PHOTOS: Winners Honored at Gold Star Awards BASH Thursday Night

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The Highline Schools Foundation announced the winners of the 2013 Gold Star Awards at their second Annual Gold Star Awards BASH Thursday night (March 21), in Burien.

Over 200 district teachers, parents, administrators and supporters were in attendance, many rooting on their friends and fellow co-workers who were award nominees.

The Gold Star Award winners will be honored at the Foundation’s annual Gold Star Awards Breakfast on April 19, 2013 held at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport Conference Center. For information on registration, please visit

The 2013 Highline Schools Foundation Gold Star Award Winners are:

Outstanding Alumnus: DAN SATTERBERG

Dan Satterberg is a strong community supporter and an advocate of Highline Public Schools. Dan has held the office of King County Prosecuting Attorney since 2007. His duties include overseeing a staff of about 500, including legal professionals and victim advocates, all who work every day to improve public safety in King County.

Prior to being elected King County Prosecutor, Dan served as then King County Prosecutor Norm Maleng’s Chief of Staff, where he oversaw nearly all aspects of the office, including the budget, human resources, and community and government relations. Before that, he spent four years as a trial attorney in the Criminal Division.

Dan was born and raised in South King County and attended Highline High School. His father was a lawyer in White Center and his mother was a nursing instructor at Highline Community College. He graduated from the UW undergraduate school (Political Science and Journalism) and the UW Law School, where he met his wife Linda, a corporate lawyer.

They live in Normandy Park with their two children, ages 19 and 15. Dan’s hobbies include his rock band, “The Approximations” where he plays bass and sings, hiking, running and traveling with his family.

Outstanding Volunteer: SHERI HEALY, Mount Rainier High School

Sheri Healy has done so much to better every school in which she has been affiliated. She has a career volunteering, taking on leadership roles at Marvista Elementary School, Pacific Middle School and now at Mount Rainier High School.

Sheri one of those rare volunteers – with stamina! She is the first in line to get things done when nobody else steps up. She is tireless, driven and “in charge!”

At Mount Rainier High School, Sheri was integral in the formation of the Boosters Club, the Boosters Club Store and Concessions Stand, and the school auction in partnership with Pacific Middle School. She is currently the President of the Boosters Club, she has chaired the graduation party and she started the Booster Club newsletter and the Facebook page. She runs the Booster Club Store on a daily basis, a huge job in itself. She sells spirit wear at all of the games, to benefit the Booster Club so they can sponsor great events that help meet the needs of Mount Rainier students.

Sheri waves the banner high for the Highline School District. Nobody would be surprised if Sheri sticks around even after her youngest graduates – we will probably still find Sheri in the halls of Mount Rainier, raising money, having fun, and being handy and helpful.

Outstanding Classified or Professional Support Staff: SHERI SUTLIFF – Chinook Middle School

Sheri Sutliff is the backbone of Chinook. She is organized, knowledgeable and she juggles many responsibilities as office manager.

According to her colleagues, her professionalism and dedication to Chinook’s students, parents and staff has had an enormous impact on how the entire school is perceived. Sheri strives for Chinook Middle School to be welcoming and inviting—and she exemplifies this every day in the way she treats parents and students as they enter.

Chinook received a School Improvement Grant in 2011—which meant more support was needed, more focus and more work for the staff. Sheri embraced this notion and the opportunity to help Chinook students be successful. Sheri’s support is a large reason why Chinook has made significant improvements, and is outpacing schools across the nation in math, science, and reading gains, according to data released by the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI).

Thanks to Sheri, many students call Chinook their home away from home. What more can a parent want for their children at their school? She exemplifies commitment and sacrifice and she gives more to the students that she wants anyone to know about. Her goal is to ensure that Chinook continues to make gains as a school and that students are nurtured, encouraged and loved.

Outstanding Administrator: CHRIS LARSEN, Principal of Seahurst Elementary

Chris Larsen is exceptional in her role as principal and as leader among the district’s principals. She leads with integrity, has a very strong work ethic and inspires the highest caliber of work from students and staff. Chris has created a culture of trust among her staff in which true collaboration builds on staff strengths and leads to a high level of participation.

As a newly-designated emerging focus school, workload on the Seahurst staff has increased dramatically and Chris positively and seamlessly led the community through the process of re-examining practicing and re-writing the school improvement plan in a way that created energy among staff and inspired exciting change for the betterment of Seahurst students.

Chris loves data! She uses data to make sure Seahurst students are growing in their learning all year long. The teachers and staff at Chris’s school are challenged and encouraged to relentlessly and tenaciously foster growth and find ways to work with their students. One staff person says “We serve a population that may not look so successful on paper—but Chris has always, ALWAYS encouraged us to keep learning about their uniqueness, and use that uniqueness to make them successful learners.”

Chris is respected, admired and trusted by her staff. She is an amazing listener and resource; she takes time to talk to everyone who wants to talk to her and greets students graciously every day. When she makes her morning announcements she always ends with “Let’s Learn A Lot!” What a great and powerful message to students and staff!

Outstanding Teacher: LANA BAROUDI, 6th grade teacher at Bow Lake Elementary

According to her co-workers, Lana Baroudi is a joy to work with and according to her students she is a teacher they will never forget!

In Lana’s class, students are held to high standards for their behavior and academic progress. They work hard, learn more information and skills than they ever thought possible, their test scores make significant gains and they still have fun and love school!

What makes Lana a very special teacher, is the amount of effort, thought and planning that she applies to her work. She spends hours making sure her instruction is clear, tied to current standards, and memorable. And it works. Year after year, Lana’s students make significant gains.

Last school year Lana’s math students’ MSP scores went from 38% to 58%. This is not unusual; her students consistently see their test scores improve significantly. When Lana taught in Los Angeles six years ago she was rated as one of the top 100 most effective teachers by the Los Angeles Unified School District.

Parents and students don’t forget her hard work; the parents of a former autistic student were worried about sending their son to Camp Waskowitz because they feared he would drain Lana of all her energy at camp. Lana convinced them to send their boy to camp. He had a wonderful time, as did his classmates and Lana. This year Lana paid for Waskowitz for a homeless student in her class. Those parents were so pleased and grateful, Lana became their hero teacher.

Former students return often to visit and share their current life adventures with Lana. A former student told her this year, “You are the only teacher I ever come to visit. You are so important to me.”

Here are some photos from the event, as shot by Michael Brunk (click images to see larger versions/slideshow):

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