher Smith said. 

Rami is new to CCSD. She was hired in the fall as the school office manager, but has taken on the role of Community Liaison with the increase in newcomer families. As the Community Liaison, Rami welcomes new families into the Holly Hills community and provides any support they may need including school supplies, food, clothing, and more. Rami is well-equipped to support any new family that joins the community: she speaks five languages including Moroccan, Arabic. French, Spanish, and English. 

Rami is an immigrant from Morocco, “I feel what they feel. For that, I would like to help,” she said.

“As our Community Liaison, Nadira has welcomed our families with an open heart and support for their needs. Most of these new families are migrants and refugees, and Nadira has arranged and organized clothing donations for our students and their families. She is currently working the jobs of both community liaison and registrar, which is very demanding as we are registering around 3-4 students at Holly Hills every week. Despite this busy work schedule, she is calm and supportive to our students and staff,” said Interventionist Patrice Langdon, who nominated Rami. 

With the influx of more than 200 newcomer students, Holly Hills began a new program called the Newcomer Academy. This program is led and designed by Ortiz Lozano. While Ortiz Lozano has been working as a Paraprofessional over the past few years, she was eager to design a program that would help new students feel welcome and comfortable at Holly Hills.

When new students come to school for their first day, Ortiz Lozano speaks to them entirely in Spanish for a one-on-one school orientation. Throughout the week, Ortiz Lozano helps with translation and connecting students who speak the same language in class to make friends and build community. Honorees smiling with colleagues

“Having a person who speaks their language helps [the students] out a lot, and they have that connection with me, which is really nice and I love it,” she said. 

“Jimena supports our newcomers as they transition to our country and to our school community at the Hollys. She develops authentic and nurturing relationships. She wraps around our students and provides them the support system they need to feel safe, successful, and cared for at school. She listens to their stories, their worries, their celebrations. She provides a secure environment for newcomers to access throughout the day when they are in need of a listening ear, a joyful thought partner or a cheerleader for their success,” said Principal Molly Drvenkar.

Posted 6/18/24.