The Highline Schools Foundation announced the winners of the 2017 Gold Star Awards at the annual Gold Star Awards BASH at the Beach Park Event Center in Des Moines on March 16, 2017. District teachers, administrators and community supporters were in attendance, many rooting on their friends and fellow co-workers who were award nominees.

2017 Gold Star Award Winners (pictured from left to right):

  • Outstanding Administrator – Gil Parsons, Chinook Middle School, Assistant Principal
  • Outstanding Volunteer – Chuck Tuman, Community Volunteer
  • Outstanding Classified Staff – Kathy Allen, Madrona Elementary, Family Support
  • Gold Star Rookie Teacher of the Year – Micah Gronvold, Technology, Engineering & Communications High School, Teacher – IAC
  • Outstanding Teacher – Delila Leber, Mount View Elementary, Teacher – Dual Language, Kindergarten
  • Outstanding Professional Staff – Sydni Neves, Chinook Middle School, Instructional Coach (not pictured)
The 2017 Highline Schools Foundation Gold Star Award Winners are:

Rookie Teacher of the Year: Micah Gronvold, Technology, Engineering & Communications High School, Teacher – IAC

Micah is an alumnus of Evergreen High School. He later returned as a para-educator in the Inclusive Education Program at HS3. As his love and gift for teaching continued to grow, he returned to get his Master’s in Education to better equip himself to serve students and families, especially those within the Inclusive education program. He is now in his third year teaching at TEC. Micah’s nominator said “Micah’s eagerness to discover and explore and to learn new things is contagious. I think this characteristic is one of the things that makes Micah a remarkable teacher, because as he teaches, he does so in a way that he expects to also be learning with and from his students. This is so evident in the way that he speaks about his students with genuine respect and excitement.”

Outstanding Volunteer: Chuck Tuman, Community Volunteer

Chuck most recently served as chair of Highline Citizens for Schools during the successful campaign for the 2016 Highline Bond. The passage of this bond will result in rebuilding of aging schools, improvements in school safety, and replenishment of the capital fund. Every student in the Highline School District will benefit for years from the passage of this bond. Additionally, Chuck is a retired school employee, a volunteer in our school buildings and a tireless advocate for our students through his time serving as a trustee on the Highline Foundation Board.

Outstanding Professional Staff: Sydni Neves, Chinook Middle School, Instructional Coach

Sydni is an Instructional Coach at Chinook Middle School. She has helped to transform their 1980’s shop class into a state-of-the-art 21st century STEM and CTE classroom setting. She has helped to coach the six new teachers this year at Chinook. Sydni and her team worked to write and receive this year’s Impact Grant for $10,000 to be able to offer robotics, programming, design and engineering to Chinook’s middle school students. One of the first year teachers that Sydni is coaching said, “she is a fantastic combination of a passionate, visionary person, while also being very action oriented.”

Outstanding Classified Staff: Kathy Allen, Madrona Elementary, Family Support

Kathy is described as “the beating heart of Madrona Elementary.” Kathy supports the families of Madrona with accessing supports like weekend backpacks, Family University and new uniforms. She knows each student by name, strength and need. In addition to her work, she took on the role of putting on a Disney Musical with their students. She spent weekends designing and hand sewing costumes for the entire cast. And she spearheads “Holiday of Hope” an event where families in need can come shop for FREE gifts for their families.

Outstanding Administrator: Gil Parsons, Chinook Middle School, Assistant Principal

Gil’s nominator described his leadership, passion, and steadfast commitment to breaking barriers and interrupting predictable outcomes that for too long have defined the students that Chinook serves. Gil left private business more than 9 years ago to become a middle school mathematics teachers. He quickly realized that he could have a larger impact on students as an administrator. He is now the assistant principal at Chinook where he leads with his heart and with a fire to make a difference.

Outstanding Teacher: Delila Leber, Mount View Elementary, Teacher – Dual Language, Kindergarten

Delila’s nominee describes her classroom as a positive learning space for academics and social-emotional growth where Delila moves young learners with unbridled enthusiasm into strong, independent, empowered learners. She has used her community connections to establish partnerships for Mount View with the Gates Foundation, Praxis, White Center CDA, and the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project. She leads Mount View’s Equity and Social Justice Committee. Delila singlehandedly runs the school garden which she uses for science lessons for her classrooms. She is also a member of Mount View’s Site Leadership Team and has been a PLC leader. The Gold Star Award winners will be honored at the Foundation’s annual Gold Star Awards Breakfast on April 14, 2017 at Cedarbrook Lodge. The Gold Star Awards Breakfast is the Foundation’s largest fundraiser supporting the exciting, bold work being done to benefit all students in Highline Public Schools. Each year, Highline Schools Foundation invites civic, community and corporate leaders to a lively celebration to benefit Highline’s 20,000 students. All of the funds raised by Highline Schools Foundation help students and teachers in Highline Public Schools get the resources they need to be successful. The Foundation funds a myriad of needs in Highline-including scholarships, district athletic needs, technology, college and career readiness, early learning initiatives and support for our neediest students and families. At this year’s breakfast, we will celebrate our Gold Star Award winners, our students and Highline with inspiring examples of how the collective focus of our community can make an enormous and meaningful impact on our students, more than we can imagine as individuals! For information on registration, please visit]]>

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