Since 1987, the Clover Park School District (CPSD) has honored exemplary employees in three categories, classified, certificated and administrative. Award recipients are chosen by an independent panel of Lakewood citizens.
Recipients for the 2007 CPSD Employee of the Year are:
Rose Miller, Administrative Employee of the Year; Heather Sarin, Classified Employee of the Year; Jill Gilliom and Christine Kelly Certificated Employees of the Year.
For the first time in 20 years, the employee of the year award will go to two nominees from the same school in the certificated category.
Gilliom and Kelly work at Tillicum Elementary School.
Christine Kelley, an instructional facilitator, is a 14-year veteran teacher with CPSD.
“I come from a teaching family. My mother and my sister define excellent teaching and are my role models, “said Kelly.
Additionally, she cites former and current supervisors Tom Prentice and Patty Maxfield as inspirations.
“In the short time I had the privilege of working with Tom Prentice he demonstrated incredible strength of character, perpetual emphasis on maintaining a positive attitude and leading by example. I am forever grateful to Patty Maxfield for inspiring me to look at teaching and learning through new eyes,” said Kelly.
She views her selection as employee of the year as a team victory.
“I feel flattered and humbled by this recognition. I see this as an honor not only for myself but for the Tillicum staff as well. I work with the most amazing group of people. Without exception, Tillicum staff members are dedicated, compassionate professionals committed to student learning. It is our high level of collaboration that made it possible for me to receive this award,” said Kelley.
She is working toward National Board certification and continues to be an advocate of maximum student achievement.
Jill Gilliom is a counselor at Tillicum Elementary. She is a seven year CPSD veteran and has worked serving children s needs for more than 20 years.
“Prior to coming here, I worked for Educational Service District 189 in Skagit County. Before working in schools, I spent about 13 years providing children s services in a variety of community mental health settings,” said Gilliom.
While in college, she met an educator who made a huge impact in her life.
“Dr. Elliot Weiner was the most inspirational leader in my career. He was one of my undergraduate professors and was a mentor to me in every sense of the word. He strongly influenced the direction of my academic and early professional career. He modeled a strong work ethic, a wide breadth of interests, and the importance of humor and tolerance in everything we do,” said Gilliom.
She was shocked and pleasantly surprised to receive the employee of the year award. Like Kelly, she credits the support of her fellow Tillicum employees for her success.
“I was very surprised and thrilled to receive this award. The fact that I was nominated by my peers means so much to me. I am just one member of a great team here at Tillicum, so it doubled the pleasure of the award to share it with my friend and co-worker, Christine Kelly. It makes such a difference to feel like you are part of a group that is working together toward mutual goals,” said Gilliom.
As for future plans, Gilliom will continue to work at Tillicum but quips, “Maybe law school when I turn 60.”
Heather Sarin has been a district employee since 2003. She has worked at Hillside and Dower Elementary Schools before taking the position as family involvement coordinator at the 5-12 Learning Community.
Sarin says her mother is the most influential person in her life.
“My mother Ann Rose is incredible. For her, no obstacle was too big for to overcome. Can’t wasn’t a word in her vocabulary. She taught me by example, she worked hard and long, she never gave up and she worked happily. I love to work just like she did and can t picture life without having work with a purpose,” said Sarin
At 81, her purpose remains the same, to help others. What I learned from her is priceless. “It s almost like the commercial, Tuition – $100,000, Books – $5,000. Mothers Example – Priceless!,” said Sarin.
Sarin has multiple reactions to receiving the award.
“Primarily, I m very grateful that I was nominated, secondly, that I won and thirdly, that I have such a phenomenal group of co-workers to be around every day,” said Sarin.
Not only is Sarin an outstanding member of the 5-12 Learning Community, she is an aspiring author and plans to publish two books next year.
“I have been working on two books over the past three years and I will have them finished by summer of 2008. One is a parenting guide for parents of children with Asperger’s Syndrome. The second, a children s book, It s Okay to have Asperger’s. The book was inspired by my son Joey s childhood journey with Asperger’s Syndrome,” said Sarin.
Rose Miller is the principal at Lake Louise Elementary School and has been the instructional leader there for the past seven years. She is a veteran of more than 30 years in the education field.
Her educational influences are her husband and Anita Archer, Ph.D.
“Archer is a renowned educational consultant and former University of Washington faculty member. She is an expert on effective instruction, classroom management, language arts instruction and study skills instruction,” said Miller.
She sees the award as a source of shared pride for her staff and school.
“I am very proud to be recognized this way, especially in a district like Clover Park with so many wonderful and dedicated staff and administration equally deserving of this honor. I’m blessed to be a part of such a wonderful staff and community at Lake Louise, and I share this recognition with each of them and thank them for all their hard work and dedication for students. I thank them for their belief in me and allowing me to stand beside them. They have provided me with an exceptional opportunity to learn and grow,” said Miller.
Miller views her future from the eyes of a life-long educator.
“Once a teacher, always a teacher! If I retire this year I will be working for the U of W, St. Martin s and PLU in their teacher preparation departments, fly fishing and finishing building my house,” said Miller.
Submitted by Rich Bartell