Return to Headlines

Cherry Creek Heroes Profile: Cultural Liaisons

CCSD Heroes ceremony for cultural liaisons. They’re the critical link between the Cherry Creek School District and its diverse community.

CCSD’s dedicated group of cultural liaisons are professionals who ensure that critical messages regarding the safety, health and learning of more than 55,000 students reach parents and families in a timely manner, no matter the language. In the past year in particular, this group has been a key bridge to families as the district, the state and the globe have faced unprecedented challenges from a worldwide pandemic. They’ve worked tirelessly to ensure that messages ranging from school bus notifications to important updates from CCSD’s superintendent are accurately translated into an array of languages accurately and rapidly.

These liaisons, who work out of the district’s Office of Interpretation and Translation Services, received formal credit for their important work during an online ceremony last month, when CCSD Superintendent Dr. Scott Siegfried formally recognized the group as Cherry Creek Heroes, an honor that celebrates those in the community who make extraordinary efforts on behalf of the entire community.

The group of honorees consisted of Amharic Cultural Liaison Telile Hirpa; Arabic Cultural Liaisons Jawdeh Dajani Alami and Jemaa Sebbahi; Chinese Cultural Liaison Andrea Han; Korean Cultural Liaison Leah Lee; Russian Cultural Liaison Larisa Baca; Somali Cultural Liaison Omar Nur; Spanish Cultural Liaisons Ilse Chavez Maldonado, Helena Gognat, Rosa Han and Miracle Nuanes; and Vietnamese Cultural Liaison Leslie Chung. Not only do these liaisons ensure that the district complies with federal and state laws when it comes to timely and accurate communication with families, but they also provide a critical sense of community and serve as a bridge for non-English speakers.

“Your ability to work with our parents is so critical to our district and everything it stands for,” Siegfried told the liaisons during the online awards presentation in December. “Creating those links with students and families isn’t just your job; it’s who you are, in your heart and in your soul. Thank you for being such an important part of what we do for all students.”

The work of the liaisons has been all the more critical in a stretch of months that’s seen an unprecedented amount of changes in the daily routine of Cherry Creek Schools. As the district has worked to comply with the latest safety measures tied to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the group has been integral in translating important messages regarding schedules, contact tracing and other subjects.

“We’ve successfully met the challenges of the past year thanks in large part to your work,” Siegfried noted. “You have kept our entire community informed and safe. Your dedication is valued now more than ever.”

Posted 1/13/21 at 12 PM