2020-2021 Employees of the Year
Amazing Staff Who Go Above & Beyond for Students
We selected 11 outstanding Employees of the Year who exemplify our Kent School District mission of successfully preparing all students for their futures. Thank you for going above and beyond to support our students!
These incredible members of Team KSD will be honored during our school board meeting on June 9, 2021.
Bus Driver, Transportation
Bus Drivers (Teamsters)
Arlene enjoys seeing all her students every year and has missed the students she usually sees due to the circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Because students have to wear masks, she is unable to see their smiles, which is something she dearly misses. Arlene has been with the district for 31 years and appreciates her fellow bus drivers and Transportation team for this recognition. Arlene exemplifies what it means to be a KSD bus driver.
Central Office Administrator
Assistant Director, Health Services
Central Office Administrators (Non-Rep)
We have many leaders throughout our district, but Lyndy Baron has stepped up during this pandemic to help our staff and students remain safe and well. She has been with the district for 26 years and has served as the Health Services Assistant Director for the past two years. Stepping into a new leadership role and then leading and executing health and safety plans to adapt to a pandemic is certainly a challenge. Lyndy has done a phenomenal job to make sure our schools and buildings are safe for our students and staff. She is very appreciative of this recognition and stated she could not do her job without the help of others. Lyndy said “this has been a team approach over this last year with Melissa Laramie, Matt Tardif, Tim Kovich, Gordon Cook, Randy Heath, and Israel Vela providing help and support along the way.” She is looking forward to the day where daily wellness attestations do not have to be completed anymore.
Cheer Coach, Kent-Meridian High School
Erica’s favorite part about being a coach is when her student-athletes find that moment of success and pride in their accomplishment, whether it is big or small, in the classroom or in cheerleading. However, coaching in a pandemic is a challenge, and Erica believes all coaches should receive an award for having to construct virtual practices this past year. Coaching is more than what you see at a game or an event. She said coaches are counselors, older siblings, and a sounding board when their student-athletes feel no one is listening. For Erica, the apple does not fall too far from the tree as her dad, Coach Gerald Spalti won the award last year. Coach Wolfskill said coaching is one of the greatest jobs in the world and she would not trade it for anything.
Head Custodian, Meridian Elementary
Bus Garage Mechanics, Custodians, Nutrition Services Drivers, Maintenance, Print Shop, Warehouse Drivers (AFT)
Mr. Byers has been the head custodian at Meridian Elementary for 15 years and has been employed with the district for 27 years. He enjoys knowing Meridian students and fellow colleagues have a clean and safe environment in which to both learn and teach. When schools closed, it gave him more time to deep clean Meridian Elementary inside and out and work on projects he usually did not have time for. Like many, Mr. Byers cannot wait until the day when every student can return to in-person learning. Mr. Byers exemplifies what it means to be on Team KSD. Thank you for all that you do.
Student & Family Support Services Executive Assistant, Central Office
Central Office & School-Based Non-Administrative/Non-Supervisory Staff (Non-Rep)
Emily has been the backbone of her community at the Administration Center. Since schools closed, there has been an uptick in communication and support between Student and Family Support Services and school staff. Emily enjoys supporting parents in understanding the educational system so they can advocate for their children to get the most out of their education. Seeing the happy faces of students at recess when returning to work after lunch is something Emily looks forward to seeing again. Thank you, Emily, for everything you do. You represent what KSD is all about.
Counselor/Behavior Interventionist, Ridgewood Elementary
Non-Classroom Certificated Staff (KEA)
Alyssa loves being able to work with all students in each grade and teach social-emotional skills that will help develop their problem-solving and collaboration skills. She has been a school counselor for 17 years and enjoys every single moment of it. Alyssa wears many hats and interacts with students in whole classes, small groups, and even on the playground at recess. She said the support and collaboration of the elementary school counselors, social workers, behavior interventionists, MTSS coaches, and the Student and Family Support Services team has been invaluable. Working remotely has not been a problem for Alyssa, but she is looking forward to the day when all students can return to in-person learning so she can tangibly feel the joy from students and staff that can’t be replicated in remote learning. Alyssa is humbled to receive this recognition from her fellow educators and feels privileged to work for this school district.
Assistant Lead Packaging Line
Nutrition Services (KSFSA)
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, many of our staff had to adjust to a new norm and for some that included adapting to new job assignments. Zhanna has been working with KSD for 15 years and spent the last two working as a packaging leader in the Central Kitchen. Because of the pandemic, she has also been distributing meal boxes to families in need at our school distribution sites. Zhanna is both grateful and proud to receive the Employee of the Year award and believes her team has done the best they could under the current circumstances we live in. She is looking forward to the day when things can return to normal and everything becomes more predictable. Thank you for all that you do to support our students and their families.
Administrative Assistant, Kent Academy
Office Professionals (KAEOP)
Judy has a deep passion for serving students. You will see Judy saying hello to each student by name every morning and encouraging students to keep trying and attending school when it is tough. For the past 24 years, Judy has loved her job and watching students continue to grow into the kind and amazing people they were meant to be. She said working with her team at Kent Academy is amazing and will make retiring extremely hard!!! Thank you for everything you have done for KSD.
Paraeducator, The Outreach Program (TOP)
Kent Association of Paraeducators (KAP)
Laura is extremely humbled and honored to receive this recognition. She said she was both shocked and shaking when she first found out. Laura enjoys working with students at job sites and watching them progress throughout their time at TOP. Currently, students are not going to their job sites due to the pandemic and are virtually learning technology skills, cooking, budgeting/math, social-emotional skills, and more. She has taken various technology classes and developed expertise in Microsoft Teams and Microsoft Forms. In addition, she works at the Kent Parks Adaptive program and coaches softball, and constructs team rides with the cycling team. In the past, Laura also coached basketball. She is looking forward to the day when there is normalcy and all students can return to in-person learning and attend their job sites again. Thank you for all that you do.
Principal, Cedar Valley Elementary
Principals or Assistant Principals (KPA)
Patricia loves the challenge of influencing school culture and inspiring a growth mindset with her staff and students. She said the most rewarding part of being the principal at Cedar Valley Elementary is being present for the moments when scholars and staff recognize their own success. In only her second year with KSD, Patricia feels humbled and grateful to receive this award and to work with amazing people at Cedar Valley. She shared that she is motivated to work even harder to be the principal that they need. With Patricia, you can count on her to listen, communicate honestly, and advocate for what is best for students, families, and staff. She is committed to searching for all the talents, skills, and intelligence that exist in all children and youth, and believes all kids are capable of success. Thank you, Patricia, for the work you do to complete the mission of KSD.
Teacher, Meridian Middle School
Kent Education Association (KEA)
Our Teacher of the Year, Bonita Webb is amazing at what she does. Her commitment to building connections with each and every student to enhance academic growth is truly one of a kind. Read more about Bonita Webb earning Teacher of the Year.