This week, the Highline Schools Foundation announced its 2023 Gold Star Award nominees.

The Gold Star Awards are prestigious honors in our school community, recognizing Highline Public Schools’ best and brightest — celebrating Outstanding Teachers, Volunteers, Alumni, Staff and Administrators throughout the district. 

“These awards provide us with the opportunity to honor those who have shown exceptional support of students and their education, and those who inspire us,” organizers said.

HSF received 85 nominations for 65 individuals – including many who were nominated by multiple people – representing 30 schools, programs, and departments across Highline Public Schools. 

This year’s list of impressive nominees includes well-deserving teachers, staff, administrators, and volunteers nominated by their peers and coworkers, parents, and even students! 

“Highline Schools Foundation congratulates them all and we look forward to celebrating them at the Gold Star Awards Bash on March 8, 2023,” organizers said.

The 2023 Gold Star Award Nominees are… 

Outstanding Administrator

  • Alex Haas, Principal – McMicken Heights Elementary
  • Corbin Busby, Principal – Hilltop Elementary
  • Jessica Ma, Principal – Highline Virtual Elementary
  • Jodi Robertson, Assistant Principal – McMicken Heights Elementary
  • Kevin Takisaki, Principal – New Start High School
  • Kim Moshier, Assistant Principal – Bow Lake Elementary
  • Lolita O’Donnell, Director of Family & Community Partnerships – Student Support & Family Engagement
  • Qaseem Mohammed Moqadem, Maintanence Supervisor – Facilities
  • Robin Totten, Principal – Gregory Heights Elementary
  • Simón Iñiguez, Principal – Evergreen High School
  • Sunny Sinco, Assistant Principal – Cascade Middle School

Outstanding Classified Staff 

  • Ana Lopez, Paraeducator – Gregory Heights Elementary
  • Brandon Kitts, Bus Driver – Transportation
  • Cindy French, Office Support – Facilities
  • Daniela Laureano Francisco, Bilingual/ELL Paraeducator – Tyee High School
  • Ellis Webb, Paraeducator – Shorewood Elementary
  • Emina Jazvin, Custodian – Bow Lake Elementary
  • Fatma Guled, Paraeducator – Chinook Middle School
  • Heather Shropshire, ILC Paraeducator – Bow Lake Elementary
  • Jennifer Straight, Bus Driver – Transportation
  • Kaylee Nation, Paraeducator – Bow Lake Elementary
  • Kelsey Gomez, Attendance Specialist – Puget Sound Skills Center
  • Kristine (Kris) Gonzalez, School Library Assistant – Hilltop Elementary
  • Ladonna Fay McNeil, Office Manager – Marvista Elementary
  • Michelle Baus, Paraeducator – Bow Lake Elementary
  • Sally Moncrieff, Paraeducator – Bow Lake Elementary
  • Scott Villa, Bilingual Paraeducator – McMicken Heights Elementary
  • Valerie Inklebarger, ELL Tutor – Shorewood Elementary
  • Vicki Treakle, Office Manager – Shorewood Elementary

Outstanding Professional Staff

  • Anne Marie Littleton, Social Worker – Social Work
  • Carolyn Zike, School Counselor – Seahurst Elementary
  • Jonas Buck, Counselor – Pacific Middle School
  • Larcy Amorelle, Physical Therapy – Occupational and Physical Therapy 
  • Ryan Bunda, School Counselor – McMicken Heights Elementary

Outstanding Volunteer

  • Ana Majia, Volunteer – Mount View Elementary
  • Melissa Ebbeson, PTA/Volunteer – Highline Public Schools
  • Patricia Palomino, Volunteer – Gregory Heights/Highline Public Schools

Outstanding Rookie Teacher

  • Chloe Bell, Teacher – CHOICE Academy
  • Gared Contawe, Music Teacher – Bow Lake Elementary
  • Mona Planesi, Criminal Justice Teacher – Puget Sound Skills Center
  • Sarah Brown, ILC Intermediate Teacher – Hazel Valley Elementary

Outstanding Teacher

  • Andreas Haugen, Teacher – Cedarhurst Elementary
  • Andy Brune, 5th Grade Teacher – Bow Lake Elementary
  • Anh Nguyen, Special Education Teacher – Chinook Middle School
  • Benjamin Taylor, Music Teacher – Hilltop Elementary
  • Beverly Pecoraro, Humanities Teacher – Maritime High School
  • Cooper Johnson, Teacher – Marvista Elementary
  • DaSol Lim, Teacher – Cedarhurst Elementary
  • Elise Dupre, 3rd Grade Teacher – Gregory Heights Elementary
  • Eric Owen, LRC Teacher – Hilltop Elementary
  • Erin Enquist, 4th Grade Dual Language Teacher – Mount View Elementary
  • Hoang Pham, Teacher – Chinook Middle School
  • Jill Hadji, Dean of Students – Chinook Middle School
  • Joanna Rodriguez, 10th Grade STEM Teacher – Maritime High School
  • Joe Bourgeois, Teacher – Sylvester Middle School
  • Josie Painter, Teacher – Bow Lake Elementary
  • Karen Montes-Gasga, Teacher – Hilltop Elementary
  • Marlene Samayoa, Kindergarten Teacher – Beverly Park Elementary
  • Mohamad Shibley, Teacher – Evergreen High School
  • Nancy Shi, Instructional Coach/SBI Facilitator – McMicken Heights
  • Rodney Olsen, Music Specialist – Des Moines Elementary
  • Shoshanna Cohen, Teacher – White Center Heights Elementary
  • William Calarese, 4th Grade Teacher – Gregory Heights Elementary
  • Yami Rios, Spanish Teacher/Advisory – Chinook Middle School

Gold Star Awards BASH!

We have so many wonderful, outstanding employees and volunteers in Highline Public Schools and we will honor and celebrate all of our nominees at the 2023 Gold Star BASH!

The Gold Star Award winners will be announced at the BASH on Wednesday, March 8th at the Burien Community Center (14700 6th Ave SW). Whether you are supporting a specific nominee or just want to be in on the fun and the first to hear who wins, join us for the fun!

  • WHAT: Gold Star Awards BASH!
  • WHEN:  Wednesday, Mar. 8, 2023; doors open at 5:30 p.m., program from 6-7 p.m.
  • WHERE:  Burien Community Center, 14700 6th Ave SW (map below).
  • TICKETS: $25 each, and includes one drink ticket, appetizers, and dessert. Tickets available here:

Due to venue restrictions, tickets will not be available at the door, so preregistration is necessary.

Get more details on the Gold Star Awards, Nominees, and the Gold Star Bash on our website:

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