Bellingham Public Schools leaders and community partners surprised 16 individuals as 2012 Districtwide Annual Award recipients and are pleased to announce the honorees from each school.
“We want to give a wholehearted thank you to all of the staff members and volunteers being recognized for the valuable work they do every day to support our students. These awards represent all the excellent work happening in our schools,” says Superintendent Greg Baker. “Congratulations to our 2012 award recipients!”
The district’s annual awards program recognizes the exemplary achievements and contributions of staff and volunteers. Anyone can nominate a volunteer or staff member for an annual award. Each school and Central Services had the opportunity to determine a process to select, according to criteria, a Certificated Staff Member of the Year, Classified Staff Member of the Year, Staff Team of the Year and Community Partner/Volunteer of the Year. Nominations for Districtwide Leader of the Year were reviewed by a group of school and district leaders who made the selection from among their peers. From the school-based award recipients, a district Recognition Committee of students, staff and community members reviewed nominations and selected the following individuals to represent the Bellingham School District as the 2012 Districtwide Annual Award recipients:
2012 Districtwide Certificated Staff Member of the Year: John Glenn, Teacher of the Blind and Visually Impaired, has served in our district for 18 years and is recognized as the consummate expert in the State in his field. He is invited annually by the U.S. Department of Education to serve on a panel with other experts, and led the charge for a teaching endorsement in both 'Teacher of the Blind and Visually Impaired' and in 'Orientation and Mobility.' According to his colleagues, he works long hours and on weekends to ensure that his students do not miss any part of the rich educational experience in the general education classroom. Quoting from his nomination, “John has made a difference in the lives of numerous visually impaired students. He has contributed to their lifelong learning and work ethic.” One of his students writes, “he was the most dedicated, caring and involved teacher I had during my 12 years in the district. His primary concern was always getting me to develop the skills so I could be a student of and for life. He prepared and taught me to learn every day, always seeking to increase my knowledge and prepare for the next situation that I would be required to handle."
2012 Districtwide Classified Staff Member of the Year: Peggy Fogarty, has worked for 3 years at Sehome High School and 11 years total in the district. According to her colleagues, Peggy walks the fine line between compassion and toughness, accountability and flexibility, in her role as Campus Monitor. She is loved by every student and staff member and on a letter of recommendation it states “she is truly the most beloved employee” at Sehome. She contributes great energy to the school and develops meaningful, positive relationships with the students, knowing all of them by name. According to her nomination, 'teachers, administrators and support staff all know that Peggy is a team player and will always support them when they need assistance. She is genuine, honest, hard-working and, most importantly, makes this place a better place to work."
2012 Districtwide Team of the Year, Shuksan Middle School Eighth Grade Teaching Team: Jack Attard, Veronica Cortez, Shannon Flory, Erin Gaulding, John Horner, Lynnelle Larson, Trinn Murray, Kurt Ottum, Sharece Steinkamp, Sarah Walker, Shari Walsh and Mike Zimmerman. With a sincere desire to serve and support, this team annually coordinates the successful service learning program, putting eighth grade students into the community for a service learning project. For some students, it gives a renewed purpose for school. During this service experience, students constantly reflect on their work, tie their service experience to the curriculum and begin to find their place in the world. The team makes connections with community partners, works to develop meaningful and mutually beneficial projects, uses interdisciplinary studies to prepare students for service through critical reading of current events, and aids students in personal exploration inventories and in writing letters of interest. A quote from their nomination reads, "Service learning is an amazingly complicated and time-consuming process, yet the team is unflagging in its commitment because they know the intrinsic value and have seen the joy brought about through their work firsthand."
2012 Districtwide Volunteer of the Year, Heather Stevenson, district parent at Geneva, Kulshan and Bellingham. Heather Stevenson’s countless hours of volunteer work have had an extremely positive impact on students. Parent participation is critical to a successful school, and Heather is a shining example of this.
Not only is she integral to fundraising activities, and numerous other volunteer activities, she also coordinates and organizes Mountain School at Geneva, resulting in this priceless experience being made available for hundreds of students. Usually with camera in hand at all events, she also puts together artful slideshows and videos for assemblies and celebrations, chronicling the lives of students. According to her nomination, “Heather is a phenomenal volunteer. Her willingness to take on projects and lead is inspirational. We value her knowledge and skills, and truly appreciate her passion. She is a once-in-a-lifetime volunteer — hard-working, tenacious, enthusiastic, creative and quick to see a need and to step in to get it done.”
2012 Leader of the Year: Keith Schacht, principal at Squalicum High School has worked in the district for 4 years. Keith is capable of working effectively with anyone, has an honest and sincere approach to dealing with problems and issues, cares for all students, and has a clear and concise vision for how things should be, and a plan for how to get there. He has made AP courses the norm for students to further prepare themselves. Keith believes in equity for all students and that the disadvantaged must be fully supported and encouraged to achieve their personal best. Staff admire his willingness to make hard choices and have difficult conversations, while at the same time remaining available to all of his students and staff. His nomination states, "As a leader, Keith is humble, kind, well-prepared, consistent and supportive. He expects a lot from himself, and he expects those around him to be contributing members of a networked school community. It is fair to say that Keith holds high expectations for himself, staff and students."
2012 School Certificated Staff Members of the Year
2012 School/Central Services Classified Staff Members of the Year
2012 School/Central Services Staff Teams of the Year
2012 School/Central Services Community Partners and Volunteers of the Year
The 2012 Annual Awards Program is sponsored by the Bellingham Public School Foundation, with support from Sanitary Services Company, Inc. and Vid-Smith Digital Video Production. We thank our sponsors.