2014 Gold Star Award Winners

Introducing your 2014 Highline Schools Foundation Gold Star Award Winners:

2014 Gold Star Award Winners

2014 Highline Schools Foundation Gold Star Award winners: Pictured from left to right, Outstanding Teacher – Claire Waistell, Sylvester Middle School; Outstanding Volunteers – Cheryl Forbes, Linda Elmore (Not pictured: Fuki Masuzawa, Cherie Trondson), Bow Lake Elementary PAC; Outstanding Classified or Professional Staff – Linda Simpier, Transportation; Outstanding Administrator – Karin Jones, McMicken Heights Elementary. Not pictured: Outstanding Alumnus – Ray Conner, The Boeing Company

Outstanding Alumnus:
RAY CONNER

Ray Conner attended Highline High School from 1970-1973.  He played football at Highline and was named to the All-Conference Team as an offensive Lineman. Before Highline, he attended Sylvester “Junior High” and Lakeview Elementary School. He continued his academic and football career at Whitworth and Central Washington University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree. He earned his MBA from the University of Puget Sound.

Mr. Conner is currently vice chairman of The Boeing Company and President and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes.  He also serves as Boeing’s Senior Executive in the Pacific Northwest. 

Outstanding Volunteer
The PAC from Bow Lake – Cheryl Forbes, Linda Elmore, Fuki Masuzawa, Cherie Trondson

Outstanding Volunteers - Cheryl Forbes, Linda Elmore (Not pictured: Fuki Masuzawa, Cherie Trondson), Bow Lake Elementary PAC

Outstanding Volunteers – Cheryl Forbes, Linda Elmore (Not pictured: Fuki Masuzawa, Cherie Trondson), Bow Lake Elementary PAC

These four visionary women have banded together to become the power and the heart of Bow Lake Elementary! At a school where parent involvement is little to none, these four ladies make up the work of forty with everything they accomplish.

They plan, organize and oversee just about everything at Bow Lake outside of the curriculum!  Including school wide events like movie nights, open houses, and dances, fundraisers, art projects, tutoring, teacher errands, chaperoning on field trips and so much more.

Outstanding Classified or Professional Support Staff
Linda Simpier – Transportation

Outstanding Classified or Professional Staff - Linda Simpier, Transportation

Outstanding Classified or Professional Staff – Linda Simpier, Transportation

Linda Simpier was hired as a substitute bus driver for Highline in 1991. It was not long before people noticed the ‘magic’ that Linda would bring to work every day. Students felt comfortable and safe while they rode her bus, knowing that Linda truly cares not only about their daily safety but also assuring each student had the same opportunity for a successful future. Knowing each student by ‘name, strength, and need’ was happening on Linda’s bus in 1991, some 20+ years before that mantra was made into Highline’s promise to our community.

Now 24 years after Linda came to Highline she still puts in the extra effort (and many extra hours) to make sure all of the students she reaches, and staff members she works with, know that she believes all of us can be successful and enjoy a happy and productive life.

Outstanding Administrator
Karin Jones, McMicken Heights Elementary School

Outstanding Administrator - Karin Jones, McMicken Heights Elementary

Outstanding Administrator – Karin Jones, McMicken Heights Elementary

Karin Jones stands apart as a leader in Highline – with a high level of commitment, passion, and professionalism needed as an effective principal.  But, it is not these qualities alone that make her exceptional. It is the human element, the true caring, that she gives to her students, her staff and her community. Karin is respected as a person who will lead by example and who inspires others to push their level of professionalism to new heights.

Outstanding Teacher:
CLAIRE WAISTELL, Sylvester Middle School

Outstanding Teacher - Claire Waistell, Sylvester Middle School

Outstanding Teacher – Claire Waistell, Sylvester Middle School

Claire has been a teacher at Sylvester Middle School for 16 years, where she has taught science, leadership and band.  She was one of our district’s first teachers to earn her National Board Certification, and has gone on to teach classes and support many National Board candidates since then.

Claire’s passions are centered on: empowering Students to reach their full potential, teaching acceptance and compassion for others through acts of kindness, understanding and philanthropy and sharing her knowledge, skills and conviction through leadership.

Most importantly of all, in Sylvester Principal Vicki Fisher’s words—“Claire is a wonderful, caring human being. Quick to laugh and smile, she finds humor and delight in the quirkiness of her middle school students. She cheers when they succeed and cries when they are hurt. She advocates for the underdog. She is joyous about the smallest of victories of her students or colleagues.”

The Foundation is proud that Claire will represent Highline Public Schools as its Teacher of the Year in the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction sponsored regional contest.

The Gold Star Award winners will be honored at the Foundation’s annual Gold Star Awards Breakfast on April 18, 2014 at Cedarbrook Lodge. This year, the program will feature Superintendent Dr. Susan Enfield, Highline Public Schools students, Foundation Scholarship recipients as well as the 2014 Gold Star Award winners.

Since 1999, the Highline Schools Foundation has been supporting innovation and excellence in Highline Public Schools. Our funding priorities focus on programs to improve academic achievement, supporting college and career readiness, grants to teachers for engaging classroom projects, the arts, athletics, and programs that keep students in school and productive. Highline is a district full of need and opportunity. The Highline Schools Foundation is the only non-profit organization dedicated to all schools in our district—our goal is to help as many students as possible be successful!

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  1. […] Gold Star Award winners were announced live at the third annual Gold Star Awards BASH on March 20, 2104 at the Production […]