(Burien, WA)—The Highline Schools Foundation announced the winners of the 2015 Gold Star Awards at their annual Gold Star Awards BASH! at the beautiful Bethaday Community Learning Space at Technology Access Foundation in White Center last Thursday night. District teachers, administrators and community supporters were in attendance, many rooting on their friends and fellow co-workers who were award nominees.
The Gold Star Award winners will be honored at the Foundation’s annual Gold Star Awards Breakfast on April 17, 2015 at Cedarbrook Lodge. This year, the program will feature Superintendent Dr. Susan Enfield, Highline Public Schools student performers and scholarship recipients, and emcee Peter Fewing, Highline Alumnus and Head Coach of the Seattle University Redhawks men’s soccer team.
For information on registration, please visit the Gold Star Awards Breakfast web page.
The 2015 Highline Schools Foundation Gold Star Award Winners are:
Michael Strand, Evergreen High School, Class of ’84
Michael Strand attended Hazel Valley Elementary School, Puget Sound Junior High, and was a proud Evergreen Wolverine! At Evergreen, he held a number of student leadership positions including ASB President. He was an active member of the Evergreen Debate Team, Jazz Band, and Tennis Team. Michael received his Degree in Communications from Washington State University in 1988. He forayed his WSU journalism experience and education into his first, professional editorial role with Time, Inc.
Mr. Strand made the move to Microsoft Corp in 1991 and is currently head of Microsoft’s Business Solutions division in the Asia Pacific area. Based in Singapore, he is responsible for running all aspects of the Business Solutions division supporting markets that span from South Korea, through all of Southeast Asia, down to Australia and New Zealand.
Bill Tracy has been volunteering in the White Center area of Highline for many years. He taught in Highline from 1967 to 1998 and upon retirement, he turned immediately to volunteering. Bill feels strongly about providing students with opportunities for leadership, service and a future through education merit awards. His leadership and mentoring through the Evergreen Key Club has benefited many students and organizations in need in our community.
Outstanding Professional Staff
Barbara Wilson – College Access Specialist, Student Advancement
Countless school counselors recognized Barb for her willingness to go above and beyond to support them. She is known as the “Go To” person for much-needed information. She is a strong advocate for staff, and is student-centered, always helping and doing what’s best for kids. Barb’s experience as a counselor in Highline undoubtedly adds to her masterful work – she’s been there, knows all about the daily challenges of being a school counselor, and what’s needed to be successful.
Rookie Teacher of the Year
Kimberly Campi – McMicken Heights Elementary
According to Kim’s co-workers and principal, she brings great ideas, an innate knowledge of how to nurture, and boundless energy to her job. She shows flexibility, responsiveness and a level of fearlessness at trying new things. She also has a keen sense of when an activity or the pacing of a lesson might be too much for her students to handle, and is able to adjust accordingly. For many, this “sense” comes with years of experience, and to already see it in Kim is a clear sign of her teaching skills.
Anne Arnold – Director, PreK-3 Early Learning, Instruction & Innovation
Since joining Highline Public Schools in 2013, Anne has literally re-shaped the strategic thinking in Highline around the importance of Early Learning, and its connection with the district’s Strategic Plan. Her focus on professional learning for teachers, principals, and district leaders builds partnerships across departments and schools as well as with other regional districts and organizations. Anne is recognized as a thought-leader in the area of early learning region-wide. The program she continues to develop in Highline is a model and standard for many other districts.
Yazmin Gil – Kindergarten Dual Language, Hilltop Elementary School
Yazmin was the first Spanish teacher hired when Highline Public Schools began its dual language immersion program seven years ago, at Hilltop Elementary. Since the program began at Hilltop, Yazmin has been a tireless advocate for children and families in the Hilltop community—especially for those whose home language is Spanish. She sees diversity as a strength and an asset to Hilltop, and to Highline.
Yazmin is a powerful teacher-leader. She develops her craft and her knowledge, implements new practices readily and reflects on those practices. She opens up her classroom to teachers, new and experienced, so they can learn from her masterful and reflective practice.
Yazmin’s voice and leadership advocates for students, envisions a bilingual future for our district, and supports us all as we work toward the goals in our strategic plan. The Foundation is proud that Yazmin will represent Highline Public Schools as its Teacher of the Year in the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction sponsored regional contest.
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