Highline Schools Foundation announces 2017 Gold Star Award Nominees


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Each year, the Highline Schools Foundation solicits nominations from community members, district employees and parents for its prestigious and much-anticipated Gold Star Awards.

This year’s list of impressive nominees includes well-deserving teachers, staff, administrators and volunteers.

Highline Schools Foundation congratulates them all, and looks forward to celebrating them at the Gold Star Awards BASH on March 16 (info below).

The 2017 Gold Star Award Nominees Are … 

Gold Star Rookie Teacher of the Year

  • Heather Cardenas, North Hill Elementary, Teacher – Third Grade
  • Colleen Carpenter, Chinook Middle School, Teacher – 7th grade Language Arts and Leadership
  • Chandrika Francis, Chinook Middle School, Teacher – Natural Resources
  • Taylor Gasser, Bow Lake Elementary, Teacher – ILC
  • Micah Gronvold, Technology, Engineering & Communications High School, Teacher – IAC
  • Benjamin Maund, Hazel Valley Elementary, Teacher – PE
  • David Thomas, Arts & Academics Academy, Teacher – Drama and Social Studies

Outstanding Administrator Nominees

  • Gaye Bungart, Director of Special Education
  • Mark Finstrom, Chief Technology Officer
  • Nicole Fitch, Tyee Campus, Principal
  • Megan Funes, McMicken Heights Elementary, Assistant Principal
  • Terry Holtgraves, Marvista Elementary, Assistant Principal
  • Nancy Melius, North Hill Elementary, Principal
  • Gil Parsons, Chinook Middle School, Assistant Principal
  • Victoria Terry, Big Picture Schools, Assistant Principal

Outstanding Professional or Classified Support Staff Nominees

  • Kathy Allen, Madrona Elementary, Family Support
  • Karen Berg, Beverly Park Elementary, Paraprofessional
  • Christy Birch, Bow Lake Elementary, Paraeducator & Office Assistant
  • Linda Elmore, Bow Lake Elementary, Paraeducator
  • Marco Fuentes, McMicken Heights Elementary, Head Custodian
  • Theda Hiranaka, Raisbeck Aviation High School, Attendance/Office Support
  • Lynda Johanson, Chinook Middle School, Community Engagement Specialist and Activities Coordinator
  • Kendall Lewis, Highline High School, Coach and Paraeducator
  • Juan Lozano, CTE Department, CTE Specialist – Certificated
  • Trish McGuire, Evergreen High School, Office Manager
  • Sydni Neves, Chinook Middle School, Instructional Coach
  • Maureen Roe, Parkside Elementary, Paraeducator PBS
  • Jim Tanner, Facilities Department, Glazier Lead
  • Pat Thomasson, Mount Rainier High School, Bookkeeper
  • Jenn Truong, Academy of Citizenship & Empowerment High School, Counselor
  • Maile Valu, Academy of Citizenship & Empowerment High School, Counselor
  • Amy Vattuone, Chinook Middle School, Instructional Coach

Outstanding Teacher Nominees
The Gold Star Outstanding Teacher will also represent the District as its Teacher of the Year in the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction sponsored regional contest.

  • Jennifer Bathelt, Chinook Middle School, Assistant Principal
  • Vickie Burns, Bow Lake Elementary, Teacher – DHH
  • Colleen Carpenter, Chinook Middle School, Teacher – Language Arts and Leadership, 7thGrade
  • Mary Drew, Cedarhurst Elementary, Teacher – Kindergarten
  • Paula Escher, Des Moines Elementary, Teacher
  • Theresa Fornalski, Seahurst Elementary, Teacher – Music
  • Sarah Gaffin, Marvista Elementary, Teacher – Kindergarten
  • Martha Gibson, Hilltop Elementary School, Teacher – Fifth Grade
  • Anna Hawryluk, Academy of Citizenship & Empowerment High School, Teacher – Social Studies
  • Jud Ketvirtis, Sylvester Middle School, Teacher – Language Arts/Social Studies
  • Grace Kleps, Chinook Middle School, Teacher – PE
  • Anna Kramer, Cascade Middle School, Teacher – Science, 8th Grade
  • Delila Leber, Mount View Elementary, Teacher – Dual Language, Kindergarten
  • Mark Lewis, Hazel Valley Elementary, Teacher – PE
  • Alecia Mabalay, Parkside Elementary, Teacher – Kindergarten
  • Melissa McGraw, Madrona Elementary, LRC Teacher Intermediate
  • Caitlyn McGuire, Hilltop Elementary, Instructional Specialist
  • Kim Meschter, Chinook Middle School, Teacher Librarian
  • Shawna Moore, Chinook Middle School, Teacher – Health
  • Joanne Nair, Marvista Elementary, Teacher – First Grade
  • Elizabeth Nelson, Chinook Middle School, CTE Design and Engineering Teacher
  • Kim Nguyen, Marvista Elementary, Teacher – Second Grade
  • Sara Savala, Beverly Park Elementary, Music Specialist
  • Yvonne Waldbillig-Lutz, Bow Lake Elementary, Teacher – DHH
  • Carolyn West, Beverly Park, Elementary Teacher

Outstanding Volunteer Nominees

  • Abdul Ahmed, Chinook Middle School
  • Gerry Clift, Chinook Middle School
  • Sherri Gorney, Gregory Heights Elementary
  • Ardis Hughes, Des Moines Elementary
  • Jen Pilgrim, Beverly Park Elementary
  • Chuck Tuman, Community Volunteer
  • Joe Van, Community Volunteer

Gold Star Awards BASH!
The Gold Star Award WINNERS will be announced live Thursday, March 16th at the annual Gold Star Awards BASH! The community is invited to Celebrate! Highline and enjoy an evening of music, drinks, appetizers and a LIVE announcement of the 2017 Gold Star Award winners. Drinks and light appetizers included for only $20! (21 and over)

Whether you are supporting a specific nominee or just want to be in on the fun and be the first to hear who wins, this is the night to celebrate all the outstanding Teachers, Volunteers, Alumni, Staff and Administrators of Highline Public Schools! Drinks and light appetizers included for only $20!

Event Details:  

WHAT: Gold Star Awards BASH!

WHEN:  Thursday, March 16, 2017: 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.

WHERE:  The Beach Park Event Center, 22030 Cliff Ave South, Des Moines

TICKETS: www.highlineschoolsfoundation.org

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